Mary Lou Williams

First Ladies of Jazz

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Three female pianists are well-showcased on this Muse-sponsored CD reissue of Savoy material. The great Mary Lou Williams leads a septet of musicians from Andy Kirk's Orchestra (including the legendary tenor Dick Wilson) on four numbers, the interesting but now somewhat forgotten pianist Jutta Hipp heads a quartet with tenor-saxophonist Hans Koller and Beryl Booker is featured with a quartet that also includes Don Byas on tenor. The high-quality music overall ranges from swing to bop and these rarities are well worth hearing.