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Album Review

Mary Lou Williams emerged in the early '70s after a long period in which she worked in the Catholic church to resume her always stimulating career as a jazz pianist. On this CD reissue, one of her finest recordings of her later years has been brought back and augmented by two previously unissued performances. Williams performs in duos and trios with bassist Bob Cranshaw and drummer Mickey Roker, uses Zita Carno on second piano during a couple of the more avant-garde pieces, and also performs some trios with bassist Milton Suggs and Tony Waters on congas. Rather than sounding like a veteran of the 1920s, Mary Lou Williams sounds 40 years younger, shows the influence of McCoy Tyner, and hints at free jazz in spots. An often surprising set of modern jazz.

Customer Reviews

Still Neglected

The young reviewer is so right! Mary Lou Williams is both an outstanding pianist and a great composer. Despite the commendable efforts of pianist Gerri Allen, Mary Lou still does not get her due. This album is simply wonderful, a perfect introduction to a great American artist.

She truly is the queen of Jazz

I first started listening to Mary lou Williams after i wrote a report about her and I can't believe she's not as famous as the other jazz music icons like Duke Ellington and Ella Fitzgerald! In the opinion of a 16 year old pianist who loves to play jazz, her music is the best, and she's not even a singer! My favorite song on this album is "Gloria" ( the second one on the list). If you love jazz piano music as much as a I do, you should listen to her, and i think more kids my age should listen to Jazz music.


Born: May 8, 1910 in Atlanta, GA

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '20s, '30s, '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s

To say that Mary Lou Williams had a long and productive career is an understatement. Although for decades she was often called jazz's greatest female musician (and one has to admire what must have been a nonstop battle against sexism), she would have been considered a major artist no matter what her sex. Just the fact that Williams and Duke Ellington were virtually the only stride pianists to modernize their style through the years would have been enough to guarantee her a place in jazz history...
Full Bio

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