Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Mary Lou Williams|
Live at the Cookery
Genres: Jazz, Pop
Mary Lou Williams had been performing for over a half-century when these recordings were made at New York's Cookery in the 1970s, but what's even more remarkable than the vigor of her playing is its range. A significant ha... more »
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Mary Lou Williams had been performing for over a half-century when these recordings were made at New York's Cookery in the 1970s, but what's even more remarkable than the vigor of her playing is its range. A significant harmonic innovator, Williams had never stopped growing, absorbing, and adapting all the shifting accents that jazz had developed into her own distinct style. Every part of her playing had stayed fresh, and her rhythmic language is as varied as her use of block chords, modes, and occasional dissonance. "Roll 'Em" demonstrates her command of classic boogie piano, while "Waltz Boogie" is an imaginative variant. "Praise the Lord" and "Blues for Peter" reach back to gospel and blues sources, but they're played with an insistent, probing intensity that is Williams's own. Her version of "The Man I Love" is angular bop pressing toward atonality. Similarly, her swinging version of "Mack the Knife" uses erratic percussive clusters to keep her ideas moving. Williams gets empathic support throughout from bassist Brian Torff, a fleet-fingered soloist whose lithe walking bass lines are an essential part of this performance. --Stuart Broomer
Very good jazz album, worth having
A. Valkin | South Africa | 03/19/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Mary Lou Williams is the longest performing jazz musician, and has performed through all the periods of jazz history, which is a remarkable position to hold. This is a fairly recent concert having been recorded in the 1990's.
I am really enjoying this album. She may not be a jazz innovator, but Mary Lou Williams brings her personality across in this recording, and the result is an engaging concert. Williams draws on several jazz traditions, from boogie woogie to bebop, and presents them all with a freshness and individuality. Every moment is interesting, even inspired, and at no time does she get lost in excessive soloing or uninteresting playing. That is more than you can say about a lot of jazz recordings out there.
The sound quality is not the best, compared to say the latest recordings, but on the other hand it is an intimate concert, having been recorded at The Cookery. I had to turn up the volume high on my stereo and in my car. Still, this has not spoiled my enjoyment.
grasshopper | brooklyn, ny United States | 04/03/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a great example of Mary Lou's style of playing from a live performance in 1975 (the previous reviewer is wrong saying this was from the 90's). It is piano accompanied only by bass, and is rather wonderful. The cd has 4 or 5 bonus tracks that were not on the original lp. All in all, it's a great indtroduction to the great Mary Lou Williams, one of the finest jazz pianist ever."