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#1128249 - 01/31/09 05:24 AM PIANO GIRL RMG WITH MARIAN MCPARTLAND/NPR PIANO JAZZ
Piano Girl RMG Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 702
Loc: Germany
Hi Everyone!

Since so many of you have read my book Piano Girl, I wanted to let you know that my one hour PG show with Marian McPartland (NPR Piano Jazz) is airing this week.

Starting the week of January 30th, the show will air worldwide. Check with your regional NPR affiliate for broadcast dates and times or listen now by clicking here:

NPR PIANO JAZZ with MARIAN MCPARTLAND

Here's how the show with Marian came about. Backbeat Books (Hal Leonard), publisher of Piano Girl, sent Marian a copy of the book. Marian called me personally and invited me to be on the show, a telephone call that darn near resulted in me falling down in a dead faint. "Marian," i said, "I'm not a jazz musician. Not even close."

Mainly, she was interested in talking about my book.

Those of you who are familiar with my playing know that I am not a jazz musician, so before recording Marian's show, i felt a little panicked. My husband, who is indeed a jazzer, says that my music is jazz-influenced, which I suppose is true. But it's classically influenced, as well.

Marian summed it up best, I think, when she said, "Oh, it's all just music, isn't it?" Well, right Marian. I've been around enough jazz and classical purists in my life to really appreciate an accomplished musician who has big ears for everything. To find this quality in a woman of Marian's age is also remarkable. No wonder she seems so young. Marian is 90.

She was gracious and charming and put me at ease with her GREAT sense of humor. It's worth listening just to hear her cracks about the dummy who replaced me at the Marriott in Manhattan.

So, I hope some of you link to the program. I checked with Frank Baxter (our leader!) about how to notify you about this and he suggested putting it up here.

Happy listening!
_________________________
Robin Meloy Goldsby
www.goldsby.de
Author of PIANO GIRL: A Memoir
RHYTHM: A Novel
RMG is a Steinway Artist

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#1128250 - 01/31/09 12:16 PM Re: PIANO GIRL RMG WITH MARIAN MCPARTLAND/NPR PIANO JAZZ
jasnicklv Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/31/09
Posts: 27
Loc: las vegas, nv
Robin---just caught your appearance on Marian McPartland's NPR show. You were terrific. I hope you saved Marian's song dedication to you. That was really special.

To quote Eliza Doolittle, " It was luverly!"

James
_________________________
James

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#1128251 - 01/31/09 03:25 PM Re: PIANO GIRL RMG WITH MARIAN MCPARTLAND/NPR PIANO JAZZ
Piano Girl RMG Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 702
Loc: Germany
Thanks, James!

MM's improvised piece for me just blew me away. What a wonder she is!
_________________________
Robin Meloy Goldsby
www.goldsby.de
Author of PIANO GIRL: A Memoir
RHYTHM: A Novel
RMG is a Steinway Artist

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#1128252 - 02/01/09 09:35 PM Re: PIANO GIRL RMG WITH MARIAN MCPARTLAND/NPR PIANO JAZZ
Piano World Offline



Registered: 05/24/01
Posts: 5604
Loc: Parsonsfield, ME (orig. Nahant...
Hi Robin,

I just listened to Marian's show, you did a great job!

I can't imagine going on her show and playing that many numbers for her. I was impressed with your playing, but also with how relaxed you seemed with her.

You two appeared to get along very well.

Can't wait to read your books.

Best,

Frank B.
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#1128253 - 02/02/09 03:37 AM Re: PIANO GIRL RMG WITH MARIAN MCPARTLAND/NPR PIANO JAZZ
Piano Girl RMG Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 702
Loc: Germany
Thanks for listening, Frank!

I was pretty nervous the day of the taping. In fact, the publicist assigned to Piano Girl (the intrepid Nina Lesowitz) took me SHOPPING before hand to distract me. Didn't work.

