Saturday, 21 March 2015

26. Mary Lou Williams 1930-1941 (Featuring Andy Kirk & His Twelve Clouds Of Joy)

Mary Lou Williams was one of the most important figures that emerged from the Kansas City jazz scene in the 1930s. She was a prolific arranger and composer as well as being extraordinary pianist who would go on to mentor the likes of Thelonious Monk and Charlie Parker.

This album chronicles her main body of work from 1930 to 1941, a time when she hooked up with Andy Sirk who was to become one of the most successful band leaders of the swing era.

The album actually kicks off with Williams demonstrating her chops in the solo Night Life followed by a selection of songs from the Mary Lou Williams Trio which includes a wonderful rendition of Jelly Roll Morton's The Pearls. The majority of the album is made up with songs from the Twelve Clouds Of Joy including Walking And Swinging and my personal favourite, Little Joe From Chicago. 

Everything rounds off perfectly with the last three tracks Zonky, Baby Dear and Harmony Blues given the septet treatment with some great solos including Williams herself.

1. Night Life

2. Overhand (New Froggy Bottom)

3. Clean Pickin'

4. The Pearls

5. The Rocks

6. Walkin' and Swingin'

7. Moten Swing

8. Bear Cat Shuffle

9. Steppin' Pretty

10. Twinklin'

11. Little Joe from Chicago

12. Mess-A-Stomp

13. Mary's Idea

14. Scratchin' the Gravel

15. The Count

16. Ring dem Bells

17. 47th Street Jive

18. Zonky

19. Baby Dear

20. Harmony Blues

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