How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
Like pure spring water from a bottomless well, jazz musicians continue to draw inspiration from the mammoth Ellington songbook. Pianist Marian McPartland, who has spent more than 60 years in music, adds to an ever-growing number of tribute CDs with the classy Single Petal Of A Rose. Recording live before an intimate gathering of 50 at the Maybeck Studio for the Performing Arts in Berkeley, CA, seems to have contributed to the session's warm, relaxed feel. Working with bassist Bill Douglass on seven of the CD's 13 tracks, McPartland revisits some very well known Ellingtonia and several of his obscure gems. The only original on the program is McPartland's wistful ballad, Cerulescence, which fits the overall mood of the CD perfectly. It's interesting that often-heard standards like "Sophisticated Lady," "Mood Indigo" and "Take The 'A' Train" can sound fresh again when re-interpreted by masters like McPartland. Ellington once said, "There are only two types of musicgood and bad." This is good music.