It’s easy to see why the drummer is so in demand among jazz’s international stars — just watching him manipulate polyrhythms will suffice. But he also writes music: His open, soaring quartet performs songs from an upcoming record live in concert.
In Shearing’s second appearance on the program from 1987, host Marian McPartland reminisces with her fellow countryman about obscure British tunes, and the two have fun re-harmonizing “God Save the Queen.” Shearing also sings and plays Cole Porter’s “After You,” and the two end with a two-piano version of “Indiana.”
Pianist and singer Barbara Carroll was host Marian McPartland’s second guest during the first season of Piano Jazz. Thirty years later, Carroll makes a return appearance to reminisce with her friend about their experiences at the Hickory House and the Oak Room. Carroll gives a charming performance of “Very Early” and McPartland improvises a musical portrait of her guest.
Italian import Daniela Schaechter is a brilliant young pianist and singer, taking the jazz scene by storm. Judging by her list of awards and the number of jazz luminaries she’s played with, one might think she’d been gigging professionally for dozens of years. Schaechter performs her own tune “Dark Blue,” and McPartland joins in for “It Could Happen to You.”
Piano Jazz celebrates the centennial of songwriter and lyricist Johnny Mercer. Pianist-singer and Mercer enthusiast Daryl Sherman brings her sophisticated swing and witty charm to the show for performances of “Too Marvelous for Words” and “Jeepers Creepers.” McPartland joins in on one of her favorite Mercer tunes, “Skylark.”