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Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz With Guest Shirley Horn

Marian McPartland & Shirley Horn

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Album Review

The late pianist and vocalist Shirley Horn appeared on Marian McPartland's NPR-syndicated Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz Radio Broadcast in 1984, six years after she had begun recording and performing again after a lengthy hiatus. The material played here, as expected, is comprised of standards with the exception of a four-handed blues jam at the end of the program entitled "Shirley's Blues." There are a few surprises — in duet readings of "Billie's Bounce," and Billy Strayhorn's wonderful "Blood Count," as well as a flawed middle section of Don Redman's nugget "Cherry." Horn is in fine voice here, just top-form, really, as in "I Could Have Told You So," where her trademark ballad whisper can just send chills down the spine. The conversation here is lively and fun-filled as well. There is great warmth and humor between Horn and McPartland. As is the usual format of these discs, conversation appears on every other track, and the music takes up the great majority of the program. Thank goodness for CD players and their ability to skip and program tracks quickly, as the musical end of the program makes for especially fine listening.

Biography

Born: March 20, 1918 in Slough, Berkshire, England

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Marian McPartland became famous for hosting her Piano Jazz radio program beginning in 1978, but she was a well-respected pianist decades before. She played in a four-piano vaudeville act in England and performed on the European continent for the troops during World War II. In Belgium in 1944, she met cornetist Jimmy McPartland and they soon married. Marian moved with her husband to the United States in 1946, where she sometimes played with him even though her style was more modern than his Dixieland-oriented...
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Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz With Guest Shirley Horn, Marian McPartland
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