Stars Celebrate 30 Years Of Piano Jazz: Set III

Marian McPartland performs at Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola. i

Marian McPartland performs at Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola. Frank Stewart/Jazz at Lincoln Center hide caption

itoggle caption Frank Stewart/Jazz at Lincoln Center
Marian McPartland performs at Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola.

Marian McPartland performs at Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola.

Frank Stewart/Jazz at Lincoln Center

Set List

  • Bill Charlap, Renee Rosnes
  • "Just in Time" (Jules Styne, Betty Comden, Adolph Green)
  • Cedar Walton
  • "Lush Life" (Billy Strayhorn)
  • Arturo O'Farrill
  • "Siboney" (Ernesto Lecuona)
  • Grady Tate, John DiMartino
  • "Don't Misunderstand" (Gordon Parks)
  • Dena DeRose
  • "I Never Told You"
  • Cyrus Chestnut
  • "Tonk!" (Ray Bryant)
  • Marian McPartland, Karrin Allyson
  • "Twilight World" (Marian McPartland, Johnny Mercer)
  • Joanne Brackeen, Taylor Eigsti
  • "Giant Steps" (John Coltrane)
  • Randy Weston
  • "The Healers" (Randy Weston)

This week's program features the third and final set from the Piano Jazz 30th-anniversary celebration at Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola at Jazz at Lincoln Center, held April 14, 2009. Your host is Charles Osgood, longtime CBS newsman and host of CBS Sunday Morning since 1994.

When Piano Jazz began in 1979, Marian McPartland's guests were primarily piano players, and the prominence of the piano led to a distinctive feature of the show: the two-piano duet. In a fitting opening to this third set from the 30th-anniversary concert, pianists Bill Charlap and Renee Rosnes, who were married at Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola, come together for a bouncing duet in "Just in Time."

Like McPartland, pianist Cedar Walton has also had a long and illustrious career in jazz. The one-time member of Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers plays his interpretation of "Lush Life," in which he invokes the complex moods of this familiar Billy Strayhorn standard.

Next, Arturo O'Farrill, director of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra, brings dramatic Latin flavor to the stage with "Siboney" by the great Cuban composer Ernesto Lecuona. Grady Tate shares his memories of the multi-talented Gordon Parks before smoothly singing the Parks ballad "Don't Misunderstand," with piano accompaniment by John DiMartino. Dena DeRose sings and plays piano in a soulful, buttery rendition of "I Never Told You," followed by Cyrus Chestnut's celebratory performance of bass legend Ray Bryant's "Tonk."

McPartland then returns to the stage to play her own composition, "Twilight World," with vocalist Karrin Allyson singing lyrics penned by Johnny Mercer.

The concert closes with stunning performances of two contrasting works. The final duet of the evening comes from two pianists who first appeared on Piano Jazz almost 25 years apart: Joanne Brackeen and Taylor Eigsti perform together for the first time ever in John Coltrane's "Giant Steps." The duo opens this iconic tune with angular improvisations before heading into dense, driving interplay over Coltrane's unique harmonic progression.

Pianist Randy Weston ends the evening with his composition, "The Healers." He opens by playing a delicate theme which expands into the varied terrain of the piece — cerebral and visceral, stately and playful, brash and shimmering. It's a fine tribute to the many phases of McPartland's own lifetime at the keyboard.

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