Piano Jazz Shorts

Piano Jazz Shorts

From NPR

A preview of upcoming conversations and improvisations with Marian McPartland and the brightest stars from the world of jazz.More from Piano Jazz Shorts »

Most Recent Episodes

Ahmad Jamal, 1985

One of the most popular stylists in contemporary jazz, pianist Ahmad Jamal has been a major force on the jazz recording scene ever since his 1958 live album made at Chicago's Pershing Lounge. On this 1985 Piano Jazz, Jamal reprises two classics from that session—"Poinciana" and "But Not for Me"—in duet with McPartland. Jamal solos on Duke Ellington's "Come Sunday," and he and McPartland close the program with a final duet on "Silent Night, Holy Night."

Ahmad Jamal, 1985

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/516500467/516500481" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Doug Wamble, 2005

Guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter Doug Wamble grew up listening to the Southern gospel, country, and blues traditions of his Tennessee home. Once he developed his love for jazz, Wamble began to soak up the sounds of jazz masters like Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, and Ornette Coleman. Along the way he discovered his off-the-cuff singing was a hit with fans and critics alike. In this 2005 Piano Jazz session, Wamble and McPartland span the jazz genre, from "St. Louis Blues" to Charlie Parker's "Naima."

Doug Wamble, 2005

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/515220735/515220737" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Trudy Pitts, 1992

Organist, pianist, arranger, composer, teacher, and singer Trudy Pitts (1932 – 2010) earned a reputation not only for her technical prowess, but also for her ability to convey a wide range of emotions. Her formal training was classical: she studied piano at Juilliard and Temple University, but came to jazz by way of the organ. On this 1992 Piano Jazz, Pitts' sensitive touch is apparent when she solos on "A Child is Born." Then she and McPartland create a memorable "Mood Indigo."

Trudy Pitts, 1992

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/513945486/513945488" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Keith Ingham, 1997

British-born pianist Keith Ingham began his jazz career in London after studying Mandarin at Oxford University. In the late '70s, he moved to New York, which led him to connect with the likes of Peggy Lee, Benny Goodman, and Susannah McCorkle, for whom he was pianist and musical director. He was McPartland's guest on this 1997 Piano Jazz. Ingham opens the program with "A Foggy Day in London Town." He and McPartland close the show with a duet of "Little Rock Get Away."

Keith Ingham, 1997

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/512679284/512679286" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Barry Harris, 2002

Barry Harris is a seminal figure in the jazz world. As the "keeper of the bebop flame," Harris is committed to preserving jazz through education and performance. His workshops play an important part in his life and in the lives of many young musicians. On this 2002 Piano Jazz, Harris demonstrates how he earned the reputation as one of the most inventive and respected pianists today when he solos on "It Could Happen to You." Host McPartland and Harris show off their bebop chops on Charlie Parker's "Au Privave."

Barry Harris, 2002

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/511437212/511437228" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Kendra Shank, 2003

From a background in visual arts and French literature at the University of Washington, Kendra Shank has been pursuing a successful singing career from Seattle to Paris to New York, where she is currently based. Shank's sensuous phrasing and crystal clear tone have earned praise from critics and fans alike. On this Piano Jazz from 2003, Shank's thoughtful yet emotional voice illuminates Jerome Kern's "Long Ago and Far Away." Shank also shows off her skill on the guitar, as she joins McPartland for "In the Days of Our Love."

Kendra Shank, 2003

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/510263302/510263304" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Lalo Schifrin,1997

Composer, arranger, and pianist Lalo Schifrin trained classically as a young man in Argentina. He went on to study at the Paris Conservatory as he developed a career as a jazz musician, playing and recording in Europe. He has written more than 100 film and television scores and has won multiple Grammys and Academy Award nominations. On this 1997 Piano Jazz, Schifrin treats listeners to a solo version of his composition "Down Here on the Ground" from the hit movie Cool Hand Luke.

Lalo Schifrin,1997

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/509159024/509159052" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Jeannie Cheatham, 1989

Pianist and vocalist Jeannie Cheatham began piano lessons at the tender age of five and at 13 became intoxicated with the sounds of jazz. Cheatham toured with such blues artists as Jimmy Witherspoon, T-Bone Walker, Odetta, and Big Mama Thornton. In the 1950s she married bass trombonist Jimmy Cheatham, and much later the pair formed the Sweet Baby Blues Band. On this 1989 Piano Jazz, Cheatham performs "Midnight Mam." McPartland and Cheatham join forces for a swinging duet on "Perdido."

Jeannie Cheatham, 1989

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/508044631/508044659" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Remembering Toots Thielmans, 2005

This week Piano Jazz remembers Jean-Baptiste "Toots" Thielemans (1922 – 2016), unrivaled master of the jazz harmonica. He was recognized the world over for his trademark style and tender sound, and he worked with greats such as Benny Goodman, Ella Fitzgerald, and Quincy Jones. With a list of recording credits including the theme for Sesame Street, alongside film scores and commercials, Thielemans was a legend. In this session from 2005, he exchanges stories with McPartland and joins her for "Giant Steps" and "Georgia."

Remembering Toots Thielmans, 2005

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/507124799/507124801" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Loston Harris, 1999

For more than a decade, Loston Harris has headlined at Bemelmans Bar in Manhattan, delighting audiences with his smooth, soulful voice and piano style. Harris began his jazz career as a drummer but was encouraged by mentor Ellis Marsalis to switch to the piano. Hence, he discovered a new instrument and a new musical world. On this 1999 Piano Jazz, Harris performs "I Just Can't See for Looking." McPartland joins him for a rousing duet of Ellington's "Do Nothing 'til You Hear from Me."

Loston Harris, 1999

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/506310410/506310412" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
Back To Top