There are plenty of reasons why Roberta Piket decided to record a tribute album to Marian McPartland. One has to do with timing. The English-American pianist, composer and longtime host of NPR’s Piano Jazz died almost a year to the day before Piket performed with a sextet at the Wall Street Jazz Festival, in Kingston, N.Y., in 2014.
There’s also a personal connection. McPartland invited Piket to appear on Piano Jazz for the first time in 1994, before the younger pianist even had a recording to her name, and continued to encourage and support her throughout her career. Then there are the purely musical reasons. McPartland left behind a wealth of compositions, many of them rarely performed or recorded.