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Adventurous and eclectic
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is probably Marian's most personal album, as it was done shortly after the death of her husband, Chicago legend Jimmy McPartland. Once again, she seeks out a variety of composers, including the Lennon-McCartney title track and John Coltrane's "Red Planet," but places her own stamp on each of them. Chris Potter, at the time an up-and-coming saxophonist more than 50 years younger than Marian, plays on several tunes, including a very nice version of "Gone With the Wind." She also features a tribute to Dizzy Gillespie that she first composed while Diz was a guest on "Piano Jazz" and a tune for which Peggy Lee supplied the lyrics. But the closing track -- "Singin' the Blues" -- is Marian's moving solo tribute to Jimmy and the highlight."
Reasonably good reasonable jazz
Eric C. Sedensky | Madison, AL, US | 06/14/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Marian McPartland is one of those jazz musicians who has been around a long time (really long in Marian's case) and has always been prolific. Her music is solid and her command of the keyboard is exceptional. Now well into her nineties, this CD was made when she was "only" 75, and it is often cited as one of her best works. This is mostly a trio work, with one or two solo pieces and some quartet work with Chris Potter on saxophone. All the songs are performed expertly and well executed, which really may be my only gripe about this recording. It doesn't seem particularly inspired or inspiring. No new ground is broken and nothing highly original develops out of it. It's just solid workaday piano playing with professional, practical accompaniment. The CD features a good selection of standards, both familiar and not so, and the production is clean without any aberrations or distractions. Marian's chops are as reliable as always, and her solos, while unadventurous, are at least bluesy and reminiscent of early jazz improvisations. As an intro to McPartland's vast body of work, this CD is entirely adequate and satisfying, but I really only recommend it to jazz piano fans, as casual jazz fans might not appreciate it that much.
James C. Thorsby | Cathedral City, CA United States | 04/27/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Great CD for all jazz pianist finatics. Great sound, wonderful arrangements. You won't be disappointed."