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Liner notes can produce fascinating facts. In the notes by Neil Tesser for “Ain’t Misbehavin’ Live at the Jazz Showcase, we learn that McPartland got her start in show business in a British musical act called Billy Mayerl and His Claviers. That insignificant fact points out that McPartland has been around for a long time. She reaches 81 this year and finding evidence of any decline in her abilities requires cautious listening.
In this pairing with Chicago legend Willie Pickens, McPartland sounds just like she did perhaps three decades ago. Assured, fearless and firmly in charge of matters, McPartland performs before a live audience at Chicago’s Jazz Showcase, paired with one of the Windy City’s kings of the blues.
Concord Records does listeners a favor by having assured that we won’t get confused by who’s who. McPartland comes out of the left channel and Pickens plays from the right. However, any longtime listener to McPartland should have no problem in discerning when she’s played. Pickens, who would seem to be at a disadvantage in going up against such a veteran and widely known performer. But the Chicago talent delivers a delightful and dazzling demonstration of his solid talents.
Recorded last December, the album boasts of excellent, clear sound, not always to be expected when sound magicians are working out of the studio. The song list contains a couple of surprises as well as a heap of standards.
It would be fun to have these stars get together again. It’s obvious that for both that age doesn’t mean a thing, and it does have that swing.
Track Listing: "Ain't Misbehavin'," "Along Came Betty," "Close Your Eyes," "It Don't Mean a Thing," "Spring Is Here," "Paper Moon," "Autumn Nocturne," "Just One of Those Things."
I love jazz because with it I found my true voice. I have always sung since I was a very small child in school and church. And there have been many genre that I have enjoyed including spiritual, folk, country, latin, soca and pop
I love jazz because with it I found my true voice. I have always sung since I was a very small child in school and church. And there have been many genre that I have enjoyed including spiritual, folk, country, latin, soca and pop. But nothing has touched my artistic sensiblities like JAZZ! Two years ago I moved to Sarasota, FL where I renewed my focus on my singing career and I was so impressed with the quality, quantity and generousity of talented jazz musicains in the Suncoast area. I soon partnered with piano legend Billy Marcus and his trio with Don Mopsick and Stephen Bucholtz. What a blast working with these guys and having them back me up on my first jaz album, Here's To You... which was just released on October 1st. I can't wait to see where the coming year brings me! Check out syniacarrolljazz.com