In this collection of musical portraits, jazz pianist and radio host Marian McPartland pays sparkling tribute to such beloved and legendary figures as Benny Goodman, Bill Evans, Joe Morello, Paul Desmond, Alec Wilder, Mary Lou Williams, and others.
In a preface to this new edition, published originally as All in Good Time, McPartland extends her commentary to include details of her long-running National Public Radio show Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz and memories of her late husband, famed Chicago trumpeter Jimmy McPartland.
This production also includes special bonus audio of excerpts from Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz, featuring interviews with Rosemary Clooney, Bill Evans, Oscar Peterson, and Mary Lou Williams.
Audie Award Finalist, Narration by the Author or Authors, 2007
"She has done her studying from the inside: as one of the few working jazz musicians to write about the music with any frequency, she offers a perspective on the men and women who play jazz for a living that seldom finds its way into print." (New York Times)
"Marian McPartland is that rare combination, a first rank jazz musician who also can write about her music, its milieu and musicians....[She] writes with wit, acumen, and vivacity." (San Diego Union Tribune)
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A Piece of Jazz history
A few good chapters
A wonderful musician, an NPR icon, and apparently a very decent person, Marion McPartland reads from some articles she wrote in the 70-80s, and then attaches some excerpts of radio shows comprise the last several chapters. I liked the introduction about her (read by someone else), and her own reading of her own reminiscences of her ten years of playing at the Hickory house, and the chapter the tells how the radio show got started (also one of the early chapters). I also like the little 10-15 second piano introduction to each chapter..
More about jazz/piano. I am wishing that there could be an audio book that maximizes the medium, by mixing description/explanation with demonstration/playing. But I guess that copyright issues prevent this?
The excerpts can be found on Youtube and the articles (gushing tributes to a few great jazz artists she worked with) are not very revealing. When she adds a post-script from the 80-90s (most articles are from the 70-80s) she often repeats herself. The chapter on women in jazz is mind-numbingly repetitive and rambling. She never brings up race although it would seem a worthy topic for her reminiscences.
I felt disappointment. I guess it was easy for her to put this compilation together. But I wish that somebody had interviewed her instead, extracting more from her wealth of experience..
The chapter numbers of the book are not in sync with the Audible chapter headings.