122

Marian McPartland/Willie Pickens: Ain't Misbehavin': Live at the Jazz Showcase

By

Sign in to view read count
Marian McPartland/Willie Pickens: Ain't Misbehavin': Live at the Jazz Showcase One usually hears Marian McPartland working in tandem with another pianist on her long running NPR show. But here she matches up with venerable Chicago piano stylist Willie Pickens during a week long run at Joe Segal's Jazz Showcase in the Windy City in December of 2000. What a happy Christmas present for Chicago jazz fans. This album compiles the highlight from that endeavor. There's no fooling with original or unfamiliar material on this gig. These two sublime pianists do their unique thing with a program of standards giving each one an animated work over. Of the nine items on the agenda, each takes two solos with the rest duets. They are in top form, as if they are ever any other way. The back and forth exchange during the middle of "Ain't Misbehavin" is a joy to hear. It's not a cutting contest at all, which would be out of McPartland's British character. Instead it's a mutually respectful building upon an idea the other has thrown out. The duet creme de la creme is an unusual approach to "It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got that Swing)", where McPartland offers a slow opening before Pickens joins for a slower than usual rendition of Ellington's classic tune.

As for the solos, Pickens' dance over the keys on a highly syncopated "It's only a Paper Moon". While his left hand sets down the bass line, his right simply whizzes up and down the melody side of the keyboard. It's hard to accept that there is just one person at the keyboard. In contrast is McPartland's flowing rhapsodic treatment of "Autumn Nocturne" where she puts her well-honed sensitivity to this music on full display. One can only listen in awe as these two consummate masters offer a minute's shy of an hour's worth of highly polished, relaxed jazz piano. Run, don't walk., to the nearest record emporium, real or virtual, for this one.


Track Listing: Ain't Misbehavin'; Along Came Betty; Close Your Eyes; It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing); Spring Is Here; Night and Day; (It's only a ) Paper Moon; Autumn Nocturne; Just One of Those Things

Personnel: Marian McPartland/Willie Pickens - Piano

Title: Ain't Misbehavin': Live at the Jazz Showcase | Year Released: 2001 | Record Label: Concord Music Group


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Crossing CD/LP/Track Review Crossing
by Geno Thackara
Published: June 25, 2017
Read Unit[e] CD/LP/Track Review Unit[e]
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 25, 2017
Read Such A Sky CD/LP/Track Review Such A Sky
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: June 25, 2017
Read Buer: Book Of Angels Volume 31 CD/LP/Track Review Buer: Book Of Angels Volume 31
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: June 25, 2017
Read BACHanalia CD/LP/Track Review BACHanalia
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 24, 2017
Read Hallways CD/LP/Track Review Hallways
by Paul Rauch
Published: June 24, 2017
Read "Pole Of Inaccessibility" CD/LP/Track Review Pole Of Inaccessibility
by Mark Corroto
Published: January 20, 2017
Read "Cool" CD/LP/Track Review Cool
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: March 20, 2017
Read "The Long Slog" CD/LP/Track Review The Long Slog
by Dave Wayne
Published: January 11, 2017
Read "Atticus Live!" CD/LP/Track Review Atticus Live!
by Jack Bowers
Published: December 2, 2016
Read "The Long Journey Home" CD/LP/Track Review The Long Journey Home
by James Nadal
Published: March 17, 2017
Read "Life and Other Transient Storms" CD/LP/Track Review Life and Other Transient Storms
by Troy Dostert
Published: August 26, 2016

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.