I like to be REALLY organized, especially when I'm nervous, so I arrived at the studio with meticulous charts for our duets, which were discarded about five minutes after I walked in the door.

Marian doesn't read music, which obviously has never been a problem for her! We discussed key, and tempo, and kind of talked about the form, but she is a true improvising musician and was very loose about all of this.

Here's the way the session was taped. Two grand pianos were side by side in Manhattan Beach Studios in NYC.(When I was there, they were Baldwin, now I think they've switched to Fazioli) Very soon after I arrived, we decided which tunes we would play together and how many solos I would play. I had a list of twenty or so potential solo pieces and decided to select each piece when the time came, depending on how brave I was feeling.

Once tape began rolling we went straight through the show. One take of everything. The time flew by—we recorded way more than an hour of material (talk and music). Marian didn't have any notes about my book—she remembered everything. What a mind that woman has! Producer Shari Hutchinson and her wonderful production team worked their editing magic and whittled the show down to 56 minutes. The music was not edited at all, just some of the conversation.

Marian graciously agreed to pose for a couple of photos (my parents were there for the occasion, along with Nina).We chatted for a few minutes--Marian and my dad (jazz drummer and vibes player for the Mister Rogers Neighborhood program) really hit it off--then Marian was whisked away by her driver.

I stayed and recorded several Christmas songs, which were later used for MM's Christmas radio special on NPR. One of the songs I played (an original called Magic in the Night) was selected for the NPR Jazz Christmas (Volume 3) CD.

I had flown in from Germany for the taping. Between the nervous energy and the jetlag, I was running on empty by the end of the day. But what a day! I have admired MM for decades—she has always been a role model for me-- and getting the chance to be on her show was quite possibly the highlight of my piano career.

The experience was humbling, exhilarating, intense, and most importantly, a hell of a lot of fun.

I'm supposed to return soon to tape another show, this time about RHYTHM. I can't wait.

Best,
Robin
_________________________
Robin Meloy Goldsby
www.goldsby.de
Author of PIANO GIRL: A Memoir
RHYTHM: A Novel
RMG is a Steinway Artist

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#1128254 - 02/02/09 09:40 AM Re: PIANO GIRL RMG WITH MARIAN MCPARTLAND/NPR PIANO JAZZ
gryphon Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/09/01
Posts: 11678
Loc: Okemos, MI
Am anxious to listen to the show. I've listened to MM for a long time, but didn't know she didn't read music. I saw her live with Dave Brubeck a couple of years ago. She's quite something.

According to the NPR website you recorded this almost three years ago. It's just now being played for the first time?
_________________________
"If we lose freedom here, there's no place to escape to."
MSU - the university of Michigan!
Wheels

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#1128255 - 02/02/09 09:51 AM Re: PIANO GIRL RMG WITH MARIAN MCPARTLAND/NPR PIANO JAZZ
Piano Girl RMG Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 702
Loc: Germany
It was recorded in May 2006 and broadcast for the first time in October 2006. They also played snippets of things for the 2006 and 2007 Christmas shows.

She must have been great with Brubeck! Lucky you.

She didn't remember meeting me, but our paths had crossed once before. I went to the studio to hear her record a show with Johnny Costa (Mister Rogers' Neighborhood) who was a dear friend and colleague of my father's.
_________________________
Robin Meloy Goldsby
www.goldsby.de
Author of PIANO GIRL: A Memoir
RHYTHM: A Novel
RMG is a Steinway Artist

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#1128256 - 02/02/09 11:04 AM Re: PIANO GIRL RMG WITH MARIAN MCPARTLAND/NPR PIANO JAZZ
dpvjazz Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/12/05
Posts: 287
Loc: phoenix az
I listened to the radio show and you sounded great.
Your comment about being happy and content in the background was the only thing that seem a little out of place considering the poem and song you wrote for Marian. You have as much talent as any other and the more you share the more we can all enjoy. DPVJAZZ

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#1128257 - 02/02/09 11:37 AM Re: PIANO GIRL RMG WITH MARIAN MCPARTLAND/NPR PIANO JAZZ
jasnicklv Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/31/09
Posts: 27
Loc: las vegas, nv
If you get to meet MM again, ask her about her days as an accordian player. I think you and listeners too will be amused and charmed.

