A young, unrecorded artist is asked to share her talents, sitting in a chair that had been warmed by Bill Evans
, Oscar Peterson
, Brad Mehldau
, Mary Lou Williams
, Dave Brubeck
, Chick Corea
and Dizzy Gillespie
to name just a few of the legends who graced Marian McPartland
's Piano Jazz
series. It says a great deal about Roberta Piket, that McPartland would welcome her into the fold of this company and now Piket pays tribute to her host with One For Marian: Celebrating Marian McPartland
Piket, from a musical family and a pianist from early childhood, has release ten albums as a leader or co-leader. A graduate of the New England Conservatory of Music, she has studied with Fred Hersch
, Jim McNeely
, and Richie Beirach
. While the majority of her recorded work has been solo or smaller groups, she is clearly at home in this larger formation.
The sextet includes saxophonist/flautist Steve Wilson
, a veteran sideman who has played with Dave Holland
and Corea and reed player Virginia Mayhew
whose diverse resume runs from Cab Calloway
to Frank Zappa
. Trumpeter Bill Mobley
is an excellent sideman having played with Kenny Barron
and Christian McBride
. Bassist, and occasional pianist, }}Harvie S}} is the best know member of the group with several releases as a leader and projects with Thad Jones
, Gil Evans
, Paul Motian
and Sheila Jordan
. Rounding out the group is drummer Billy Mintz
, previously a long-time member of Alan Broadbent
's Trio. One For Marian
is comprised of six McPartland compositions and two original tracks. The harmonious "Ambiance" opens the album on a somewhat dark note but Piket's own tributethe title trackfollows with an exuberant and uplifting fête of the late pianist. A particular highlight is Karrin Allyson
's affecting duet with Piket on "Twilight World." Piket's other composing contribution "Saying Goodbye" is plaintive without being overly sentimental while "Kaleidoscope" closes the set with a fiery improvisation that involves all the players.
It's not likely anyone could do justice to McPartland's compositions more effectively than Piket has here. These are arrangements that are rich, full of life and reflect McPartland's diverse tastes covering artists from John Coltrane
to the Beatles and Piket captures the measure of McPartland's work in these handsomely prepared pieces. One For Marian: Celebrating Marian McPartland
is intelligent and versatile, full of exceptional solo work throughout.
Ambiance; One for Marian; In the Days of Our Love; Twilight World (excerpt); Threnody (excerpt); Time and Time Again (excerpt); Saying Goodbye; Kaleidoscope.
Roberta Piket: piano, leader; Steve Wilson: alto saxophone, flute; Virginia Mayhew: tenor saxophone and clarinet; Bill Mobley: trumpet and flugelhorn; Harvie S.: bass, drums and percussion: Billy Mintz; Karrin Allyson, vocals (Twilight World).