Gradually overcoming the resistance of American jazz musicians to her nationality and sex, she established her own trio, which first played in New York at the Embers Club (1950) and later in lengthy residencies at Hickory House (1952-1960).
In the 1950s she contributed witty and perspective essays on jazz musicians to the Boston Globe, Detroit Free Press, and Down Beat, and reports on the American scene to the English periodical Melody Maker. Much later a collection of all her writings, All in Good Time, was published in 1987 and reissued in 2003.
In 1969 she established her own record company, Halcycon, and issued recordings into the late 1970s under her own leadership and in collaborations. In 1978 McPartland initiated what became a longstanding affiliation with Concord Records.
Jimmy McPartland and Marian were later divorced but they continued to work together occasionally. Marian took care of Jimmy in his years of terminal illness, and they remarried in 1991 shortly before his death.
She became internationally famous as host and producer of a syndicated NPR series, Piano Jazz, which began taping in October of 1978 and broadcasting in 1979 on NPR and featured Mary Lou Williams as the first guest. In this setting McPartland played in duos, or alternated unaccompanied solos with and interviewed, many of the leading pianists, singers and other instrumentalists and composers. This was one of the most popular jazz shows ever heard on radio for more than 30 years.
The bare bones accompaniment of bass and drums was always Ms. McPartland’s preferred format, bust she also appeared in concert with symphony orchestras, and in 1966 she recorded an album of her own compositions, Silent Pool, on which she was accompanied by a string orchestra.
In her last years, Ms. McPartland received several honors. She was named a National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master in 2000, given a lifetime achievement Grammy Award in 2004, inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame 2007, and named a member of the Order of the British Empire in 2010.
She never stopped being creative and innovative in her playing style. Her playing grew denser and more complex with time , and even late in life she was experimenting with new harmonic ideas. “I’ve become a bit more reckless, maybe," she said in 1998. “I’m getting to the point where I can smash down a chord and not know what it’s going to be, and make it work.”
She left us a great recorded legacy. Among her best known compositions are, "In the Days of Our Love," "Twilight World," "So Many Things," "With You In Mind," and "Ambiance."
Ms. McPartland continued playing almost until the very end of her life, August 20, 2013. The song has ended but the melody lingers on.
A biography was published in 2012 titled Shall We Play That one together: the life and art of jazz piano legend Marian McPartland, written by Paul de Barros.
Please visit your local library to check out recordings and to learn more about this consummate jazz pianist and humanitarian who gave so much to the world of music, especially “Piano Jazz.”
Submitted by Russell Lee
Arts, Literature, & Sports
The Woodlawn Neighborhood Association will be hosting their annual neighborhood Fun Day on Saturday, August 24, 12:00-4:00 p.m., at Willow Wood Park Recreation Center (5312 Georgia Road, Birmingham, AL 35212). The Woodlawn neighborhood invites people from their area to come out and get to know others in the community. Several representatives from various community organizations, including the Birmingham Public Library, will have tables set up in order to distribute information to those in attendance. There will also be fun activities for all ages. Refreshment s will be provided to the public.
Submitted by Pamela Jessie
Titled In Birmingham They Love the Gov’nor: George Wallace, Birmingham and Beyond, the program will be held in the Arrington Auditorium of the Central Library, Monday, September 9, 2013, at 6:00 p.m. Generous financial support for this program is provided by the Rita C. Kimerling Family Fund. The program is free and open to the public.
For more information, contact 205-226-3631 or e-mail Jim Baggett at email@example.com.
Dr. Dan T. Carter has served as a professor and visiting scholar at Emory University, the University of Maryland, the University of Wisconsin, London's Westminster University, Cambridge University, the University of Genoa and the University of South Carolina. His book Scottsboro: a Tragedy of the American South won the Bancroft Prize and the Lillian Smith Award. He is the author of the highly regarded biography The Politics of Rage: George Wallace, the Origins of the New Conservatism, and the Transformation of American Politics.
Dr. Glenn T. Eskew is professor of history at Georgia State University. He is author of the book But For Birmingham: The Local and National Movements in the Civil Rights Struggle, which received the Francis Butler Simkins Prize of the Southern Historical Association, and the forthcoming book Johnny Mercer: Southern Songwriter for the World.
Dr. Angela K. Lewis is professor of political science in the Department of Government at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She is author of the new book Conservatism in the Black Community: To the Right and Misunderstood.
