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

Don Pullen, 1989

Pianist Don Pullen (1941 – 1995) was known for his melodic brilliance, swirling chords, and glissandos, and his kinetic, cascading piano attack could ignite any band. He gained his first experiences playing African American church music and R&B, and his career took off when he joined Charles Mingus' band in the 1970s. He went on to form his own quartet. In this 1989 Piano Jazz session, Pullen performs one of his original compositions, "Jana's Delight." He and McPartland get together for "All the Things You Are."

Don Pullen, 1989

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/568607833/568607835" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Beegie Adair, 1991

Beegie Adair, the Nashville native with a distinctive flair for the piano, has worked with jazz, pop, and country. She's played for movie and TV soundtracks, been in concerts, festivals, and clubs, and put in many orchestra appearances. On this 1991 Piano Jazz, Adair joins McPartland for a unique blend, including an original tune she whipped up for a friend's Christmas present: "Sylvia's Mayonnaise." McPartland and Adair duet on "Poor Butterfly."

Beegie Adair, 1991

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/567529319/567529321" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Claudio Roditi, 1996

Integrating post-bop elements and Brazilian rhythmic concepts into his palette with ease, Claudio Roditi plays with power and lyricism. This versatility has kept the trumpeter and flugelhornist in demand as a leader, studio musician, and sideman. Having made his way from Brazil to the New York jazz scene in the 1970s, he was McPartland's guest for this 1996 Piano Jazz session. With McPartland at the piano, Gary Mazzaroppi on bass, and Roditi on his horn, the three dish up "I Remember April" and "Speak Low."

Claudio Roditi, 1996

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/565731038/565731043" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Ellyn Rucker, 1993

Ellyn Rucker's light sensual vocals and smooth swinging piano produce a wonderfully intriguing mixture. Hailing from Colorado, Rucker broke into the jazz big leagues in the 1980s after she took up her musical career fulltime. She remains a staple on the Denver music scene. On this 1993 Piano Jazz, her versatility is evident when she performs Cole Porter's "Everything I Love," then McPartland joins in to play the title tune from one of Rucker's albums, This Heart of Mine.

Ellyn Rucker, 1993

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/564111522/564111582" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Milt Hinton (The Judge), 1991

Milt Hinton (1920 – 2000) was one of the world's legendary bass players. In a career that spanned eight decades, he played with just about everyone, from Cab Calloway to Ellington to Coltrane. He's often credited with bridging the gap from swing to modern jazz. In this 1991 session, Hinton "raps" his expansive resume, talks about his priceless collection of jazz photographs, and joins McPartland for "How High the Moon."

Milt Hinton (The Judge), 1991

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/562668846/562668848" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Ruth Laredo, 2004

One of the premier classical pianists of her generation, Ruth Laredo (1937 – 2005) was known as America's First Lady of the Piano. In partnership with McPartland and Dick Hyman, Laredo produced wildly popular Three Piano Crossover Concerts, exploring the boundaries between classical music and jazz. In this 2004 Piano Jazz session, Laredo and McPartland continue their genre-bending excursions, juxtaposing Chopin with Jobim, and Scriabin with "Stella by Starlight."

Ruth Laredo, 2004

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/561218236/561218248" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Teri Thornton, 1999

Piano Jazz remembers vocalist and pianist Teri Thornton (1934 – 2000), who lost her battle with cancer in the year after this 1999 session. Thornton first wowed audiences in 1963 with her hit recording of "Somewhere in the Night" from the television series Naked City. Her comeback to the jazz world was highlighted in 1998 when she won the Thelonious Monk Vocal Competition. On this Piano Jazz, she and McPartland team up for an unforgettable "I'll Be Seeing You." Thornton performs her signature song, "East of the Sun and West of the Moon."

Teri Thornton, 1999

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/559873523/559873692" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Makoto Ozone, 1984

In 1984 when pianist Makoto Ozone was McPartland's guest for the first time, he had become known as a rising jazz star. In his early 20s he was already a master technician with many keyboard influences, including Oscar Peterson, but he first heard jazz from his father at home in Kobe, Japan. In this session he displays his powerful, hard-driving style, soloing on "Love for Sale" and "Here's that Rainy Day." Then Ozone joins McPartland for swinging duets on "Everything Happens to Me" and "You Stepped Out of a Dream."

Makoto Ozone, 1984

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/558351535/558351537" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Anat Fort, 2007

Israeli-born pianist, composer, and arranger Anat Fort is classically trained but is also well-studied in jazz improvisation. A prolific composer, her musical worlds come together in elegant and often intense tunes, and she has been commissioned to write work for both orchestra and jazz settings. In this 2007 Piano Jazz session, Fort performs her originals, including "Just Now" and "Something about Camels," before joining McPartland on "Softly as in a Morning Sunrise."

Anat Fort, 2007

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/556906322/556906324" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

McCoy Tyner, 1983

McCoy Tyner is an inventive composer and pianist, perhaps best known for creating the lavish harmonies and percussive piano lines heard on some of John Coltrane's most famous recordings. He also has had a successful career as a leader with his own McCoy Tyner Trio. On this 1983 edition of Piano Jazz, Tyner puts his prodigious technique to work on "Lazy Bird," and McPartland gets on board for a driving duet of "Take the A Train."

McCoy Tyner, 1983

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/556276517/556276538" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
Back To Top