Jazz CD Reviews
Marian McPartland – Twilight World – Concord Jazz
Published on March 8, 2008
(Marian McPartland, piano; Gary Mazzaroppi, bass; Glenn Davis, drums)
This is the 21st album by jazz legend McPartland, and later this month she will be observing her 90th birthday with a week-long engagement at Dizzy’s Club in Lincoln Center with an all-star lineup of friends and colleagues sitting in with her. The pianist recently received a special award for her nearly 30-year-old Piano Jazz weekly radio series – the longest-running cultural program on NPR. The English-born pianist-composer dedicated this album to her late husband, cornetist Jimmy McPartland, who originally brought her to the U.S. and helped launch her into the jazz world.
The emphasis is on lovely ballads and a rather laid back introspective feeling over these 11 tracks. The program opens with two of the three McPartland originals on the CD. The first track album title tune is a lovely piece which reminded me of some of Alec Wilder’s tunes, and the whole album closes with Wilder’s Blackberry Winter. Another personal favorite, John Lewis, is represented by his Afternoon in Paris. It may seem surprising to see not one but two tunes by Ornette Coleman on the program, but both are great tunes with unique melodic lines. McPartland explained, “I’ve always wanted to play what I’ve called ‘real tunes’…” and these are exactly that. This is an important and most enjoyable musical document from one of the most-loved longtime figures in jazz today.
TrackList: Twilight World, In the Days of Our Love, Turn Around, Close Enough for Love, How Deep is the Ocean?, Alfie, Lonely Woman, Blue in Green, Afternoon in Paris, Stranger in a Dream, Blackberry Winter.
– John Henry