James
_________________________
James

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#1128258 - 02/02/09 01:10 PM Re: PIANO GIRL RMG WITH MARIAN MCPARTLAND/NPR PIANO JAZZ
Piano Girl RMG Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 702
Loc: Germany
Thanks DPV! That's a very nice compliment. I struggled with RIDICULOUS insecurity for years. Then I wrote the book. Due to the unanticipated response I found myself having to perform concerts and radio shows and even a recital/reading at Steinway Hall. So now I'm over the hump, so to speak. I'm okay. I suffer from normal nervousness, but nothing crippling. But I really appreciate your words. Thank you.

James! MM played accordian? How fabulous! I'm supposed to do another show with her soon, I will certainly ask her.
_________________________
Robin Meloy Goldsby
www.goldsby.de
Author of PIANO GIRL: A Memoir
RHYTHM: A Novel
RMG is a Steinway Artist

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#1128259 - 02/08/09 12:33 AM Re: PIANO GIRL RMG WITH MARIAN MCPARTLAND/NPR PIANO JAZZ
nitekatt2008z Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/24/08
Posts: 552
Hi I always enjoy listening to Marian McPartland's and since I just heard about Piano Girl's new book, I order it soon. Also the show showcases new players on the scene. But what really baffles me, I had no idea Marian doesn't read music or cannot sight read charts. I assumed she was classically trained. So Marian is totally an ear player like Errol Garner? Very interesting

katt

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#1128260 - 02/08/09 03:24 AM Re: PIANO GIRL RMG WITH MARIAN MCPARTLAND/NPR PIANO JAZZ
Piano Girl RMG Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 702
Loc: Germany
MM has huge ears. You know how some people get hung up on reading notes and can never get away from them? It works the other way, too. I think some musicians have such good ears that reading notes just doesn't make sense to them. I'm not one of those people, but I have a son who is in this category. It's fascinating to watch—and hear!

I'm sure MM has some basic note-reading skills, but I'm guessing it's more rewarding for her to listen and play rather than read and play. Whatever—she gets where she wants to go, a with a lot of panache.

Thanks for listening to the show!
_________________________
Robin Meloy Goldsby
www.goldsby.de
Author of PIANO GIRL: A Memoir
RHYTHM: A Novel
RMG is a Steinway Artist

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#1128261 - 02/15/09 02:27 PM Re: PIANO GIRL RMG WITH MARIAN MCPARTLAND/NPR PIANO JAZZ
Jeff Clef Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/05/08
Posts: 4425
Loc: San Jose, CA
Thanks for posting the chapters from "Piano Girl" on the site, Robin; it encouraged me to get your book. Who would think providing the sound track for a heart attack after eating buffalo wings could be so funny, but there it was. Better to laugh than to cry, I always say--- anyway, almost always. Great book, though. Beautifully written, very frank and honest, wonderfully interesting, and even a happy ending. Not many biographies can say as much. And, there was the NPR interview right after I finished it. Had it not been for the posted chapters, then the book, I probably would have blown by it. I hope we hear more from you.
_________________________
Clef


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#1128262 - 02/16/09 07:59 AM Re: PIANO GIRL RMG WITH MARIAN MCPARTLAND/NPR PIANO JAZZ
Piano Girl RMG Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 702
Loc: Germany
Hi Jeff,
Thanks so much for your kind words. The incidents in the book weren't (for the most part) the least bit funny while they were happening. Some of those events took awhile to, uh, ripen before I was able to see the humor, but that's life!

Piano Girl was published by a niche publisher of music books (Backbeat Books/Hal Leonard). I'm grateful to them for allowing me to post the occasional chapter on this site—if there's a specific audience for the book, I suspect we'll find it here!

