McPartland Visits Ann Arbor
BY LARS BJÖRN
McPartland has probably become better known as a National
Public Radio regular than she ever was during the forties and fifties
in New York. At 80, she is still a very good pianist and a great spokesperson
for the music. Professor Ellen Rowe at the University of Michigan's
School of Music brought McPartland to Ann Arbor to kick off a scholarship
program in her name. A concert at the Kerrytown Concert House announced
the idea to the community and both shows on April 7 were packed with fans.
Appropriately enough, two freshmen who study
with Rowe started out the evening: Alex Chadsey and Kent Eshelman. This
was followed by four tunes where Rowe and McPartland played two pianos.
"Skylark" featured some very delicate tickling of the ivories and "You
Stepped Out of A Dream" swung nicely.
The last half of the program was taken up
by McPartland and Ann Arbor's own Paul Keller on bass and Pete Siers
on drums. They sounded great as a trio with Keller's swinging bass and
Siers' light and sensitive drums. McPartland showed off her still considerable
technique and elegant swing, particularly on Strayhorn's "Raincheck."
Let's hope the Scholarship Fund will bring her back to town soon.
photograph by Lars Björn