NPR Music

Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz
1:46 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

Cedar Walton On Piano Jazz

Cedar Walton.
Courtesy of the artist

Pianist Cedar Walton rode high on the cresting wave of '60s hard bop. He performed with Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers and in Lee Morgan's band, and was house pianist at Prestige Records. Walton died in August 2013.

In this 1980 session, he performs his tune "N.P.S." and duets with host Marian McPartland in "Lover Man."

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JazzSet with Dee Dee Bridgewater
1:33 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

Jason Moran's 'Live: Time On The Quilts Of Gee's Bend' Suite On JazzSet

Jason Moran (left), Alicia Hall Moran (center), The Bandwagon and Bill Frisell (right) perform at the KC Jazz Club.
Scott Suchman Courtesy of the Kennedy Center

Originally published on Mon June 23, 2014 8:00 am

The Philadelphia Museum of Art recently commissioned Jason Moran to write music in conjunction with its exhibition of quilts made by a remarkable group of African-American women in a small rural community on a bend in the Alabama River.

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Music News
3:19 pm
Sun February 2, 2014

Duke Ellington's Lost Opera, Forever A Work In Progress

Karen Marie Richardson (right) plays the title role in the Long Beach Opera's staging of Queenie Pie, the jazz opera Duke Ellington left unfinished when he died in 1974.
Bryan Frank Long Beach Opera

Originally published on Sun February 2, 2014 4:42 pm

Duke Ellington added more than 3,000 songs to the American music vault before his death in 1974. He also started composing what he hoped would be a great American street opera — which composers have spent 40 years adapting, trying to figure out what the Duke wanted for his unfinished opus.

But before you imagine soothing arias or boisterous trills and vibrato, let me stop you: Ellington's opera is very much a work of jazz.

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Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz
2:37 pm
Fri January 31, 2014

Herbie Hancock On Piano Jazz

Herbie Hancock.
Kwaku Alston

On this episode of Piano Jazz, composer and keyboardist Herbie Hancock stops by in a program recorded in 1987. The ever-inventive Hancock sticks with the acoustic piano for this set of solos and duets with host Marian McPartland. Hancock performs a mix of his originals — "Dolphin Dance" and "Still Time" — and standards including "Limehouse Blues," "It Never Entered My Mind" and "That Old Black Magic."

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Music Reviews
10:56 am
Fri January 31, 2014

Too Much Of A Good Thing? Jane Ira Bloom's Beautiful Ballads

Jane Ira Bloom.
Johnny Moreno Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri January 31, 2014 2:08 pm

When soprano saxophonist Jane Ira Bloom plays Kurt Weill's "My Ship" on her new album Sixteen Sunsets, a pale glow around her notes comes from a simple special effect: pointing her horn under the hood of a piano whose strings are free to resonate. Bloom has always been preoccupied with sound, and has one of the prettiest, clearest tones around on soprano.

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