Weekend Listening Tips (Bi-Coastal)

Two stalwart jazz broadcasters sent previews of their next appearances.

This week on Jazz Northwest, Jim Wilke previews new releases by several Northwest resident jazz artists including Scott Cossu, Pearl Django,and Kareem Kandi as well as sampling some of the musicians featured at next weekend’s Bellevue Jazz Festival. Included are The Clayton Brothers, Hubert Laws, Thomas Marriott and Jovino Santos Neto. There’s also info about other upcoming jazz events.

Jazz Northwest airs Sundays at 1 PM PDT on 88.5, KPLU and streamed at kplu.org. The program is also available as a podcast following the airdate.

Saxophonist, composer, bandleader and radio maven Bill Kirchner writes from New Jersey:

Last February, I did a second show on the ever-expanding art of two-piano jazz. The growing number of CDs in this idiom makes a third show essential.

This third edition will have the greatest stylistic variety: from the virtuoso stride pianos of Dick Hyman and the late Dick Wellstood (from their aptly-named 1986-87 album “Stridemonster!”) to recent post-modern explorations by Brad Mehldau and Kevin Hays, and Andy Milne and Benoit Delbecq.

The show will air this Sunday, May 27, from 11 p.m. to midnight, Eastern Daylight Time.

NOTE: If you live outside the New York City metropolitan area, WBGO also broadcasts on the Internet at www.wbgo.org.

To whet your two-piano appetite, here are Wellstood and Hyman in 1986 at the Bern International Jazz Festival in Switzerland.

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Comments

  1. Ken Dryden says

    I’ve long been a collector of duo piano recordings, especially after hearing so many fun combinations on Marian McPartland’s Piano Jazz. But do you have the long out of print Jazz Piano Quartet LP, with Dick Hyman, Sir Roland Hanna, Marian McPartland and Hank Jones? I remember in early 1978 that a slightly different edition that included Teddy Wilson was to appear one morning on the Today Show, unfortunately after I had to leave for work.

    • Doug Ramsey says

      I’m afraid that it went the way of most of my other LPs before the last big move.

    • David says

      Ken, I have that LP – make me an offer. The four pianists were seated back to back, apparently with only one mic on each piano, then panned left to right for the stereo version. There was also a quad release with each pianist in his own corner.

  2. says

    Please pass on to Bill Kirchner my thanks in highlighting the Stridemonster! album I produced. I was at the Bern concert and spoke to them at that time about doing a record.

    The original LP on my Unisson label was long out of print, so I made a lease arrangement with John Norris to put a CD out on his Sackville label. I added a track from the original sessions, and 3 tracks from a live concert performance I also recorded.

    Norris’ passing and the sale of Sackville to someone else seems to have take the masters away from me — I don’t know where they are or who is holding them, nor do I know if the CD is even available anywhere. I’ve never heard from the purchaser about MY masters…

    And that’s how the record world operates, it seems.

  3. Ken Dryden says

    Ted, thanks for letting me know that Stridemonster has some bonus tracks, yet another title to add to my already long want list, even though I have the LP. One of my biggest mistakes was not promptly taking up John Norris on an offer of a “care package” in response to an interview I did with him. Unfortunately, as I was getting around to making the list, he died suddenly.

    David, I’ve long owned the Jazz Piano Quartet LP, as I located a promo copy not long after it came out. I used to enjoy sharing it on my radio show Timeless Jazz.

  4. says

    My first gig as a recording arranger was in 1979, when Martin Williams hired me to write charts for a Smithsonian concert of music by James P. Johnson and Fats Waller. The band comprised Dick Hyman, Dick Wellstood, Jimmy Maxwell, Bob Wilber, Jack Gale, Major Holley, and Panama Francis. To my knowledge, it was the first time Hyman and Wellstood played together, and thankfully not the last.

    The concert was recorded and issued by the Smithsonian Collection of Recordings on an LP called “Music of James P. Johnson and Fats Waller.” Never made it to CD and now long out-of-print, of course. If you see it in a used record store, grab it.

  5. Ken Dryden says

    Bill, I ran across that very record a few years ago (sealed as I remember) and snapped it up in a second.

  6. says

    About 10 years ago there was also a wonderful three piano tribute to Phineas Newborn Jr. from fellow Memphians : Harold Mabern, James Williams and Geoffrey Keezer with a rhythm section of Jimmy Cobb and Ray Drummond that is well worth checking out.

    • Doug Ramsey says

      That was a four-man piano group, the Contemporary Piano Ensemble. It also included Mulgrew Miller. They recorded two albums, in 1989 and 1994. The ensemble appeared at Italy’s Umbria Jazz Festival in 1996. In a rare video from that occasion, Williams is nowhere to be seen, but Donald Brown, another Memphian, is. They appeared with Mulgrew Miller’s bassist, David Ephross, and drummer, Carl Allen. The tune is Ray Brown’s “Up There,” an appropriate title if there ever was one. The solo order is Mabern, Miller, Brown and Keezer.

      • says

        Doug you are correct. I remembered the quartet version (which I believe was the one that recorded the 2 commercial releases) after my reply to your post. Like many such special presentation projects, I suspect synching booking opportunities and players schedules, necessitated personal “adjustments”. I heard the trio incarnation I referenced in my reply at the Stanford Jazz Festival in 2004 (Kresge Auditorium I believe). From time to time, I have been fortunate enough to work with Harold and recall that he was real excited about this project. Since he is both a great admirer of Phineas and from Memphis, I sensed he had a real personal connection to the tribute. The way Mabern plays everything is so extraordinary, so I found that extra dimension intriguing, and that gave me additional incentive to check it out. Of course I know with those cats every variation had to be great.

  7. Ken Dryden says

    I discovered that a number of Sackville CDs, including the Dick Hyman/Dick Wellstood piano duo album Stridemonster, are available at Klompfoot.com, formerly Cadence Music Sales.