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Recorded in 1978 for Marian McPartland's radio program, this performance and conversation brings two great pianists together to reminisce and to talk about their careers as performers, scholars, and dedicated lovers of the art of jazz.
Together, they uncover Teddy Wilson's biography piece by piece. It turns out Wilson was an early influence for McPartland from the time she was a teenager in England, listening to his recordings with Benny Goodman. As pianists, they discuss keyboard reach, accompanying singers, big band participation, chord substitution, improvisation versus note for note transcriptions, essential practice habits, warming up, mental preparation, ergonomics, and consistency.
Wilson's interpretations of "Sophisticated Lady " and "Don't Get Around Much Anymore sparkle with lyric pride. He cascades gracefully and puts sweeping emotion into each line. He makes the music swing, and yet he always puts a personal touch to each segment.
Together, McPartland and Wilson perform "I'll Remember April with four hands, swinging gingerly over its majestic melody with ease. Later, "Flying Home closes the show as another four-hand duet that swings unmercifully. Both pianists give the piece a powerful drive that just won't let up. As two dedicated artists, they've always given their performances a hundred percent.
Track Listing: Stompin' at the Savoy; Sophisticated Lady/Don't Get Around Much Anymore; I'll Remember April; Lush Life/Take the 'A' Train; Marian's Motif; Traumerie; Moonglow; Flying Home.
Personnel: Marian McPartland, Teddy Wilson: piano.
I love jazz because anything is possible; it has few rules and the best jazz breaks those ones. I prefer free improv because it doesn't really have any rules at all.
I was first exposed to jazz in my teens (in the late sixties).
The first jazz record I bought was Filles de Kilimanjaro by Miles Davis, shortly followed by Extrapolation by John McLaughlin.
My advice to new listeners is to listen as widely as possible and not to make snap judgments--stick with it.