Marian McPartland: Piano Jazz with Teddy Wilson & Lionel Hampton

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By Chris DiGirolamo

Over 25 years ago South Carolina Educational Radio gave us Marian McPartland's "Piano Jazz , the long-running public radio program in which McPartland invites guest artists into her studio for candid one-on-one chats about music. Over 500 programs later we continue to be blessed with releases from some of the select sessions, such as the two recently released standout broadcasts: McPartland with the great Teddy Wilson and with the legendary Lionel Hampton. To listen to these sessions is having a couch seat in these celebrated conversations that McPartland conducted.

Marian McPartland
Piano Jazz with Teddy Wilson
Concord Records

The Teddy Wilson program breaks ground with a stellar version of "Stompin at the Savoy which takes us into a conversation break between the two pianists where she discusses her personal respect for him. Like two old friends who haven't seen each other in ages, it's quite engaging. Wilson then goes on to perform an awe-inspiring medley of "Sophisticated Lady into "Don't Get Around Much Anymore . The conversation continues with McPartland discussing Wilson's technique, which he then demonstrates for McPartland and the listeners. For the jazz historian, it is a moment. They then join together to perform "I'll Remember April , a perfect example of - apt to the title of the show - piano jazz. The remainder of the program is a combination of memorable conversations and performances between the jazz legends.

Marian McPartland
Piano Jazz with Lionel Hampton
Concord Records

McPartland's broadcast with Lionel Hampton, of vibraphone fame, takes the show in a different direction with his duo performance on vibraphone, as well as piano which he plays on a few select tracks. This show too is sewn together by several interesting conversational breaks between the two and musical standouts such as "Sweet Georgia Brown , "How High the Moon and the dynamically talented Hampton adding his vocal scat to the classic "Mack the Knife . When you take the experience of McPartland and put it together with the musicianship of Hampton, you are sure to have a session filled with good times and great music. There is only one Lionel Hampton and he's all yours on this recording.

Piano Jazz with Teddy Wilson

Tracks: 1 Stompin' at the Savoy Goodman, Razaf, Ssampson 2:02; 2 Conversation 8:36; 3 Medley: Sophisticated Lady/Don't Get Around Much Anymore Ellington, Mills, Parish ... 3:39; 4 Conversation 3:47; 5 I'll Remember April DePaul, Johnston, Raye 5:35; 6 Conversation 3:22; 7 Medley: Lush Life/Take the a Train Strayhorn 4:57; 8 Conversation 1:32; 9 Marian's Motif McPartland 2:35; 10 Conversation 1:48; 11 Traumerie Public Domain, Schumann 0:42; 12 Conversation 6:22; 13 Moonglow DeLange, Hudson, Mills 3:10; 14 Conversation 4:33; 15 Flying Home Goodman, Hampton 4:26; 16 Conversation 0:22

Personnel: Marian McPartland, Teddy Wilson: pianos

Piano Jazz with Lionel Hampton

Tracks: 1 Conversation Hampton, McPartland 0:43; 2 Teach Me Tonight Sammy Cahn 5:14; 3 Conversation Hampton, McPartland 5:06; 4 Sweet Georgia Brown Ben Bernie 6:19; 5 Conversation Hampton, McPartland 0:33; 6 Midnight Sun J. Francis Burke 8:56; 7 Conversation Hampton, McPartland 0:51; 8 How High the Moon Nancy Hamilton 5:26; 9 Conversation Hampton 6:11; 10 What's New Robert Haggart 4:36; 11 Conversation Hampton, McPartland 0:08; 12 Mack the Knife Kurt Weill 6:54; 13 Conversation Hampton, McPartland 2:27; 14 Flying Home Benny Goodman 5:04; 15 Conversation Hampton, McPartland 0:14

Personnel: Marian McPartland: piano; Lionel Hampton: vibes


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