The Music Of Mary Lou Williams | St. Louis Public Radio

The Music Of Mary Lou Williams

May 14, 2016

Jazz Unlimited for Sunday, May 15, 2016 will be “The Music of Mary Lou Williams.”  Piano prodigy Mary Lou Williams taught herself piano at the age of six and was playing professionally by age seven.  Discovered in Kansas City in 1929, she wrote hundreds of compositions and arrangements for many bands as well as playing powerful jazz piano.  In the early 1950’s, she became a devout Catholic and wrote three masses (two unrecorded).  Her “Mass for Peace,” also known as “Mary Lou’s Mass,” was commissioned by the Pontifical Commission on Peace and Justice in March of 1969.  We will hear some of her compositions and arrangements played by her and by the Andy Kirk Clouds of Joy, Boots and His Buddies, the Mary Lou Williams Girl Stars, Benny Goodman, Dizzy Gillespie, Nat “King” Cole, the Dutch Jazz Orchestra, Jimmy Witherspoon, the Mary Lou Williams Collective, Duke Ellington, Anita O’Day, Virginia Mayhew, Dave Douglas, Ingrid Jensen and Carline Ray.

The Slide Show contains my photographs of some of the artists heard on this show.

The Archive of this show will be available until the morning of May 23, 2016.

This is a video of "Ain't Misbehavin'" with Benny Goodman (cl). Mary Lou Williams (p). Cal Collins (g). Connie Kay (d). Major Holley (b) in 1978.  Be sure to check out Major Holley's solo, where he hums in the same range as what the bass is playing.