Host Marian McPartland calls Dearie an “incandescent singer and pianist” whose “delicate, swinging style makes every song a musical gem.” The vocalist and pianist died this past year of natural causes. Piano Jazz remembers her life and music in an archival interview and performance.
With her classic voice and in-the-pocket delivery, Russell recently polished some gems at the 2010 Mary Lou Williams Women in Jazz Festival. Saxophonist Virginia Mayhew also presents her new transcriptions of Williams’ classics for quartet.
The freewheeling saxophonist and his small group from the 1970s came together for a live concert in 2007 — their first together in more than two decades. Now, a recording has been posthumously released on CD, and critic Kevin Whitehead says it’s like they never went away.
During the final round, the 24-year-old New Orleans musician made clear statements within the blues form with a lay audience in mind. He takes home a $25,000 scholarship and a recording contract. Justin Brown finished second, and Colin Stranahan third.
Jazz’s most prestigious contest takes place this weekend — though not everyone agrees it deserves the prestige. Five former entrants, winners and semifinalists alike, reflect on what their experiences meant to them.