Musicians arrive at their signature sounds through all sorts of influences. For jazz pianist Tigran Hamaysan, that collection of sounds comes from far afield — he's a fan of progressive metal bands like Tool and Meshuggah — as well as from his backyard.
Trumpeter, pianist and composer Arturo Sandoval is one of Cuba's best-known musical exports. He's won multiple Grammys, including one for Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album in 2013, and his life inspired the film For Love or Country: The Arturo Sandoval Story, starring Andy García. On this installment of Piano Jazz, Sandoval proves to McPartland that his talent on the trumpet crosses over to the piano.
Originally published on Thu March 12, 2015 7:16 pm
For trumpeter and composer Igmar Thomas, much in contemporary music is clearly evolved from improvised American music of eras past — jazz, in short. That insight led him to create the Revive Big Band, a large ensemble with a view to connecting the through-lines between hip-hop and its predecessors. With the Big Band, he might reconstruct how a jazz tune lent the sample for a modern classic, or unveil original works, or orchestrate special collaborations with soloists like tap dancer Savion Glover, trumpeter Roy Hargrove, or rapper Talib Kweli.
Originally published on Thu March 19, 2015 2:24 am
Every year, each of the eight members of the SFJAZZ Collective is tasked with two writing assignments. The first: Compose a new piece specifically for the band, which gathers some of the most outstanding performers on the modern jazz scene. The second: Rearrange a composition by the elder artist that the Collective has chosen to feature that year. For the 2014-15 season, SFJAZZ is paying tribute to a tenor saxophone titan, a composer of classic tunes and a long-time San Francisco resident: the late Joe Henderson.
Renowned lyricists and songwriters Marilyn and Alan Bergman have been the recipients of Oscars, Grammy, Emmys and many additional awards. Their works include "The Windmills of Your Mind" and lyrics for Yentl.
On this 1995 episode of Piano Jazz, they collaborate with host Marian McPartland as she accompanies Alan singing their trademark songs "The Way We Were" and "Nice 'n' Easy."
Singer, composer and actor Nellie McKay brings a comedic flair to her stage shows, including Nellie with a Z, in which she plays a cabaret veteran three times her age. Her music also has been featured on the television series Weeds, Grey's Anatomy and Boardwalk Empire. Her latest album, My Weekly Reader, is out March 24.
Regular visitors to Jazz at Lincoln Center know Marcus Roberts the pianist — as a former member of Wynton Marsalis' bands and the Jazz at Lincoln Orchestra, he still returns often with his own groups. But since leaving Marsalis, he's also become a mentor to many younger musicians, both on the bandstand and in the classroom. His new 11-piece ensemble the Modern Jazz Generation combines his trio with many of his younger protégés, looping the feedback full circle.
One half of the jazz vocal duo Jackie & Roy, Jackie Cain was an icon in the cabaret world, with a smooth, feathery voice. Her ability to express a full range of emotions as a performer allowed her to traverse the broad landscape of American popular song.
In this 1999 episode of Piano Jazz, host Marian McPartland and bassist Dean Johnson join Cain for performances of "Wait 'Til You See Her" and "You Don't Know What Love Is."
When trumpeter and composer/arranger Steven Bernstein first met the virtuoso pianist Henry Butler, he says he was floored. "This is it," he recalls thinking. "This is like the music that I always imagined. Everything you ever loved about music, all being in one place, but now it's all coming from one person." Decades later, when they two finally began to work together, Bernstein started to study Butler's playing — and realized there were more than a few licks that set Butler apart.