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

. 2012. 496p. 978-0-31255-803-1. 35.
De Barros (jazz critic, Seattle Times; coauthor, Jackson Street After Hours: The Roots of Jazz in Seattle) tells the story of Marian McPartland (b. 1918). A trained concert pianist, she joined a traveling jazz band despite her parents’ wishes for her to marry a banker or a lawyer. The English McPartland (née Turner) was in one the first groups of entertainers to land in Normandy after the Allied invasion. There she met and married jazz musician Jimmy McPartland, and spent the rest of her life as a jazz performer, collaborator, observer, champion, educator, spokesperson, historian—always learning, listening, growing, and sharing. She moved to Chicago, then New York, and toured constantly, meeting and playing with the giants of jazz. Her National Public Radio show, Piano Jazz, which she started in the late 1970s and from which she retired in 2011, was a unique glimpse into jazz and its musicians through live verbal and musical conversations.
VERDICT De Barros shows how a talented, white, British woman was able to fully participate in American jazz through multiple eras, styles, and channels. Recommended for jazz fans and those interested in musicians with long, varied careers.

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