Italian pianist Stefano Bollani stretches the limits of imagination with improvisations ranging from quirky to transcendent. Virtuoso technique and a keen harmonic sense bolster Bollani’s improvisations, which are influenced as much by Charlie Parker as Prokofiev and Zappa.
Every year, NPR Music invites some of the world’s best jazz keyboard players to Washington, D.C., for a special performance of holiday tunes. Hear Stanley Cowell, Sullivan Fortner, Michele Rosewoman and Andy Bey play live.
The guitarist, composer and arranger died in his sleep Tuesday at 83. Hall was known for a subtle, lyrical playing style, a gift for innovation and collaborations with a host of talented musicians in a career that stretched more than seven decades. Hear an interview from 1989.
The vocalist mixes funk with electric soul in a live tribute to Jimi Hendrix and James Brown in Chicago. When Dee Alexander launches into the James Brown half of the show, she yells to the crowd, “Everybody down here on the floor. I don’t want to dance by myself!”
Hear public radio stations’ favorite songs of the year — from jazz to indie rock to cutting-edge classical. A wide range of programmers sent NPR Music their Top 10 lists, and we gathered all the tracks into one mighty stream.
“This is it,” Webb said of Fitzgerald. “I have a real singer now. That’s what the public wants.”
The guitarist said he didn’t “really have all that much technique anyway,” but it was clearly enough to influence half a century of jazz musicians. Peers and proteges like Sonny Rollins, Julian Lage and John Scofield reflect on one of the finest ever on his instrument.
One’s seen the world with countless jazz, country and other artists. He’ll be releasing his new album on a new label owned by his big brother and fellow percussionist. The Shreveport, La. siblings talk growing up together and the lessons of gospel master Brady Blade Sr.
Saxophonist Jean Fineberg and drummer Allison Miller join the trumpeter in a 2006 session.
The songs were a byproduct of slavery in the U.S. But after being passed along by generations of African-American musicians, they were later embraced by a variety of improvisers, including Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Grant Green and John Coltrane.