- September 9 – Basic PC-Keyboarding (Beginner): Introduces people to the computer: basic PC terms, components, hardware, peripherals, desktop features, etc. Participants also learn the basics of working with the computer keyboard and the mouse. Patrons need not have any previous computer experience to take this course.
- September 10 – E-Books (Intermediate): Introduces you to the digital library and how to download E-books and audiobooks onto your device.
- September 11 – Basic Internet (Beginner): Introduces people to the history of the Internet, how to access and surf the Web, what web browsers are, what search engines are available, and basic search methods. Participants need to have taken Keyboarding and Basic PC or have some PC, mouse, and keyboarding experience to take this course.
- September 16 – Microsoft Word 2010 Part 1 (Intermediate): Introduces people to Word 2010, a word processing application that is part of the Microsoft Office suite. It is recommended that participants to take all three parts. Participants need to have taken Keyboarding and Basic PC or have some PC, mouse, and keyboarding experience to take this course.
- September 17 – Microsoft Word 2010 Part 2 (Intermediate-Advanced)
- September 18 – Microsoft Word 2010 Part 3 (Advanced)
- September 23 – Microsoft PowerPoint 2010 Part 1 (Intermediate): Introduces people to PowerPoint 2010 presentation software. It is recommended that participants take Microsoft Word 2010 prior to taking this course. It is also recommended that participants take both parts of the course. Participants need to have taken Keyboarding and Basic PC or have some PC, mouse, and keyboarding experience to take this course.
- September 24 – Microsoft PowerPoint 2010 Part 2 (Advanced)
- September 25 – Microsoft Excel 2010 Part 1 (Intermediate): Introduces people to Microsoft Excel 2010, the spreadsheet software in the Microsoft 2010 Office Suite. It is recommended that participants take Microsoft Word 2010 prior to taking this course. It is also recommended that participants take both parts of the course. Participants need to have taken Keyboarding and Basic PC or have some PC, mouse, and keyboarding experience to take this course.
- September 30 – Microsoft Excel 2010 Part 2 (Advanced)
Dyed canvas and bleach The exhibition titled Surfacing: The Paintings of Sky Shineman is scheduled to open on August 15, 2013 in the Fourth Floor Exhibition Gallery of the Central Library located at 2100 Park Place. An opening reception is scheduled for Saturday, August 17 from 3:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m. in the Fourth Floor Board Room. The exhibition runs through September 20, 2013 and is on view during regular hours of operation.
“In painting I am interested in physical processes and phenomenal imagery", Shineman states of the work in the “Surfacing” series. "By employing reductive methods such as sanding and bleaching, I attempt to bring awareness to the tactile qualities of the painting object while creating imagery that is connected to its making. Ideally the process and the product overlap and enrich one another providing a multi-sensory experience. The complex relationship between how something looks and how it has come to being is the compelling question behind the Surfacing series.”
Oil and spray paint on canvas Shineman is Assistant Professor of Art in the Department of Art and Art History at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. She received her MFA in Studio Art from the Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio and BS in English Education from Ohio State. She has shown in various galleries, museums, and art shows around the country including the Alabama State Council on the Arts Gallery in Montgomery, Alabama and the SICA7thAnnual International Exhibition at the Shore Institute of the Contemporary Arts in Long Branch, New Jersey. Her many honors include the University of Alabama Research Grants Committee Award for a project titled Personal Modernism: Relating Through Painting (2012) and the Best in Show Purchase Award at the 26th Annual West Alabama Juried Show (2010).
If you are looking for a more entertaining approach to learning about personal finance, please join us at the Avondale Library on Monday, August 19, 6:30-7:30 p.m. Famed storyteller Dolores Hydock will present a collection of funny, sweet, and surprising stories about first jobs, spending sprees, and the unexpected value of a penny.
This program is part of the MakingCents: Resources to make your money grow and Smart investing@your library® series, a partnership between the American Library Association and the FINRA Investor Education Foundation.
The structure currently housing the Inglenook Branch of the Birmingham Public Library (BPL) began its early history as Birmingham’s Fire Station #23. Built in 1927, the station served the Inglenook community until 1978 when the community, with a brand new fire station, asked to have a library in the neighborhood. The “new” library was established in 1979. Work is currently underway to make it “new” again. The renovation is estimated to take 5 months to complete.