Bill Charlap: The American Songbook, Handled With Care There isn't a modern-day pianist with a greater love for Tin Pan Alley than Bill Charlap. Watch him take circuitous routes through "All the Things You Are" and "Sophisticated Lady."

Favorite Sessions

Bill Charlap: The American Songbook, Handled With CareJazz24

It's no wonder that pianist Bill Charlap loves the music that has come to be called The Great American Songbook — the songs of great Tin Pan Alley composers such as Jerome Kern, George Gershwin and Irving Berlin. He grew up with it. Charlap was born and raised in New York, the son of Moose Charlap (a Broadway composer) and Sandy Stern, a self-described "popular singer with jazz overtones."

In Charlap's recent visit to the Jazz24 studios at KPLU in Seattle, the pianist takes two songs from that fabled songbook and uses them to illustrate how a jazz musician can honor tradition and still get creative. As you listen, try to identify all of the other songs that Charlap quotes as he finds his way to the heart of the tune he's playing. Underlying his technical brilliance and emotional focus is a musical wit that's second to none.

Set List

  • "All The Things You Are"
  • "Sophisticated Lady"
Credits
  • Video/photography: Justin Steyer
  • Host: Abe Beeson
[+] read more[-] less

More From Jazz

Liz Magnes Courtesy of Liz Magnes hide caption

toggle caption Courtesy of Liz Magnes

Liz Magnes On Piano Jazz

Revisit the Israeli jazz pianist's set of classics and originals, featuring a song performed with host Marian McPartland in this 1997 episode.

Liz Magnes On Piano Jazz

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/580318597/580396172" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
Frank Stewart/Jazz At Lincoln Center

Fred Hersch And The Art Of Introspection

WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center

We join the pianist at his loft in SoHo to talk about his upbringing in Cincinnati, late-night gigs in New York, his recovery from a coma in 2008, and his adaptation of Walt Whitman's poetry.

Fred Hersch And The Art Of Introspection

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/578894724/579216920" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
Massimo Photographe/Courtesy of the artist

Lorraine Desmarais On Piano Jazz

The award-winning jazz artist performs original compositions and a set of standards during this 1991 episode.

Lorraine Desmarais On Piano Jazz

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/575768260/575921729" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

David Murray performs at Winter Jazzfest 2015. John Rogers for NPR hide caption

toggle caption John Rogers for NPR

A David Murray Double Bill

WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center

The monstrously talented and astoundingly prolific tenor saxophonist returned to New York this winter to present a four-clarinet summit and a new trio with Geri Allen and Terri Lyne Carrington.

This year, we bade farewell to avant-garde pioneer Muhal Richard Abrams. Michael Hoefner/Wikipedia hide caption

toggle caption Michael Hoefner/Wikipedia

'Jazz Night In America' Remembers Artists We Lost In 2017

WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center

Friends of our program honor a handful of departed artists, celebrating their lives in an episode filled with insight, humor and plenty of music.

'Jazz Night In America' Remembers Artists We Lost In 2017

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/572421441/572633580" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
Frans Schellekens/Redferns/Getty Images

Don Pullen On Piano Jazz

The brilliant pianist played church music and R&B before joining Charles Mingus' band and forming his own quartet. He joins Marian McPartland for a song in this 1989 episode.

Don Pullen On Piano Jazz

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/570834686/570846392" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Claudio Roditi, photographed in 1990. David Redfern/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption David Redfern/Getty Images

Claudio Roditi On Piano Jazz

The versatile trumpeter made his way from Brazil to the New York jazz scene in the 1970s. Hear him perform with host Marian McPartland in this 1996 episode.

Claudio Roditi On Piano Jazz

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/567716375/567717240" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
Back To Top