Pianist Chuck Leavell has played with the shining stars of rock, country, jazz and pop, including Chuck Berry, Eric Clapton, The Allman Brothers Band and Charles Mingus. Since 1982, he has been keyboardist and general music coordinator for the Rolling Stones. Leavell is also a dedicated environmentalist who maintains a tree farm outside of Macon, GA. He and Marian McPartland discuss their love of the environment and play "Georgia on My Mind."
Trumpeter Randy Brecker has been a tireless explorer of all kinds of musical genres — from funk to Brazilian to mainstream jazz. Brecker brought along his group to this Piano Jazz, where he joins guest host Bill Charlap and performs some of his own tunes including "There's a Mingus A Monk Us, "Skunk Funk and "Moontide." Charlap joins the group for "All the Things You Are."
Sheila Jordan's unique singing style lights up Piano Jazz with guest host Jon Weber. Jordan reflects on her early inspirations in Detroit and chasing the great Charlie Parker, who later became a close friend. Along with brilliant pianist and collaborator Steve Kuhn, Jordan sets flame to "Hum Drum Blues and "The Touch of Your Lips."
Toots Thielemans is the unrivaled master of the jazz harmonica. He penned the standard "Bluesette, and his recording credits include television and film scores (that's him on the Sesame Street theme), commercials, and working with greats from Ella Fitzgerald to Quincy Jones. Thielemans duets with McPartland on "Georgia and "Lullaby of Birdland.
Jazz giant John Coltrane would have been 85 this week. His widow, Alice Coltrane, performed with her husband's band in his final years, and is also one of the few jazz harpistsand a composer in her own right. On this 1982 Piano Jazz, Alice Coltrane performs her tunes, "Transfiguration and "One for the Father, and joins McPartland for "Giant Steps.
Many musicians swear by pianist Kenny Werner's groundbreaking book on improvisation, Effortless Mastery: Liberating the Master Musician Within (1996). In 2010, Werner produced the acclaimed album No Beginning No End, a profoundly touching tribute to his late daughter Katheryn. On this 2007 Piano Jazz, Werner and McPartland get together on a pair of Bill Evans tunes, :Very Early and "Waltz for Debbie."
Tuesday at 3:30 the man who taught Sean Penn how to look like a guitar player (and provided the guitar playing you hear) in the Woody Allen film "Sweet and Lowdown" calls in. Howard Alden has been at the forefront of jazz guitarists for nearly 40 years. He'll be coming to New England this fall for a festival performance and chats with us on Tuesday's Jazz Matinee.
She's been chatting with WICN since she was 10 years old (her very first interview) and continues to visit the station whenever she can. One of our all-time favorites, Grace Kelly visits on Tuesday's Jazz New England. This 19 year old 'phenom' is as busy as ever. She'll chat with us before heading overseas to perform.