November 20, 2012

Bookshelf:Marian McPartland

Shall We Play That One Together?: The Life and Art of Jazz Piano Legend Marian McPartland

Shall We Play
That One Together?

The Life and Art of Jazz Piano Legend Marian McPartland

I rank Marian McPartland along with FDR's moral guide Frances Perkins as two of the most underrated women of modern times. - Sam Smith

Good Reads - In a world dominated by men, Marian McPartland distinguished herself as one of the greatest jazz pianists of her age

Born in the UK as Margaret Marian Turner, Marian McPartland learned to play classical piano, but was passionately attracted to the rhythms of American jazz. Entertaining troops in WWII Europe, she met her future husband, Jimmy McPartland, a cocky young trumpet player who was the protege of the great Bix Beiderbecke. They were married and, together, they made jazz history. At first, Marian played second fiddle to Jimmy in Chicago, but when they moved to New York, Marian and her trio took up residence at the famous Hickory House where she thrilled the crowds from her perch on a stage in the middle of large oval bar. From there she went on to triumphs at places like the Montreaux Jazz Festival.  Possibly, her greatest accomplishment was the creation of NPR's long-running show Piano Jazz.

Gene Seymour, Seattle Times -
The overall portrait De Barros presents is that of an open-minded, openhearted artist who struggled over seemingly insurmountable circumstances, not the least being gender prejudice, to continue evolving, growing, giving back as much inspiration as she reaped. It is a story of jazz in the midst of its first — and one hopes, not its last — century.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Perhaps her greatest radio show was with Eubie Blake who taught her how to play like Rachmaninoff. This is still aired and available. What a gift to have 19th century and early 20th century oral history with intimate performances. Marian taught us how to love life, as so many in her generation did.