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Marian McPartland: Living Through the History

By Published: June 1, 2009
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Still Going Strong

AAJ: For your birthday in 2008, you composed a symphonic piece, "A Portrait of Rachel Carson," to mark the centennial of this famed environmentalist. This piece was built out of improvised piano pieces with orchestration help by Alan Broadbent. Had you always the structure of the final version in mind when you initially wrote it?

Marian McPartlandMM: No I didn't at all, but I always liked him and I think he is a wonderful arranger. I couldn't wait when I got it. I had it transcribed—I improvised the piece actually, and had it transcribed by a girl who is fabulous. She transcribed this whole thing. We sent it to Alan Broadbent

Alan Broadbent
Alan Broadbent
, who did a wonderful job. I am hoping to have another date in South Carolina.

AAJ: Will there be a definitive recorded version released?

MM: I hope so. Concord is sold, but the thing is it is too short. I think I will probably have to write a second piece to go with it in order to have enough material for a record.

AAJ: Do you have an as yet unrealized dream project?

MM: Well, I would like to keep writing some kind of piece, whether it would be jazz or another thing like the Rachel Carson. I have another piece with no name that I am working on. There is always something that I am thinking of that I have not done yet. But I hope I can get to it soon, because I am 91 now.

Selected Discography

Marian McPartland, Twilight World (Concord, 2007)
Marian McPartland, Yesterdays: First Lady Of Jazz Piano (Savoy Jazz, 2006)
Marian McPartland, Piano Jazz With Steely Dan (Concord, 2005)
Marian McPartland, 85 Candles: Live In New York (Concord, 2005)
Marian McPartland, Windows (Concord, 2004)
Marian McPartland, All My Life (Savoy Jazz, 2003)
Marian McPartland, Contrasts (Jazz Alliance, 2003)
Marian McPartland, Timeless (Savoy Jazz, 2002)
Marian McPartland, Ain't Misbehavin': Live At The Jazz Showcase (Concord, 2001)
Marian McPartland, Single Petal Of A Rose (Concord, 2000)
Marian McPartland, On 52nd Street (Savoy Jazz, 2000)
Marian McPartland, Just Friends (Concord, 1998)
Marian McPartland, Silent Pool (Concord, 1997)
Marian McPartland, Plays The Music of Mary Lou Williams (Concord, 1994)
Marian McPartland, Piano Jazz With Dizzy Gillespie (Concord, 1993)
Marian McPartland, Piano Jazz With Bill Evans (Concord, 1993)
Marian McPartland, In My Life (Concord, 1993)
Marian McPartland, From This Moment On (Concord, 1991)
Marian McPartland, Plays The Benny Carter Songbook (Concord, 1990)
Marian McPartland, Plays The Music of Billy Strayhorn (Concord, 1987)
Marian McPartland, Willow Creek And Other Ballads (Concord, 1985)
Marian McPartland/George Shearing, Alone Together (Concord, 1981)
Marian McPartland, With You In Mind (DRG, 1957)

Photo Credit

Courtesy of Marian McPartland

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