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Jimmy in 1923 About Jimmy McPartland

James Dugald McPartland was born on March 15, 1907, in Chicago, Illinois. He was a cornetist and brother of Dick McPartland (guitarist). He started playing violin at age 5, then took up the cornet at age 15. He was a member of the group of young musicians known as the Austin High School Gang. This group originally included Jimmy and his brother Dick, Frank Teschemacher and Bud Freeman. They were later joined by Eddie Condon, Dave Tough, Jim Lanigan and Joe Sullivan. At the age of 17, on Bix Beiderbecke's recommendation, Jimmy was invited to replace Bix Beiderbecke in the Wolverines. He made his first recording while he was with the Wolverines in 1925. He remained with this group for just over a year, then worked with the bandleader Art Kassel and others before joining Ben Pollack in 1927. Later that year, with members of the Austin High School Gang (using the name McKenzie and Condon's Chicagoans), he made recordings that introduced and defined the exciting, energetic style that was later called "Chicago Jazz". With Pollack he achieved considerable fame; his colleagues included Benny Goodman, Jack Teagarden, Harry Reser, Tony Parenti, Eddie Condon, and Bud Freeman.

After leaving Pollack in 1929 he worked in and around New York. McPartland worked with Russ Columbo during 1931 and 1932, and with Horace Heidt, Smith Ballew, Harry Reser during 1933-1935. He led his own group from 1936 to 1941 with sidemen such as Rosy McHargue, clarinet; Joe Harris, trombone; Boyce Brown, alto; and George Wettling, drums. His last major job before he entered the Army was with Jack Teagarden.

Marian and Jimmy

During military service (1942-1945) he was a combat soldier in the Normandy invasion. He was discharged in 1945 and stayed on to play with the USO. In Europe he met and married the English pianist Marian Turner. He performed at the International Jazz Festival in Paris in 1949. After returning to the USA he led various groups and performed extensively with Marian McPartland. In 1953 he began playing regularly in New York. During this period he performed frequently at Nick's. During 1954, in addition to spending several months leading his own group at the Metropole in New York, he visited England and made guest appearances on BBC. He joined Tony Parenti at Jimmy Ryan's Club during 1965-1966. He remained active into the 1980s, playing with his own ensembles and others. Jimmy and his wife Marian performed together at the Newport Jazz Festival in 1978.

Marian and Jimmy

His wife, Marian McPartland writes: "The music Jimmy and I made together is very special to me. It was always fun, from our first gig together in Chicago in the forties at the Rose Bowl (a bar next to a bowling alley!); and the dates at the Royal Box and the Monticello Room, were memorable, too. There have been many club dates and concerts that we've played since then, and Jimmy kept right on working some gigs with me until 1990. The last concert that he and I played was at the University of Chicago. It was planned as a tribute to him, and he loved every moment of it, accepting the applause with grace and good humor."

Jimmy played the cornet given to him by Bix Beiderbecke throughout his career. Jimmy died in Port Washington, New York in 1991, three days before his 84th birthday.

Selected Jimmy McPartland Recordings

After Hours, (Grammy Award)

Chicago and All That Jazz, Eddie Condon, Bud Freeman, Bob Haggart, Gene Krupa, Jimmy McPartland, Pee Wee Russell, Joe Sullivan, Jack Teagarden with Lil Armstrong and Blossom Seely (Verve V-8441).

Chicago Jazz Album, Eddie Condon and his Chicagoans, Jimmy McPartland and his orchestra, and George Wettling's Chicago Rhythm Kings (Decca DL 8029).

Chicago Style Jazz, (Columbia, with Eddie Condon)

Dixieland!, Jimmy McPartland (Harmony HS11264) 1957.

Dixieland, vol. II, Jimmy McPartland (Palace M-751).

Dixieland at Carnegie Hall, Jimmy McPartland, Wild Bill Davison, Pee Wee Russell, Vic Dickenson, George Wettling (Forum SF9011) 1958.

Dixieland Now and Then, Jimmy McPartland's Chicago Rompers Paul Barbarin's New Orleans Stompers (Jazztone J1241) 1956.

Down the Middle, Jimmy McPartland and his orchestra, with Marian McPartland (Concert Hall Society CHJ1227).

Gems of Jazz and Chicago Jazz, Four tracks (Decca)

Great Jazz Trumpets, Bix Beiderbecke, Bunny Berigan, and Jimmy McPartland (Joker SM 3122) 1924-1937.

Hot Vs. Cool, (MGM)

Hotsy Totsy Gang, Benny Goodman with the Hotsy Totsy gang (Sunbeam SB-133) 1928-30.

An Informal Session for Squirrel, Jimmy McPartland, Tommy Gwaltney, Steve Jordan, Charlie Butler, Eddie Phyfe, Bill Potts, Billy Taylor, Jr.

Informal sessions at Squirrel's The Early Years, Vol. 1, Squirrel Ashcraft, RoyBargy, George Barnes, Floyd Bean, Boyce Brown, Spencer Clark,Ormond Downes, Wade Foster, Jack Gardner, Bobby Hackett, Jack Howe, Hank Isaacs, Howard Kennedy, Rosy McMargue, Jimmy McPartland, Paul Mares, Johnny Mercer, Bill Priestly, Joe Rushton, Bud Wilson and the Bobcats.

