Marian McPartland: Lonely Woman


Lonely Woman



Twilight World (Concord 30528)

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Marian McPartland (piano),

Gary Mazzaroppi (bass), Glenn Davis (drums)


Composed by Ornette Coleman


Recorded: New York, September 11-12, 2007


Rating: 86/100 (learn more)

Here's a track to fool your snobby jazz friends on a blindfold test. Marian McPartland, on a new CD released a few days before her 90th birthday, records a cover version of an Ornette Coleman tune. And she takes a Free Jazz solo! A smart one, at that. Yes, this is the same Marian McPartland who played in British vaudeville in the 1930s, married trad jazz cornetist Jimmy McPartland in the 1940s, and performed supper club jazz at the Hickory House in the 1950s. Of course that was all more than a half century ago, so why shouldn't Marian go Free nowadays? Bassist Mazzaroppi and drummer Davis evoke the original Coleman recording, but McPartland does her own thang, which is full of soft, angular phrases, tremolos, and various games of consonance and dissonance. I'm not sure that this will replace the Cecil Taylor tracks on my avant-garde playlist, but McPartland gets high marks for keeping her ears open at a time when many far younger players, free or otherwise, are stuck in their own time-warp.

Reviewer: Ted Gioia

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