Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz with Guest Teddy Wilson

Marian McPartland / Teddy Wilson

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Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz with Guest Teddy Wilson Review

by Ken Dryden

One of Marian McPartland's first guests in her long-running NPR radio series was Teddy Wilson, an old friend with whom she had occasionally played and also recorded a duo album for her own Halcyon label. She gets Wilson to talk about his trademark left handed runs that were so important to his style, along with his excitement at hearing classical jazz pianist Vladimir Horowitz in concert at the White House earlier in the year, prompting him to play Robert Schumann's "Träumerei" (from Kinderscenen). Of course, Wilson's style hadn't changed significantly since his tenure with Benny Goodman, though there is nothing wrong with that, though McPartland builds an impressive improvisation, "Marian's Motif," that is based upon a brief musical phrase that Wilson suggested during the taping. Their duets are just as much fun, including delightful romps through "I'll Remember April" and "Flying Home." [Note: this CD is a straight reissue of the earlier 1985 Jazz Alliance release, with a change in the cover art.]

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