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Ornette Coleman at the SF Jazz Festival

Marian McPartland

James Brown may be referred to as “the hardest working man in show business” but at her 85th birthday celebration Marian McPartland was the hardest working person in jazz. Not that she isn’t usually very active in many areas of the music but Marian wasn’t away from the piano bench on too many occasions during an evening where the music was virtually continuous. She was on stage, performing, to such an extent that event-producer John Schreiber kidded her that she had “out-Hamped Hamp.”

The duets McPartland participated in were numerous and varied. In encountering myriad styles, songs and the different keys that the individual vocalists employed, she displayed acumen, sensitivity, patience and adaptability.

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