This week, let's get better acquainted with pianist Bill Charlap, who will be in St. Louis to perform next Wednesday, April 27 through Saturday, April 30 at Jazz at the Bistro.
Charlap played St. Louis twice in 2009, in February at the Sheldon Concert Hall as part of the Blue Note 7, and then in December backing his mother, singer Sandy Stewart, in a cabaret show at the Kranzberg Arts Center. This time, Charlap is bringing his trio with bassist Peter Washington and drummer Kenny Washington (no relation), which has been together for 13 years. (As a side note, after his gigs in St. Louis, Charlap will head down to Columbia, MO next Sunday to join his wife, pianist Renee Rosnes, in a duo piano performance for the We Always Swing series.)
In addition to work with his own group, Stewart, and the Blue Note 7, Charlap's credits include gigs and recordings with Gerry Mulligan, Benny Carter, Phil Woods, Tony Bennett, the New York Trio with bassist Jay Leonhart and drummer Bill Stewart, and many others.
You can see Charlap's trio in the first embedded video up above, performing Cole Porter's In The Still Of The Night" at NYC's Village Vanguard. Down below, you can see a profile of Charlap from the public TV New Jersey Network's program State of the Arts. In the third slot, there's a short feature story on Charlap's collaborative CD with Stewart, and below that, you can hear singer Tony Bennett praise Charlap's skills before they perform The Way You Look Tonight" together on Elvis Costello's TV program Spectacle.
For more about Bill Charlap, check out this short interview with him, done by Calvin Wilson for the weekend Post-Dispatch; and this feature story about Charlap and Renee Rosnes from the Newark Star-Ledger; and this interview tracking his career development from JazzReview.com.
I love jazz because it is in my blood. It is the only original American art form. It is sacred. The greatest musicians are jazz artists.
I was first exposed to jazz in 1961 listening to my father's records of Duke Ellington, Billy Strayhorn, Count Basie, Nat King Cole, Ben Webster, Coleman Hawkins, Lester Young.
I met Sonny Stitt, Wayne Shorter, Branford Marsalis, Joey Calderazzo, Michael Brecker, Cannonball Adderley, Walter Booker, Dave Liebman, Joe Lovano, George Benson, Mike
Stern, Stanley Turrentine, Billy Harper, Skip Hadden, Charlie Haden.
The best show I ever attended was Joe Lovano with Soundprints at the Wexner Center in Columbus Ohio in 2014.
The first jazz record I bought was Miles Smiles.