Marian McPartland

Contrasts

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Contrasts is a two-fer collection of work by pianist Marian McPartland featuring the albums Plays the Music of Alec Wilder and Marian and Jimmy McPartland: A Sentimental Journey. Showcasing the exquisite playing of the NPR jazz host, both albums are worth checking out. Disc one should appeal to longtime McPartland fans with the pianist working through the compositions of Alec Wilder in a straight-ahead trio style. Disc two, though, is the real revelation, with McPartland joining her cornetist/vocalist husband, Jimmy, and his New Orleans trad-style band for a live date. The music is much hotter than McPartland's solo work -- she "comps" beautifully behind soloists -- and it's a treat to hear her in this more bluesy, extroverted context.

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