Thursday 22 August 2013

Farewell to Two Jazz Giants

It's been a sad week as we say goodbye to not one but two well-loved jazz pianists.

Cedar Walton passed away on August 19th, aged 79. Walton was a member of Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers and had an impressive discography, appearing on around 70 albums through his work with Prestige, Blue Note and Riverside record labels. He also released 40 albums under his own name. His time with Art Blakey is widely thought of as the finest incarnation of the band, featuring Freddie Hubbard and Wayne Shorter alongside Walton. He is survived by his wife, Martha.

Marian McPartland passed away on August 20th, aged 95. Born in England, Marian studied at Guildhall School of Music and Drama before marrying Jim McPartland moving to Chicago in 1946. An accomplished composer and pianist, Marian is possibly best known for her radio work. She started work with NPR in 1978, and began hosting 'Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz', a show which lasted for over 30 years and featured over 500 interviews and guests, many of whom Marian dueted with on air. She was honoured with an OBE, a Lifetime Grammy and a Peabody Award for her work.
Cedar Walton on Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz (NPR Radio Show)

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