Thursday, June 18, 2009
A Rare Look at Mary Lou Williams
The more I learn about Mary Lou Williams, the more awed I become. For years I thought of her in purely historical terms. I only knew that the pianist made essential contributions to the development of Kansas City jazz in the 1930s. Partly because her discography is in shambles, I didn't realize how radically Williams evolved after she moved to New York. She performed in a variety of settings, including organ jazz, bop, funk, and adventurous Christian-themed music. This recently-uploaded footage was captured a year before Williams' 1981 death.