The Berklee College of Music graduate grew up in the Palestinian territories, where music was literally what kept him off the streets. He’s translated that into a command of a 72-string instrument called the qanun. Now stateside, he’s blended it into in a fluid, jazz-based context.
Bunch learned to arrange for big bands while held captive in a German POW camp during WWII. After returning stateside, he worked with the likes of Woody Herman, Gene Krupa and Benny Goodman, and was Tony Bennett’s pianist for a number of years. Bunch died earlier this year, so Piano Jazz remembers him with this 1991 session.
Ron Carter has set the standard for modern jazz bass players. He rose to fame with Miles Davis, but went on to play with Stan Getz and Thelonious Monk. His recording work spans 2,000 albums, and he’s had equally successful careers as a bandleader, composer and educator. Hear the bassist in a session on Piano Jazz.
Siegel, a singer, is one quarter of the jazz supergroup The Manhattan Transfer. Throughout the 30 years she’s spent with that musical institution, she’s also released her own recordings featuring hip, seductive arrangements of standards, as well as newer works. Here, she visits Piano Jazz along with pianist and accordion player Gil Goldstein.
Saxophonist Phil Woods is a true master of all things bop. He’s been one of the top alto players since his debut in the mid-1950s, and he’s been called the musical heir to Charlie Parker. In this session from 2003, Woods joins host Marian McPartland, bassist Steve Gilmore and drummer Bill Goodwin in “How About You” and “Fine and Dandy.”
As NPR’s employees file their federal returns and take up shop in a new building, we look back at an interesting historical moment in the 1940s. A cabaret tax led to more jazz being performed in smaller venues that couldn’t accommodate dancing. Of course, that’s not the only reason why bebop sounds the way it does.