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Posts Tagged ‘Marian McPartland–jazz pianist’

Marion

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger.  Re-post from 2013.

Marian McPartland, jazz pianist, died last week at the age of 95.  She was born in Britain and came to New York in the 1940’s as a young musician.  Critics said that she had three strikes against her:  she was British, white, and a woman. Upon hearing her play, some said, “You sound just like a man.”

She eventually became known among the underground 1950’s jazz community in New York and she got to know all the greats in the jazz world. She married one of them— a jazz cornetist,  Jimmy McPartland.

In the 1960’s, jazz lost ground as the rock and roll invasion began. In addition to teaching at the college level, she continued to perform and to work as a disc jockey . She soon developed the idea of an interview show coupled with live performances.  In 1979 she began her famous NPR show  “Marian McPartland’s Piano Jazz.”  I listened to that show often.  It was wonderful. She would bring on musicians—mostly piano players—discuss jazz theory and music–and then she and her guest would improvise solos and duets.

We heard her play live a few times, including once in a small theatre in Southhampton, New York.  She was so warm and friendly, and her playing was melodic and interesting.

Below is an NPR link about her sent to us by Lee Morgan of Ocean Grove who emailed, ” Just read that you are going to do a piece on Marian. Curiously, I had recently bookmarked an NPR item on her. (See link below). I loved to listen to her on Piano Jazz.”

NPR McPartland report

Birdland was a fabled  jazz club in mid-town Manhattan where my friends and I often went. We didn’t see her there, but here is Marian McPartland playing that jazz favorite:” Lullaby of Birdland.”  Following that is a beautiful ballad called “Blackberry Winter,” from her album “Twilight World.”  Grab a tissue, it’s about a cold snap bringing spring to an unexpected halt.

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