Shall We Play That One Together?: The Life and Art of Jazz Piano Legend Marian McPartland

Paul de Barros. St. Martin’s, $35 (496p) ISBN 978-0-312-55803-1
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When Marian McPartland was three years old, she heard her mother play Chopin on the piano; after her mother finished, Marian climbed up onto the piano bench and played the same piece note for note. From that moment on, the world of sound that she had discovered that day became her refuge, her solace, her companion, and her lifelong obsession. With exhausting detail, Seattle Times jazz critic de Barros powerfully and eloquently traces McPartland’s life and career from her almost solitary childhood in Eastbourne, England, and her early musical training at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London to her meteoric rise to the top of her profession as a world-renowned jazz pianist and host of the acclaimed public radio program, Piano Jazz. While McPartland (b. 1918) excelled in the classical training she received at Guildhall, debuting numerous of her compositions and winning several awards, when jazz musician and teacher Billy Mayerl asked her to join him on the road, she left Guildhall without looking back, embarking on her new career as jazz pianist. During WWII, she met her husband, Jimmy, and the two launched a successful career in Chicago; eventually, when the couple moved to New York, Marian’s career eclipsed her husband’s, and de Barros jauntily chronicles her dazzling life lived in the company of jazz greats from Oscar Peterson, Bobby Short, and Duke Ellington to Diana Krall and Chick Corea. Drawing on innumerable interviews and unrestricted access to McPartland’s personal archives, de Barros produces a truly engaging biography of this jazz genius. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 07/23/2012
Release date: 10/16/2012
Ebook - 496 pages - 978-1-250-01901-1
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