Fresh Air pays tribute to Boston with a 1988 performance by the late jazz pianist Dave McKenna. From 1981 to 1991, McKenna had a standing gig at Boston's Grand Dame Copley Plaza Hotel. He was also a loyal Red Sox fan. He died in 2008.
Dave McKenna, the hard-swinging jazz keyboardist who died in October, was a particular favorite of Fresh Air dating back to the show's early local broadcasts. Our Thanksgiving Day broadcast is devoted to his memory — with excerpts from an interview and in-studio performance from 1988, plus remembrances from his sister, singer Jean McKenna O'Donnell.
A live concert/interview with pianist Dave McKenna. Whitney Balliett, jazz critic for The New Yorker magazine, called McKenna "the hardest swinging jazz pianist of all time." McKenna plays with amazing virtuosity and swing, mixing stride, boogie and more modern playing styles. McKenna has recently released 2 CDs-- Clarinet Blue with Bobby Gordon (Arbors) and Jubilee with Daryl Sherman (Arbors) McKenna turns 70 this week. (Rebroadcast. Originally broadcast on Thursday, December 29, 1988.)