Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Marian Mcpartland, Eubie Blake|
Genres: Jazz, Pop
The Real Thing
DANIEL MILES | FOUNTAIN HILLS, ARIZONA United States | 11/06/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"You'd think that interviewing a 96 year old pianist would involve making allowances for the slowing of the thought process and the stiffening of the joints. However this is not the case with bonafide music legend Eubie Blake as he nimbly displays his formidable talent and rattles off anecdotes with Marian McPartland actually having trouble getting a word in edgewise at times! But she obviously doesn't mind. Her affection for him and genuine appreciation of his talent are readilly apparent throughout this 1979 interview. Eubie vividly recollects some of his past experiences, alluding more than once (with a trace of justified bitterness) to the racism that hampered the careers of many of his talented contemporaries. He plays remarkably throughout the program and even sings a few songs. A minor knock against the show is the fact that "The Star Spangled Banner" is mistakenly identified as "The Stars and Stripes Forever". Terry Waldo caught the discrepancy in his liner notes, but the track listing repeats the error and credits our national anthem to John Philip Sousa! (A pretty bonehead mistake for such a high brow program). This episode differs from the other Piano Jazz installments in that the subject was actively composing in a previous century. Eubie briefly runs through the brilliant "Charleston Rag" which he wrote in 1899 at the age of 16. Along with the immortal Scott Joplin, he was a premier ragtime composer. Knowing the expectation for his biggest hit "I'm Just Wild About Harry", Marian offers to play it herself and spare him the chore of doing it for the millionth time. Eubie does actually sound relieved and she plays a worthy version of it. I was a little surprised that his other great standard "Memories of You" was neither performed nor even mentioned. I also would have enjoyed the inclusion of my own personal favorite Eubie Blake composition, the seldom heard "Jassamine Lane". Those unfamiliar with the man's work should still be able to find value in this program. If nothing else, it proves how well the human faculties can hold up after 96 years!"