Jazz

More Than Keeping Time: A Melodic Drumming Demo

Aug 17, 2018

What would you say if I told you that drums can sing? The best jazz drummers have always understood this as fact. Allison Miller has even made it a core part of her artistic mission — as drummer, a composer and a bandleader, notably with her ensemble Boom Tic Boom.

When the 10 members of Tower of Power were in place behind Bob Boilen's desk, strategically positioned around the band's famous five-piece horn section, their first collective blast three beats into the sound check literally made the video crew jump. It was more a force of nature than a sound, and an impressive display of the "five fingers operating as one hand" concept of band cohesiveness.

Jess Stacy On Piano Jazz

Aug 10, 2018

This week's Piano Jazz presents an episode from the early years of the program with guest Jess Stacy (1904 – 1995), who came out of retirement to appear on the show in 1982. As one of the leading pianists of the swing era, Stacy was best known for his work with the Benny Goodman Orchestra and had a prolific career before stepping back from the music world in the 1950s. In this classic session from the archives, Stacy needs no introduction as he starts the show with a solo performance of "Dancing Fool." McPartland joins to end the hour with "St. Louis Blues."

It's easy to throw the word legend around when you talk to musicians who regularly appear on World Cafe. So when a real legend shows up, you've run out of superlatives.

Tony Bennett On Piano Jazz

Jul 27, 2018

Ever-popular song stylist Tony Bennett was McPartland's guest on Piano Jazz for the first time in 1990. Bennett vocalizes American popular songs like nobody else can. When he was starting out, a voice teacher, Miriam Speier, famous told him: "Don't imitate singers, imitate musicians." So, Bennett decided to emulate Art Tatum. He also credits his relaxed delivery to the inspiration of Mildred Bailey.

Ali Shaheed Muhammad of A Tribe Called Quest and Adrian Younge formed The Midnight Hour as an ode to the Harlem Renaissance and with a determination to push that legacy forward. They assembled a cast of talented musicians to bring songs from their debut to life in our studio. Let the music transport you to another time and another place. Enjoy.

SET LIST:

  • "Black Beacon"
  • "Gate"
  • "Redneph in B Minor"

Don Byron On Piano Jazz

Jul 13, 2018

Pulitzer Prize finalist and 2007 Guggenheim Fellow Don Byron is a prodigious multi-instrumentalist and composer. One of the most inventive and compelling musicians of his generation, he is credited for reviving interest in the jazz clarinet, his primary instrument. He has presented projects at major music festivals around the world and is known for playing in a wide variety of genres.

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