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Reviewers: Don Mather, Dick Stafford, Marc Bridle, John Eyles, Ian Lace, Colin Clarke, Jack Ashby




Crotchet

Marian McPartland’s

‘Piano Jazz’

with guest

Chick Corea

The Jazz Alliance – TJA-120402

 

 

1

Conversation

8

Crystal Silence – McPartland Solo

2

Brasilia – Corea Solo

9

Conversation

3

Conversation

10

Yesterdays – Duet

4

Monk’s Mood – Corea Solo

11

Conversation

5

Conversation

12

Free Piece – Duet

6

Jitterbug Waltz - Duet

13

Conversation

7

Conversation

14

Spain – Duet

 

This CD is from of a series produced by the South Carolina Educational Radio Network and reflects one of several facets of Marian McPartland’s career – jazz education. Whether or not it generates worldwide interest from the average jazz listener or student remains to be seen.

Generally the album covers the whole spectrum of Corea’s years in music and the interview pays special attention to those people who have influenced him whether it be Mozart, Thelonious Monk or Bud Powell. Track 2 Brasilia is typical of Corea’s innovative talent and is ‘classical’ in every respect. The same goes for much of the album. When asked about his practice programme Corea considers that reading and playing Mozart Piano Concertos, some of which he has recorded, is a real challenge for jazz musicians and considers playing the pieces a highly demanding form of practice. Happily we hear that he enjoys re-creating his earlier compositions and that he has not deserted ‘standards.’ Monk’s Mood the second solo piece by Corea gives us an insight into his understanding and performance of Monk’s music – he was one of jazz music’s complex composers and masters. Free Piece is exactly as the title says – performed as a duet with no rules. I can’t find any enthusiasm for it and the same goes for Spain another duet. Give me the original recording anytime!

In the accompanying notes John McDonough writes that in order to get the best out of an interview there is a great advantage in employing an interviewer such as McPartland who ‘is an insider of long and distinguished standing.’ I couldn’t agree more. And with Chick Corea, universally accepted as having already made a significant contribution to jazz and other forms of modern music, it would appear that there could not be a better blend. However the CD did not hold the interest I anticipated and I would have been much happier if Marian McPartland had stayed with the words and left all the music to Corea.

Jack Ashby

 



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