Informal Sessions at Squirrel's The Early Years, Vol. II, Bob Zurke with Joe Rushton.

History of Classic Jazz, (River, one track with Wolverines)

Jimmy McPartland On Stage, features Jimmy live at the Manassas Jazz Festival. (Jazzology Records J-16, 3008 Wadsworth Mill Place, Atlanta, GA 30032)

Jimmy McPartland - One Night Stand, features Jimmy live at the Atlanta Jazz Society. (Jazzology Records J-137, 3008 Wadsworth Mill Place, Atlanta, GA 30032)

Jazz Meeting in Holland, Bud Freeman and Jimmy McPartland meet Ted Easton's Jazzband. (Circle Records CLP-10, 3008 Wadsworth Mill Place, Atlanta, GA)

The Music Man Goes Dixieland, Jimmy McPartland's All-Stars: Jimmy McPartland, cornet; Charlie Shavers, trumpet; Dick Cary, trumpet; Cutty Cutshall, trombone; Bud Freeman, sax; Coleman Hawkins, tenor sax; Peanuts Hucko, clarinet; Cliff Leeman, drums; Eddie Condon, guitar; Milt Hinton, bass; Gene Schroeder, piano. Recorded in 1958. (Epic Records LN3463)

Jack Teagarden, Vol. 2 1928-57, Jack Teagarden, Ben Pollack and his Park Central orchestra, Eddie Condon's Hot Shots, Johnny Mercer, Paul Whiteman and his orchestra, The Metronome All Star band, Bud Freeman and his Summa Cum Laude orchestra (Black & White 741101).

Jazz a la Midnight, Coleman Hawkins, Ruby Braff, Eddie Bert, Jimmy McPartland, and Joe Newman (Hall of Fame JG 608).

Jazz At Carnegie Hall, (Forum)

The Magic Horn, George Wein's Dixie-Victors featuring Ruby Braff (RCA Victor LPM-1332).

Mannassas Jazz Festival, Maxine Sullivan, "Doc" Souchon, Cliff Jackson, and "Fat Cat" McRee (Jazzology J-17) 1966.

Meet Me In Chicago, Jimmy McPartland and Art Hodes (Mercury SR 60143).

More Informal Sessions, Squirrel Ashcraft, Billy Butterfield, Eddie Condon, Wild Bill Davison, Doc Evans, Don Ewell, Carl Fontana, Bud Freeman, Jack Gross, Bobby Hackett, Bob Haggart, Clancy Hayes, Gus Johnson, Steve Jordan, Yank Lawson, Lou McGarity, Jimmy McPartland, Marian McPartland, Mike Moore, Bill Priestly, Ann Rean, Herb Sanford, Ralph Sutton, and Bob Wilber, 1969.

On Stage, Jimmy McPartland and his all stars (Jazzology J-16).

The Rare BG 1927-29, Benny Goodman [with others] (Sunbeam SB-112).

Singin' the Blues, Jimmy McPartland, Dick Cary, Lino Patruno, Milan College Jazz Society (Carosello CLE 21029).

That Happy Dixieland Jazz, Jimmy McPartland, cornet and vocals; Charlie Shavers, trumpet; Cutty Cutshall, trombone; Bob Wilber, clarinet and tenor sax; Ernie Caceres, clarinet and bari sax; Dick Cary, atlo horn; George Barnes, guitar; Harvey Phillips, tuba; Joe Burriesce, bass; George Wettling, drums.

Muskrat Ramble
Darktown Strutters' Ball
High Society
Fidgety Feet
Original Dixieland One-Step
That's a Plenty
Way Down Yonder in New Orleans
Farewell Blues
South Rampart Street Parade
When the Saints Go Marchin' In

Recorded in 1959. (RCA 07863/Camden CAL 549)

Shades of Bix, Recorded in 1953. (Brunswick 58049)

Jimmy McPartland and His Orchestra
Side One Record 1
Clarinet Marmalade
Singin' the Blues Till My Daddy Comes Home
Ostrich Walk
Davenport Blues
Since My Best Gal Turned Me Down

Jimmy McPartland and His Orchestra
Side Two Record 2
Riverboat Shuffle
I'm Coming Virginia
In a Mist
Jazz Me Blues
Way Down Yonder in New Orleans

Jimmy McPartland's Squirrels
Side Three Record 2
Original Dixieland One Step
I'm All Bound 'Round with the Mason Dixon Line

Jimmy McPartland and His Orchestra
Side Four Record 2
The World is Waiting for the Sunrise
Jazz Me Blues
China Boy

Jimmy McPartland's Dixieland, Recorded in 1957. (Epic 3371)

The McPartland's Live at the Monticello, with Marian McPartland, Recorded in 1972. (Halcyon HAL107)

Marian and Jimmy McPartland - A Sentimental Journey, Marian and Jimmy McPartland with special guests Vic Dickenson, Gus Johnson, Buddy Tate. Recorded in 1972. (The Jazz Alliance 10025)

Special Thanks to Richard Sudhalter.

For more information about Jimmy McPartland read the following books:

American Musicians: 56 Portraits in Jazz by Whitney Balliett
The Jazz Encyclopedia by Leonard Feather
Voices of the Jazz Age by Chip Deffaa

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Last Updated: 2/19/2014 by Diana Schwartz