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After Dark

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Album Review

The cover of this Marian McPartland record may give some the impression that this is an easy listening affair; that is definitely not the case. This 1955 studio date features her with her regular trio (bassist Bill Crow and drummer Joe Morello), which performed as the house band at the Hickory House in New York City during this period. Augmenting the trio on several numbers is one of two harpists, Betty Glaman and Margaret Ross, and occasionally cellist Lucien Schmit, who primarily seems to be present to add harmonies by playing arco and doesn't improvise. Highlights include a lush take of "Chelsea Bridge," swinging trio versions of "I Could Write a Book" and "Struttin' With Some Barbecue," and the intriguing interplay with the harp on an early version of her good friend Alec Wilder's timeless "I'll Be Around." All of the songs have stood the test of time well, even if some of them are no longer as popular. Expect to pay a fairly good sum if you can locate a copy of this long unavailable LP.

After Dark, Alan Marchand
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