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Marian McPartland: Teddy Wilson: Marian McPartland’s Piano Jazz

Marian McPartland must be a great dinner party guest. As mistress of ceremonies for the long-running radio program Piano Jazz, McPartland has elegantly interacted with all manner of jazz musicians and, more recently, pop stars who harbor affection for jazz. Teddy Wilson and Bruce Hornsby are as dissimilar musical personalities as you could wish for, but on these two editions of the Piano Jazz CD series, the ever-affable British expat pianist puts them both at ease, eliciting friendly and informative conversation and quality performances.

As one of McPartland’s primary pianistic influences, the legendary Wilson holds a special place in her heart, and McPartland’s admiration is evident on this 1978 recording. For his part, Wilson displays unexpected candor spinning out details of his professional career, revealing his love for Art Tatum, Vladimir Horowitz and the songs of Billy Strayhorn as well as engaging in intriguing shop talk with his hostess. His solo performances of such warhorses as “Moonglow” and “Lush Life” are characteristically poised, and his duets with McPartland are spirited fun.

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