A solid Dixieland cornetist with his own lyrical sound (initially influenced by Bix Beiderbecke), Jimmy McPartland played the music he loved for over 60 years. The younger brother of guitarist Dick McPartland (1905-1957), Jimmy was a member of the legendary Austin High School Gang in the 1920s. He was Bix Beiderbecke's replacement with the Wolverines during 1925, joined Ben Pollack's band in 1927, and recorded with the McKenzie & Condon's Chicagoans during their famous session. McPartland was one of the main soloists (along with Benny Goodman) with Pollack and he stayed with the band into 1929. He then moved to Chicago, working steadily through the 1930s. While stationed overseas during World War II (1942-1944), he met his future wife, English pianist Marian Turner. McPartland freelanced at Dixieland sessions during the next four decades, working with Eddie Condon, Art Hodes, and other Chicago jazz veterans and often leading his own band. Although eventually divorced from Marian McPartland, they were still close friends and occasionally played together, remarrying just a few weeks before Jimmy McPartland's death two days short of his 84th birthday. Many of his best early recordings were collected on an MCA two-LP set in the 1970s. In addition, he recorded as a leader for Harmony, Prestige, MGM, Grand Award, Jazztone, Epic, Mercury, RCA, Design, Jazzology, Halcyon (Marian's label), and Riff.
Jimmy McPartland Biography
by Scott Yanow