One of the joys of writing about jazz is that the participants-players, singers, arrangers, producers and fans alike-tend to be as remarkably knowledgeable and articulate as they are passionate. Few, though, can boast as long or erudite a career in jazz introspection as pianist Marian McPartland in her role as host of NPR’s Piano Jazz. With McPartland, as with her A-list guests, there’s no agenda, no marketing angle, no promotional push that need be addressed. It’s just plain-spoken, unfettered, spontaneous enthusiasm, as lovingly evidenced by this 1984 session with Shirley Horn.
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