My next book, which will be my third, will certainly include an essay about the McPartland show.

Thanks for reading and listening and writing. I love the quote tag on your post. Sounds like you might be a writer yourself.

Best, Robin
_________________________
Robin Meloy Goldsby
www.goldsby.de
Author of PIANO GIRL: A Memoir
RHYTHM: A Novel
RMG is a Steinway Artist

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#1128263 - 02/20/09 03:36 PM Re: PIANO GIRL RMG WITH MARIAN MCPARTLAND/NPR PIANO JAZZ
Jeff Clef Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/05/08
Posts: 4425
Loc: San Jose, CA
I have had a few whacks at writing--- if only I weren't so lazy. No one will know better than yourself that it takes a lot of work, especially to write both informatively and concisely.

As to the tag line, it was stolen from an unattributed item in the "Readers' Digest," from some fifty years ago (or nearly that). I wonder if they still publish--- haven't seen it for years. There was time when it was on the back of every toilet. Anyway, my only credit can be for remembering it.

I've shared your book with the lady who sold me my piano, and, this afternoon, it will go to my piano tech: a master of the dry witticism. I guess you need it to endure in his field. I hope you'll forgive them for not purchasing it, but with fans like myself, who needs enemies. I've not yet heard about your third book, but at least I can get the second one (thanks again for the chapters).

It seems to me your talent will find its niche. Actually, your literary view seems quite cinematic; I could picture it doing well in a screen adaptation.

Will you star?

Clef
_________________________
Clef


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#1128264 - 02/21/09 03:03 PM Re: PIANO GIRL RMG WITH MARIAN MCPARTLAND/NPR PIANO JAZZ
Betty Patnude Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/11/07
Posts: 4896
Loc: Puyallup, Washington
Robin said: "MM has huge ears."

Say, I wonder if that is a characteristic of people who play piano by ear?

Having a highly aural sense would have the person saying something like: "I hear what you mean", rather than "I see what you mean", or I know what you mean.

My ears are close to my head and small, and darn if hearing speech hasn't been a problem in my elder years.

Sometimes I pick up on the littlest thing in a topic and it sets me thinking.

So now I want to see a photo of MM's ears!

Betty

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#1128265 - 02/25/09 02:56 AM Re: PIANO GIRL RMG WITH MARIAN MCPARTLAND/NPR PIANO JAZZ
Piano Girl RMG Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 702
Loc: Germany
Sorry I didn't get back to this discussion sooner—I've been in Lyon, France with my husband—he's having a new double bass built for him by luthier Jean Auray—very exciting!

Jeff, thanks so much for passing the book along. Hope your piano tech likes it. I'm fascinated by technicians and have secret crushes on most of the men (and women) who have worked on my pianos. By all means, loan it to anyone and everyone who expresses an interest. Nice thing about PG is that it actually appeals to civilians, not just musicians.

Regarding your question about a film version of PG, yes, there has been interest, but nothing serious yet. Let's face it, it's a nice story, but not exactly the stuff of great drama—a white middle class girl spends 3o years playing the piano and ends up as a white middle-class, middle-aged woman. No grit, no guts, no glory.

Anyway, since it is part of my life story, I am reluctant to have the book turned into a film—i'm content to have it remain "just" a book. Although it is fun to consider casting. I'm way too old to play myself. I'd have to play Virginia, the schizophrenic street woman who gave the book its title.

My second book (Rhythm) is quite dramatic and has the arc necessary for a good film adaptation. It's a novel so I'm more flexible about changes, etc.

Third book is on my computer and will take another 18 month to complete. I'm a slow worker.

