Latest Jazz from NPR Music

Music Interviews
2:03 am
Sat July 19, 2014

Fred Hersch Floats On, With A Dynamic Trio In Tow

Jazz pianist Fred Hersch released his latest album, a trio recording called Floating, in July.
Vincent Soyez Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat July 19, 2014 11:45 am

The last time Fred Hersch was featured on Weekend Edition Saturday, the headline read, "Back On Stage By No Small Miracle." It was 2009, and scarcely a year earlier, the jazz pianist had suffered AIDS-related dementia and fallen into a coma for several months. Since recovering, Hersch has come roaring back to music, releasing a string of live albums to critical success.

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Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz
12:54 pm
Fri July 18, 2014

Carmen Lundy On Piano Jazz

Carmen Lundy.
Mark Hanauer Courtesy of the artist

Carmen Lundy's contralto voice perfectly conveys the soul and depth of her compositions. She joined Piano Jazz host Marian McPartland in 1999 to perform Mary Lou's Mass by Mary Lou Williams at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C.

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The Fresh Air Interview
11:54 am
Fri July 18, 2014

'Live In The Present': Charlie Haden Remembered

Charlie Haden plays upright bass with Keith Jarrett's band in New York City, 1975.
Jack Vartoogian Getty Images

Originally published on Fri July 18, 2014 3:22 pm

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Music Interviews
5:23 am
Sun July 13, 2014

The New Thing In Jazz, Revisited

New Orleans pianist Henry Butler (left) and arranger and trumpeter Steven Bernstein will release their collaborative record, Viper's Drag, in the U.S. on July 15.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun July 13, 2014 11:47 am

Impulse Records is the legendary label that proudly delivered the "new thing" in jazz in the 1960s: avant-garde records from the likes of John Coltrane and Pharaoh Sanders. It also helped jazz cross over to a larger audience; quite a few flower children bought Impulse albums.

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Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz
5:52 pm
Fri July 11, 2014

Joe Locke On Piano Jazz

Joe Locke.
Joseph Boggess Courtesy of the artist

Known for the emotional range of his solo work, vibraphonist Joe Locke has established himself as a composer, bandleader and educator. He has recorded with artists such as Eddie Henderson and Grover Washington Jr., and he continues to tour worldwide.

In this episode of Piano Jazz, Locke performs his original composition "Seven Beauties" on piano, as well as a medley of songs by Joni Mitchell and Carly Simon on vibes. Host Marian McPartland joins in for a duet of the standard "I Should Care."

Originally broadcast in the fall of 1996.

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Music Articles
4:19 pm
Mon July 7, 2014

Billy Eckstine: A Crooner Who Crossed Barriers

Mobbed by teenage girls wherever he went, Billy Eckstine at one time rivaled Frank Sinatra's popularity.
Hulton Archive Getty Images

Originally published on Mon July 7, 2014 7:56 pm

Billy Eckstine was smooth as silk. He was tall and handsome, sported a pencil-thin mustache and sang in a distinctive baritone.

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Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz
11:04 am
Thu July 3, 2014

Les Paul On Piano Jazz

Les Paul.
Amy Sussman Getty Images Entertainment
  • Listen: Les Paul On Piano Jazz

A phenomenal guitarist and pioneering audio engineer, Les Paul has been a major influence in 20th Century music, both as a performer and technical innovator. The guitar legend made a rare appearance on Piano Jazz, bringing with him his trio — Lou Paulo on guitar and Paul Nowinski on bass.

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WRTI Picks from NPR Music
10:36 am
Thu July 3, 2014

Newport Jazz 2011: Avishai Cohen's Triveni With Anat Cohen, Live In Concert

Avishai Cohen performs with his trio, Triveni, on the Harbor Stage during the Newport Jazz Festival.
Erik Jacobs for NPR

What is it with trumpeter Avishai Cohen and triples lately? He recently recorded a pair of albums with his band Triveni, a free-swinging trio which showcases his fervent imagination. He's also one of three Cohen siblings in jazz's top echelon; Avishai invited his big sister Anat, the celebrated clarinet specialist, to join him here.

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Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz
4:21 pm
Fri June 27, 2014

Bruce Hornsby On Piano Jazz

Bruce Hornsby.
Jimmy Ienner Jr. Courtesy of the artist

Pianist and singer-songwriter Bruce Hornsby spent quite a few years playing in bars and writing songs — many of them with his brother, John Hornsby. The two moved to Los Angeles in 1980 and spent three years writing for 20th Century Fox. In 1985, Bruce Hornsby and his band The Range signed a recording contract with RCA. The resulting album, The Way It Is, produced three Top 20 hits and helped win the group a Grammy for Best New Artist in 1986.

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A Blog Supreme
8:03 am
Wed June 25, 2014

The Future Of Intense Art: A Free-Jazz Event Looks Forward

Charles Gayle was honored with a lifetime achievement award at this year's Vision Festival. On the event's opening night, Gayle performed as his alter ego, Streets the Clown.
John Rogers for NPR

"We had to do things ourselves until something else kicked in," bassist William Parker said at a panel earlier this month. He was explaining how he came to co-found the Vision Festival. "And nothing's ever really kicked in."

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