Results for "Marian McPartland"
About Marian McPartland
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Marian McPartland has made jazz piano duets into something of an art form. Sure, it's been done before, but not very often. There are the Pete Johnson/Albert Ammons duet sessions that made both boogie pianists stars, but save for the occasional live performance where a couple of luminaries may have sat in together to present a finale to a concert, there aren't that many examples in the jazz canon. In the 20 or so years that she's hosted her program Piano Jazz on National Public Radio, Marian McPartland has done her level best to boost the profile of this neglected jazz instrumental format. "Somehow" McPartland tells me during a phone interview from San Francisco, where she's playing with her trio at Yoshi's, "I've always been associated with either two or four pianos. The first gig I ever had years ago was a four piano act in England, where we performed in vaudeville all over the country." McPartland was born in England on March 20, 1918, and was playing piano by ear from the time she was three years old. At the age of seventeen she was accepted by The Guildhall School of Music. There she studied composition and music theory in addition to her piano playing, obtaining a firm grounding in classical piano technique that shows in her playing to this day. But McPartland wanted to play jazz. She auditioned for a popular English pianist, Billy Mayerl, and was offered a job. Her parents were not happy with her decision to go on the road, but Marian could not be swayed, and finally they relented. "I do know a lot of young musicians" she says, "we talk occasionally and one of their big things seem to be that their parents want them to be in some other business, you know, and mine did too, but I didn't let that stop me. That's the main thing is be persistent. If you want to do it you've got to really get into it, you can't just halfway do it and have a day job and play a few gigs here and there, you've just got to really get into it." Marian really got into her musical career, even though she wasn't always playing jazz. Once Mayerl's four piano act broke up, she continued to work in vaudeville and accompanied singers until World War II, when she joined ENSA, the English equivalent of the USO. By 1944 she had joined up with the USO, traveling to France and Belgium, where she met cornetist Jimmy McPartland, her future husband. She has written that during her tours with McPartland's group playing for GI s on the front lines she learned a lot of the things she needed to know to be a professional jazz pianist, including how to accompany soloists and a great deal of the standard repertoire. She and Jimmy were married in Aachen, Germany, on February 4, 1946. Soon thereafter, they came back to the States and lived in Chicago, which McPartland refers to as her second home. Jimmy is, of course, known as one of the originators of the "Chicago jazz" style. The University of Chicago's Jazz Archive contains a large collection of photographs, correspondence, and recordings made available by the McPartlands that tell the story of an important time and place in the development of jazz. Marian appeared at the University's Mandel Hall on October 20, 2001 in a tribute concert for Jimmy, who passed away in 1991. The event will featured Marian and a group of musicians playing music associated with Jimmy, including some who played with him. "We've done this before a few years ago, playing all of Jimmy's recorded music and generally having a good time recalling jokes and funny things that we said to each other." The couple moved to New York in 1949, and there she continued to be exposed to all of the great jazz artists of the day. She played her first trio engagement at a club called The Embers, and in 1952 began what became an eight-year stint at the famed Hickory House. By then the trio included drummer Joe Morello, and bassist Bill Crow, who are widely known for their work with Dave Brubeck and Gerry Mulligan, respectively. The trio was named "Small Group of the Year" in 1955 by Metronome magazine. Marian became an established jazz and club pianist; since the Hickory House was located on 52nd Street musicians were always among those in attendance. These often included the likes of Duke Ellington, Oscar Peterson, Billy Strayhorn, and Benny Goodman, as well as one of McPartland's influences, Mary Lou Williams. "Well, I always admired Mary Lou; she's really one of my role models. I always wanted to be able to swing as hard as she did. That was something she could do no matter what the rhythm section was like, and I loved her creativity, she always wanted to be on the edge. Every time I heard her she would be doing something different harmonically. All her compositions are really interesting things." McPartland and Williams stand side by side in Art Kane's famous 1958 Great Day in Harlem photograph. The trio recorded some classic sides for Capitol, which remain mysteriously unavailable at this time, though a Savoy reissue of some live dates entitled On 52nd Street is available on CD. The group reunited for some weekend gigs at Birdland in the Fall of 1998, and those performances can be heard on the Concord disc Reprise.
Neil Swainson: Fire In The West
by Jack Bowers
It's hard to believe that 35 years have flown by between the release of bassist Neil Swainson's debut album, 49th Parallel (Concord Jazz), and his second, Fire in the West, recorded in November 2021 and released nine months later. But Swainson was hardly in hibernation during those years, as he has been one of Canada's busiest ...
A Slice of the Jazz Life, Part 1
by Monk Rowe
Jazz Promotion Network Conference 2022
by Ian Patterson
Jazz Promotion Network Conference 2022 The MAC jny: Belfast, Northern Ireland November 3-4, 2022 Jazz Promotion Network's (JPN) annual conference saw over one hundred delegates gather at Belfast's Metropolitan Arts Centre (The MAC) for two days of talks, exchange of ideas and music showcases (see separate article). Founded around a decade ...
A Vocal Tangent, Globe Trotting Tunes + New Releases
by David Brown
This week, recent releases from The Sun Ra Arkestra, Tim Berne & Matt Mitchell, Angelica Sanchez Trio, Gordon Grdina Nomad Trio. A vocal tangent with Freda Payne, June Christy, Camille Bertault. We also look to upcoming Philly shows from Zoh Amba, Mary Halvorson & Jazzmeia Horn. Playlist Thelonious Monk Esistrophy (Theme)" from Live at ...
New Releases Plus Part 2 Of Selections From Terri Lyne Carrington's Book New Standards Vol. 1 Highlighting Women Composers
by Mary Foster Conklin
This broadcast presents new releases from vocalists Tia Brazda, Aimée Allen, The Manhattan Transfer, Kristan Berardi, Claudia Acuna and pianist Amina Figarova, with birthday shoutouts to Emma Larsson, Tania Grubbs and Amy Cervini, among others. Also Part 2 of selections from Terri Lyne Carrington's latest New Standards Vol. 1 project featuring 101 Lead Sheets composed by ...
Milestones: Miles Davis Pre 1960 And His Collaborators
by David Brown
This week, a mix to mirror book one of the 1983 Miles Davis biography by Jack Chambers that I'm reading. Two full hours, celebrating the music of Miles and his collaborators pre-1960. Playlist Thelonious Monk Esistrophy (Theme)" from Live at the It Club-Complete (Columbia) 01:30 Miles Davis Quintet Milestones" from single (Columbia) 02:20 Lee ...
Helen Sung Quartet + 1 at SFJAZZ Center
by Harry S. Pariser
Helen Sung Quartet+1 Joe Henderson lab at SFJAZZ Center San Francisco, CA March 18, 2022 Raised by immigrants from Taiwan in Houston, Texas, Helen Sung does not fit the traditional stereotype of a jazz musician. Sung was set to be a classical pianist, earning her bachelor's and master's degrees in classical ...
Jazz Musician of the Day: Marian McPartland
All About Jazz is celebrating Marian McPartland's birthday today! Marian McPartland has made jazz piano duets into something of an art form. Sure, it's been done before, but not very often. There are the Pete Johnson/Albert Ammons duet sessions that made both boogie pianists stars, but save for the occasional live performance where a couple of ...
Pete Malinverni: On the Town: Pete Malinverni Plays Leonard Bernstein
by Pierre Giroux
The presumptive title of this release is On The Town, but in reality it covers more than just the music from that titled 1944 Leonard Bernstein Broadway musical. The ever thoughtful and vivid pianist Pete Malinverni along with his savvy and accomplished companions bassist Ugonna Okegwo and drummer Jeff Hamilton have made this release an oeuvre ...