Mary Lou Williams

The Chronological Mary Lou Williams (1927-1940)

  • AllMusic Rating
    9
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by

This CD features the great pianist Mary Lou Williams during her earliest period. She is heard in 1927 on six selections with The Synco Jazzers (a small group that included her then-husband John Williams on alto) and then on the first 19 selections ever recorded under her own name. Performed during the long period when she was the regular pianist with Andy Kirk's 12 Clouds of Joy, Williams is featured on two hot stride solos in 1930, leading trios in 1936 and 1938, playing "Little Joe from Chicago" unaccompanied in 1939 and heading septets in 1940; among her sidemen were trumpeter Harold "Shorty" Baker and the legendary tenor Dick Wilson. Many of the compositions were written by Williams including "Night Life," "New Froggy Bottom," "Mary's special," and "Scratchin' the Gravel;" her version of Jelly Roll Morton's "The Pearls" is a highpoint.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 2:44
2 2:30
3
3:14
4
3:17
5
3:27
6
2:48
7 2:58
8 2:54
9 2:45
10 2:49
11 2:59
12 2:36
13 2:51
14 2:49
15 3:06
16 2:47
17
2:33
18 2:37
19 2:37
20 3:20
21 2:52
22 3:14
23 2:56
24 2:51
25 2:53
blue highlight denotes track pick