Paul de Barros, Shall We Play That One Together? The Life and Art of Jazz Piano Legend Marian McPartland (St. Martin’s Press)
The nonagenarian pianist presented de Barros with every biographer’s hope, unrestricted access to his subject’s personal papers and nearly unrestricted access to her private thoughts. He made the most of it, turning exhaustive research and hundreds of hours of interviews into a true story with the sweep of a novel. From the early discovery of McPartland’s musical gift through her wartime service, her ecstatic and stormy marriage to Jimmy McPartland, her growth as a pianist, her deep affair with Joe Morello, and the radio show that made her a national figure, she has had a fascinating life. It makes a splendid read.