In candid and fascinating conversation with McPartland, Elvis Costello reveals the myriad and profound influences in his life to help create his singular and eclectic songwriting style.
"My first reaction was one of surprise, as I am neither a jazz musician or a pianist," says Costello—Krall’s spouse—of receiving McPartland’s invitation. "However, I am an admirer of Marian McPartland, and her humor, ease of manner, and depth of understanding of the repertoire made this an absolute pleasure."
"We had a wonderful time, because everything he sang was something that I knew well," McPartland corroborates. "I had never met Elvis, and I found him a very charming guy. We sat and talked about tunes and keys, and just did one after another. It was all very easy." "I have never been tempted to record a ‘standards’ album, but I have recorded at least an album’s worth of such material over the years," says Costello, who first reached a mass audience playing punk-inflected rock-and-roll two years before Piano Jazz kicked off. "Revisiting songs I had known my whole life, such as ‘My Funny Valentine,’ which I recorded 25 years previously, was exactly what this opportunity was all about."