Female stage presence at the piano
December 25, 2011 2:24 PM   Subscribe

Help me find video clips of female jazz pianists with stage presence! I'm looking for moments where the camera captures the stage presence of jazz ladies at the piano, their entrance, how they carry themselves, their hands on the keys, their interaction with their band-members, their final bow, everything. Thank you.

Please point out to me the female jazz pianists with huge stage presence of the likes of Hazel Scott, Mary Lou Williams or Nina Simone. These can be contemporary musicians or women from the classical jazz period, or just visuals of the three ladies above. I want to see how they carry themselves and how they act at the piano, solo or as a bandleader in a jazz-like setting, mainly to gain ideas & inspiration. Thank you in advance (and Happy Holidays, folks!)
posted by ruelle to Media & Arts (17 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
Mary Lou Williams on YouTube.
posted by Ideefixe at 2:58 PM on December 25, 2011

I would search for clips of Diana Krall's Live in Paris DVD (which is on Netflix incidentally).
posted by koucha at 2:59 PM on December 25, 2011 [3 favorites]

i love similar performances...hope u find this as pleasantly surprising as i did:
Lady Gaga: Poker Face
posted by sexyrobot at 3:00 PM on December 25, 2011

I agree wholeheartedly with koucha.

Here are several of the numbers on Youtube.
posted by netbros at 3:17 PM on December 25, 2011

Marcia Ball (more New Orleans style jazz mixed up with Blues and Boogie-Woogie, but an amazing performer)

Carmen McRae

Shirley Horn

Patricia Barber
posted by jeanmari at 3:19 PM on December 25, 2011

Marian McPartland
posted by jeanmari at 3:24 PM on December 25, 2011 [1 favorite]

Oooh, didn't know they had this clip of Shirley Horn online, one of my favorites. And this clip of Sarah Vaughan playing the piano is really delightful.
posted by jeanmari at 3:54 PM on December 25, 2011

Okay, now you have me going. I'm flipping through my CD collection and looking up clips online:

Aki Takase, Blossom Dearie, Diane Schuur
posted by jeanmari at 4:10 PM on December 25, 2011

Diana Krall--here's one sample:
posted by purplesludge at 5:17 PM on December 25, 2011

Recorded in a club about a half mile from my doorstep, on her last gig before she moved to AZ, the Chicago treasure that is Judy Roberts. I highly reccommend looking up everything you can find by her.
posted by timsteil at 5:25 PM on December 25, 2011 [1 favorite]

My husband once saw Diane Schuur perform in a small venue. He says that she opened the show with some patter, pausing to note that the ceiling fans were, she thought, a B-flat. She then played that note, and it matched perfectly. Here she is with Ray Charles, performing "You'd Be So Nice to Come Home To."
posted by MonkeyToes at 5:27 PM on December 25, 2011

Posted before adding this clip of "Deedle's Blues." That smile! That posture!
posted by MonkeyToes at 5:32 PM on December 25, 2011

Maybe a little affected, but I love Nellie McKay's style.
posted by quarterframer at 9:08 PM on December 25, 2011

This clip of Hiromi Uehara and trio performing "Love and Laughter" showcases her exuberant presence. The full broadcast, a 2005 live performance in Tokyo, is mesmerizing.
posted by prinado at 1:32 AM on December 26, 2011

Carla Bley
posted by neroli at 6:46 AM on December 26, 2011

Response by poster: Great, thank you very much guys! I'll be going over these over the next few days..
posted by ruelle at 10:19 AM on December 27, 2011

nthing the choice of Marian McPartland. I love the radio show she has done for years on NPR -- Piano Jazz -- here's the link. http://www.npr.org/programs/piano-jazz/. I don't know anything about her stage presence but I know she is a marvelous pianist. Why are you so concerned about mannerisms? Some of the greatest jazz musicians have been socially awkward / shy / introverted / withdrawn. I loved Bill Evans and in the videos I saw of him playing he certainly did not have great stage presence. That has no bearing on the music! I have a CD of Marian doing a Piano Jazz interview with Bill Evans. The focus is on Bill but at one point Bill asks Marian to play and she does a fantastic version of "While We're Young." Bill loved it! Here is the link to it on You Tube -- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GYPAZ8HXXtY -- enjoy!

Happy holidays!
posted by gilast at 5:50 PM on December 28, 2011

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