For many years, the jazz pianist Marian McPartland – once married to the trumpeter Jimmy McPartland – had a weekly program – “Piano Jazz” – on National Public Radio in the United States.
In the program she interviewed fellow pianists (and sometimes other instrumentalists) and performed music related to them. McPartland stayed with the program for 23 years from 1978 to 2011.
Mercer Ellington was the guest on the program broadcast on May 21, 1994.
In a relaxed atmosphere, Mercer talks about Duke Ellington but also Billy Strayhorn and shares thoughts with McPartland on their approach to music. In-between, McPartland gives personal interpretations of some of their songs like “Things Ain’t What They Used to Be”, “Chelsea Bridge” and “In My Solitude”.
They also sit down together at the piano to play a version of “C Jam Blues”.