Guaraldi had range, as well as an instrumental hit right when jazz was vanishing from AM radio.
In an archival show from 1990, Piano Jazz celebrates the centennial of Stephane Grappelli, one of the jazz world’s greatest violinists. Grappelli first found fame in France with Django Reinhart’s Quintette du Hot Club. He went on to an illustrious career playing with everyone from Oscar Peterson to Paul Simon to Yo-Yo Ma.
Saxophonist and bandleader Paul Winter has created his own unique style of environmentally conscious music. The natural world is not only an inspiration, but it has also been a collaborator in his music. Winter talks about playing with humpback whales, as well as his legendary recording expeditions to the Grand Canyon.
Walker is an exciting presence on the jazz scene, singing with impeccable phrasing, a soulful swing and a warmly sensuous tone. She and host Marian McPartland spend a delightful hour talking about the jazz life and performing together on “The More I See You,” “It Could Happen to You” and Walker’s own tune, “Love Is.”
Pianist Hod O’Brien is a stalwart bebop acolyte. Since emerging on the scene in the late 1950s playing with Oscar Pettiford and Stan Getz, O’Brien has earned critical acclaim and accolades from his peers. He joins host Marian McPartland and performs an original tune written for the occasion, “Clarion for Marian.”
Grady Tate began his jazz career as a much-celebrated drummer, backing such icons as Wes Montgomery, Ella Fitzgerald, and Quincy Jones. Tate has since traded in his skins for a microphone at center stage, where he delivers smooth and soulful baritone vocals. With pianist John di Martino, Tate sings “Everybody Loves My Baby” and “Where Do You Start.”
Piano Jazz celebrates its 30th anniversary with a return visit from pianist, composer and arranger Dick Hyman, who appeared on the show during its first season in 1979. Always the fleet-fingered pianist and versatile musician, Hyman performs Gershwin, Jobim and a James P. Johnson rag before winding up the hour playing an improvised blues tune with host Marian McPartland.