Recipient of a Grammy, honored with Downbeat’s ‘Lifetime Achievement’ award, and host of National Public Radio’s longest running program, the iconic ‘Piano Jazz’, Marian McPartland was one of the pioneer women in jazz. “Elegant, tasteful, charming, sensuous” (Melody Maker), with a style that one critic called “flexible, complex, and almost impossible to pigeonhole”, she played everything from Dixieland to the avant-garde. McPartland teams up in a rare piano/bass duo, something she had always wanted to do, since “the possibilities of the music being free and uninhibited are much greater”. Her bassist, Linc Milliman, “sounds like a whole rhythm section…I may start a tune…but often he will set the tempo and the mood.” The ‘live’ settings in Rochester NY and Manhattan are perfect stages for the music’s intimacy. Two pieces are original ballads, Marian’s reflective Twilight World and her impressionistic Illusion. The evergreen Indian Summer begins as ballad before warming up for a medium-tempo stroll with bass and piano hand-in-hand, and Close Your Eyes follows with the duo’s sophisticated interaction. Here’s That Rainy Day drips bittersweet tones, whereas McPartland has her own modal take on the Davis classic, Milestones. There’s a bit of a traditional air to Hoagy Carmicheal’s New Orleans, and McPartland digs some depth into the country-pop of By the Time I Get To Phoenix. The tasty Mercer Ellington blues Things Aint What They Used To Be ends this exquisite album of Marian McPartland at her classy best. A must for those who love piano jazz!