Albert Dailey On Piano Jazz Hear an archival session from the sorely under-appreciated pianist, an intense yet melodic soloist.

Albert Dailey on the back cover of his 1983 record with Stan Getz, Poetry. Courtesy of Musician Records hide caption

toggle caption
Courtesy of Musician Records

Albert Dailey on the back cover of his 1983 record with Stan Getz, Poetry.

Courtesy of Musician Records

Albert Dailey On Piano Jazz

Albert Dailey On Piano Jazz

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/142522477/586594962" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

In his short life, Albert Dailey was an underrated, yet sought-after, pianist. His career included work with Woody Herman, Dexter Gordon, Stan Getz, Art Blakey, Sarah Vaughan, Charles Mingus, Archie Shepp and Freddie Hubbard. In this episode of Piano Jazz recorded in 1983, he performs his tunes "Dailey Double," "Indecision" and "Mr. Pogo," and duets with host Marian McPartland on Cole Porter's "Just One of Those Things."

"His technique was ferocious," McPartland says. "He had that classical element and could play so many notes. He played his own tunes back-to-back, and I'm certainly glad we had Al on the show. You don't hear too much about him these days."

Albert Preston Dailey was born June 16, 1939, in Baltimore, Md. Dailey began piano studies at a young age, and by the mid-'50s was playing in the Baltimore Royal Theater's house band; he went on to attend Morgan State University and the Peabody Conservatory in the late '50s. Dailey toured with vocalist Damita Jo from 1960 to 1963, then led a trio at Bohemian Caverns in Washington, D.C., before moving to New York in 1964.

He began working with cutting-edge musicians, including recording dates with trumpeter Freddie Hubbard, and in 1967 he joined Woody Herman at the Monterey Jazz Festival. He also was a member of the first lineup of Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers. In the early '70s, he worked with tenor-sax men Sonny Rollins and Stan Getz, the latter of whom had a deep admiration for Dailey's hypnotic styling and shimmering harmonies. Other acclaimed artists, including alto saxophonist Lee Konitz and tenor saxophonist Archie Shepp, came calling, as well. Dailey continued working into the early '80s, recording with Getz on his 1983 album Poetry, and with Buddy De Franco.

Though sorely under-appreciated and underrated in his lifetime, Al Dailey was a blossoming composer and an intense yet melodic soloist. His broad, impressionistic chordal structures and searching melodic lines were on par with the work of other modern jazz pianists such as Keith Jarrett, McCoy Tyner and Bill Evans.

Al Dailey died of pneumonia in 1984.

He was one of McPartland's guests in the early years of Piano Jazz. On this 1983 episode, Dailey demonstrates his brilliant sense of invention on "If You Could See Me Now," and joins McPartland on "Night in Tunisia."

Originally broadcast in the fall of 1983.

SET LIST

  • "Dailey Double" (Dailey)
  • "Indecision" (Dailey)
  • "Gone with the Wind" (Young, Ahlert)
  • "If You Could See Me Now" (Dameron, Sigman)
  • "Night in Tunisia" (Gillespie, Paparelli)
  • "Mr. Pogo" (Dailey)
  • "Last Night When We Were Young" (Arlen, Harburg)
  • "Just One of Those Things" (Porter)
[+] read more[-] less

More From Jazz

Aerial view of the Festival International de Jazz de Montreal. © Victor Diaz Lamich/Courtesy of Festival International de Jazz de Montreal hide caption

toggle caption © Victor Diaz Lamich/Courtesy of Festival International de Jazz de Montreal

A Toast To The Montreal International Jazz Festival At 40: Jazz, Blues & Much More

WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center

We celebrate 40 years of The Montreal International Jazz Festival with iconic performances and unique stories including Ella Fitzgerald, Dave Brubeck, Diana Krall, Oscar Peterson and Pat Metheny.

A Toast To The Montreal International Jazz Festival At 40: Jazz, Blues & Much More

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/759959062/760220956" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Miles and Betty Davis in color in Miles' New York westside brownstone, 1969 Baron Wolman hide caption

toggle caption Baron Wolman

Electric Miles: Behind The 'Brew'

WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center

We celebrate the 50th anniversary of Miles Davis going electric for Bitches Brew — part controversial, part revolutionary and as a whole, historic.

Electric Miles: Behind The 'Brew'

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/751422609/751477610" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Cannonball Adderley sits with his saxophone. JP Jazz Archive/Redferns/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption JP Jazz Archive/Redferns/Getty Images

'The Black Messiah' And The Legacy Of Cannonball Adderley

WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center

Julian "Cannonball" Adderley left a monumental legacy during his two decades in the spotlight. Revisit his music with old bandmates and Patrick Bartley Jr.'s young New York band.

'The Black Messiah' And The Legacy Of Cannonball Adderley

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/745324110/745476669" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Masego plays a Tiny Desk Concert on Jan. 8, 2019 (Claire Harbage/NPR). Claire Harbage/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Claire Harbage/NPR

Masego

The spirit of Cab Calloway lives on in Masego, the singer, producer and multi-instrumentalist who surprised NPR's Tiny Desk audience with a zany sense of showmanship.

Jacob Collier plays a Tiny Desk Concert on May 16, 2019. Claire Harbage/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Claire Harbage/NPR

Jacob Collier

As the NPR staff gathered to watch his performance, Jacob Collier sprinted full bore down the hallway for his set, hardly able to contain his creative energy or enthusiasm.

Watch the Monterey Jazz Festival On Tour perform live from Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City. Jazz at Lincoln Center hide caption

toggle caption Jazz at Lincoln Center

Watch The Monterey Jazz Festival On Tour Celebrate 60 Years

WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center

Watch the Monterey Jazz Festival On Tour featuring Christian Sands, Cécile McLorin Salvant, Bria Skonberg, Melissa Aldana, Yasushi Nakamura and Jamison Ross.

Host Christian McBride and Saxophonist Lou Donaldson in Florida. Katie Simon/WBGO hide caption

toggle caption Katie Simon/WBGO

Good Gracious! Words Of Wisdom And Soulful Reflection From 'Sweet Papa' Lou Donaldson

WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center

Host Christian McBride sits down with saxophonist Lou Donaldson to talk about Lou's life as a performer, his thoughts on jazz today and how hip-hop brought new ears to his music.

Good Gracious! Words Of Wisdom And Soulful Reflection From 'Sweet Papa' Lou Donaldson

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/733992956/734463789" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Turtle Island String Quartet with Cyrus Chestnut Courtesy of the artist hide caption

toggle caption Courtesy of the artist

Turtle Island Quartet Joins Cyrus Chestnut With Global Gospel Offering

WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center

Watch Carry Me Home, a program from Turtle Island, the hardest working string quartet in jazz, and their latest collaborator, pianist Cyrus Chestnut.

Turtle Island Quartet Joins Cyrus Chestnut With Global Gospel Offering

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/729918599/730429366" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
Back To Top