Hey Betty! Thanks for posting. I didn't mean that MM really has big ears, as in size. I meant that her ability to play by ear is HUGE. How I envy her.
_________________________
Robin Meloy Goldsby
www.goldsby.de
Author of PIANO GIRL: A Memoir
RHYTHM: A Novel
RMG is a Steinway Artist

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#1154193 - 02/27/09 07:48 PM Re: PIANO GIRL RMG WITH MARIAN MCPARTLAND/NPR PIANO JAZZ [Re: Piano Girl RMG]
jasnicklv Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/31/09
Posts: 27
Loc: las vegas, nv
Robin----I just finished reading PG a couple of minutes ago and am compelled (like Hans the International Tenor?) to sing your praises. I am sure Virginia would approve of your performing in long skirts to hide the "spindly legs".

I hope you still have your Baldwin. You know they closed the last U.S. factory at the end of 2008. I got to play my first Baldwin grand way back in the 1950's. My affection never lessened. I never could have afforded to own one, so I envy you.

I smiled at your frustration with Umlaut pronounciation, Und ich hoffe es ist jetzt ausgezeichnet!

James
_________________________
James

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#1155284 - 03/01/09 02:40 PM Re: PIANO GIRL RMG WITH MARIAN MCPARTLAND/NPR PIANO JAZZ [Re: jasnicklv]
Piano Girl RMG Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 702
Loc: Germany
Hi James,

Loved your references to Hans the I.T. and Virginia. Who would have thought they'd find an international audience?

Yes, I still have the Baldwin (as well as a Steinway). It's a gorgeous piano and I play it every day. So do my kids and my husband.

Und die Spache? Es wird immer besser, danke, aber Deutsch is nicht einfach! Frau Pösch has never forgiven me.
_________________________
Robin Meloy Goldsby
www.goldsby.de
Author of PIANO GIRL: A Memoir
RHYTHM: A Novel
RMG is a Steinway Artist

Top
#1155285 - 03/01/09 02:43 PM Re: PIANO GIRL RMG WITH MARIAN MCPARTLAND/NPR PIANO JAZZ [Re: Piano Girl RMG]
Piano Girl RMG Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 702
Loc: Germany
Here's a quicker link to the program, if anyone still wants to listen. Since the show is now a month old, it's no longer on the NPR home page.

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=100033265
_________________________
Robin Meloy Goldsby
www.goldsby.de
Author of PIANO GIRL: A Memoir
RHYTHM: A Novel
RMG is a Steinway Artist

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#1157337 - 03/04/09 06:04 PM Re: PIANO GIRL RMG WITH MARIAN MCPARTLAND/NPR PIANO JAZZ [Re: Piano Girl RMG]
Elssa Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/15/05
Posts: 1567
Loc: NY
Originally Posted By: Piano Girl RMG
Here's a quicker link to the program, if anyone still wants to listen. Since the show is now a month old, it's no longer on the NPR home page.

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=100033265


Hi Robin:

Just wanted to thank you for posting that..I really enjoyed listening to the "chat", your playing and the duets with MM! smile That's so amazing that she plays mostly by ear, too! I took an on-line course to help me learn to play by ear but have no real natural talent for it. I was just wondering, how do you come up with your beautiful, creative arrangements, Robin? I know you have a lot of classical training and also obviously creative talent, but is there anything else that has helped you along the way with your playing/composing? Do you have any favorite music books, methods, or tips as to playing in that wonderful "cocktail" style that you do? smile

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#1160521 - 03/10/09 05:13 AM Re: PIANO GIRL RMG WITH MARIAN MCPARTLAND/NPR PIANO JAZZ [Re: Elssa]
Piano Girl RMG Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 702
Loc: Germany
Hi Elssa! Thanks for writing.

I think the key to creating a nice arrangement is to pick a song you love. If you love the music, you're willing to put the time into making it sound just right.

I am blessed with a jazz guy husband who never fails to make suggestions for better voicings. That helps. And so does playing the arrangement over and over again—the piece evolves.

xoxo
Robin
_________________________
Robin Meloy Goldsby
www.goldsby.de
Author of PIANO GIRL: A Memoir
RHYTHM: A Novel
RMG is a Steinway Artist

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