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.”
Tampa Red was a slide guitar pioneer who helped create the template for modern blues. His distinctive use of single-string slide melodies in the 1920’s would go on to influence virtually every slide player who followed him, including Big Bill Broonzy and Muddy Waters. In the days before amplification, he played a steel-bodied resonator guitar, […]
Pianist Christian Sands has an old-school jazz education — yet loves to riff over Kanye West beats and arrange OutKast songs. Of course, if you follow improvised music today, this is far from unusual.
His life reads like a blues song … 1920’s, a young preacher playing the blues, despite his church’s opposition. Kills a man in self-defense, 2 years in prison, and comes out to team up with the best-known blues man of the day, Charley Patton. After limited commercial success of his own, he fades from view, […]
Rarely-Heard Recording Includes Original Cookbook of Louis’ Most-Loved Recipes This release comes from Smithsonian Folkway Recordings. Jazz icon Louis Armstrong, always the consummate entertainer, turned a 1971 award ceremony at the National Press Club in Washington DC into an impromptu performance despite recent poor health. It was one of his last concerts before he passed […]
Known as the “First Lady of Jazz” singer Ella Fitzgerald was born April 25, 1917, in Newport News, Virginia. From rather humble beginnings Fitzgerald and her smooth, silky voice climbed to the top of the jazz world, reports Biography.com. During her long career she worked with greats from Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong to Dizzy […]
In the first generation of be-bop musicians, Ray Brown was King of the Jazz Bass. Today, the ‘go-to’ jazz bassist is Christian McBride, so we felt quite lucky when he said he had the time to stop into to KPLU studios for a performance with pianist, Peter Martin. Christian talked about his formative years, the […]