Ren_e Fleming to Appear on NPR's Piano Jazz

Classic Arts News   Ren_e Fleming to Appear on NPR's Piano Jazz
Soprano Ren_e Fleming, who recorded a jazz-influenced album of standards last year, will appear on Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz this week.

The episode will be broadcast starting April 11 on NPR stations across the country; in the New York City area, it can be heard on WGBO 88.3 FM on April 13 at 6:30 p.m. (Check local listings.)

On Piano Jazz, McPartland, a veteran pianist, performs and talks with fellow musicians.

Fleming released Haunted Heart, a collection of ballads, standards, and popular songs recorded with guitarist Bill Frisell and pianist Fred Hersch, in May 2005.

The album includes Arthur Schwartz's "Haunted Heart," Joni Mitchell's "River," Stephen Foster's "Hard Times Come Again No More," Stevie Wonder's "My Cherie Amour," Jimmy Van Heusen's "But Beautiful," and the Beatles' "In My Life," as well as a selection from Mahler's R‹ckert Lieder, transcribed for guitar by Frisell.

Fleming, one of the leading stars of the opera stage, was not a jazz neophyte when she recorded the album. While studying at the State University of New York at Potsdam, she sang in a jazz trio; in fact, during that period, saxophonist Illinois Jacquet heard her sing and asked her to join his big band. She declined, choosing to pursue her operatic studies. (The two did finally perform together in December 2003, months before Jacquet's death, on WNYC radio in New York.)

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