Jimmy McPartland

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Jimmy McPartland and his wife Marian McPartland recorded together on a number of occasions between the 1940s and the late '70s, but this is one of their more unusual records. Rather than sticking exclusively to jazz standards, the McPartlands and friends explore various TV themes from circa 1960 (the approximate date of this recording), most of which are long forgotten. But that doesn't mean the music doesn't swing! Their strong band includes a trombonist identified only as "Manhattan Red" (likely Jack Teagarden), Dick Cary on mellophone, drummer Mousie Alexander, bassist Ben Tucker, and Andy Fitzgerald, who doubles on clarinet and flute. Marian McPartland's elegant piano solo is the centerpiece of Henry Mancini's "Mr. Lucky," while the horns are front and center of another Mancini hit, "Peter Gunn." But the most unlikely themes prove to be extremely successful. "Bat Masterson" has top-notch trombone and piano solos; the ultimate surprise is the upbeat Dixieland treatment of "Mystery March," which is actually "March of the Marionettes," the theme of Alfred Hitchcock's series! This record may look rather unpromising (Marian McPartland's first name is misspelled on the cover and the artwork is primitive), but it is highly recommended!

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