April 21, 2008. Posted by Joshua Jackson.
A Billy Strayhorn melody is so very nice to hear on solo piano. A Billy Strayhorn medley is even better when there are two pianos. In 1983, at the Jazz Forum in New York, the lyrical master John Hicks and the underrated Albert Dailey put Strayhorn's music on display for more than twenty-three minutes. 'Star-Crossed Lovers' (aka "Pretty Girl") and 'Chelsea Bridge' were songs that I always believed Strayhorn had tailor-made for their respective soloists, Johnny Hodges and Ben Webster. However, these are such tremendous songs, all they require are the hands of any master musician. On this particular evening in September, they received four master hands, and 176 piano keys.
Listen to the Billy Strayhorn medley, from the WBGO Archives.
© 2008 WBGO
January 28, 2008. Posted by Joshua Jackson.
Pianist Ryan Cohan brought his quartet into our studio, just before they hit the road. The band is part of The Rhythm Road: American Music Abroad, the US Department of State-sponsored tour of young jazz and urban music ensembles. Starting January 30th, The Ryan Cohan Quartet is spending a week in each of the following places - Rwanda, Congo, Uganda, Zimbabwe, and Jordan.
We recorded two songs with the quartet. Then we finished the session with solo piano. Check it out below:
© 2008 WBGO