Chick Corea

Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz

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The format for Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz is fairly consistent; the hostess of the longest-running syndicated National Public Radio music series generally gives the lion's share of the piano solos to her guest, with a few duets and a solo or two for herself. But Chick Corea clearly enjoys McPartland's playing, so after he performs his enchanting "Brasilia" (adapted as a piano solo from his "Lyric Suite for Sextet") and a dramatic take of "Monk's Mood," the remainder of the show focuses on a series of duo piano treatments of classic compositions including "Jitterbug Waltz," "Yesterdays," and his own "Spain," as well as an adventurous free improvisation. McPartland's haunting solo interpretation of Corea's well-known "Crystal Silence" moves its composer to applaud. The interview segments are lively, informative, and never bogged down. It's strange that neither of Corea's first two appearances on the show have been issued on CD, since he is the one who introduced the idea of improvised musical portraits during the middle of taping the program, something which McPartland picked up on and incorporated as a frequent feature. This release will easily stand up to repeated listening.

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