Jay McShann Talking Jazz
Pianist Jay McShann is one of those living legends who has survived the winds of fame and the tides of fortune to arrive intact on the rocky beach of today’s nightclub scene. Often appearing without much publicity and with a local rhythm section, McShann sings and plays with the same fire and good humor that made him a Kansas City fixture back in the 1930’s. His penchant for including contemporary pop and show tunes in his repertoire belies the fact that as a bandleader, he was responsible for introducing a young Charlie Parker to the world. As is often the case with musicians of his era who continue to make the jazz circuit their home, his constant traveling is both a reaffirmation of a way of life and, perhaps, the way to life. For McShann, with his generous smile and comfortable proportions, seems to physically embody the kind of joy that keeps both a person and the music young.