Mary Lou Williams

Live At the Keystone Korner

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This fine trio set by pianist Mary Lou Williams (with bassist Larry Gales and drummer Eddie Marshall) was not released for the first time until 25 years after its recording. Williams' career lasted from the 1920s until her death in 1981. She starts off this live performance by saying that she is going to do a history of jazz, and she does cover several vintage styles in a medley (spirituals, blues, stride, boogie-woogie, and swing), but does not get past 1940. However, some of the individual songs explored at greater length are boppish and hint at later developments, even though there is nothing here that's all that avant-garde. The fact that 50 years after she first recorded Mary Lou Williams still sounded fairly modern was remarkable and she is in excellent form throughout this valuable recording.

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