339

Mary Lou Williams: Mary Lou Williams Trio at Rick's Cafe Americain

By

Sign in to view read count
This CD is one of a handful by Mary Lou Williams finally appearing in "record" bins. Here's Mary Lou at age 69 and at the height of her powers (despite, as we're told by biographer Linda Dahl, physical ailments and a recent diagnosis of cancer). Also on board were Milton Suggs, bass, and Drashear Khalid, drums (brushes on all but one cut).

Billy Taylor has often said of Mary Lou Williams that "she has the most consistent way of swinging" and that was never more true than on this album. The menu is all standards (listed below*), infused with creativity and power. The opening "Autumn Leaves" is worth the price of admission, with intriguing substitutions, wonderfully percussive stabbed chords, intense swing and a surprise ending. Plus a great bass solo. Other stand-outs are a waltz version of "My Funny Valentine" and Billy Taylor's minor blues "A Grand Night for Swinging", where Mary Lou goes from intricate to gut bucket.

The album boasts great solos throughout, though Khalid only gets one. There are a few moments where the trio's out of synch or the pianist seems to slightly cut off a solo. Though I'm a fan of abrupt endings I thought that three out of thirteen was a bit too much. But overall there's great expression, creativity and energy here. It's just another piece of evidence that Mary Lou Williams deserves greater recognition as a pianist. Period (not just female pianist as she's often described).

Audio notes: the sound quality is excellent. Purists beware: you'll hear coughs, laughs and comments ("coming down the track", "yeah"). I can't agree more with that last one.Recorded in Chicago, November 14, 1979. Total playing time=67:36. *


Track Listing:

Recorded in Chicago, November 14, 1979. Total playing time=67:36. * Autumn Leaves; I Can't Get Started; You Can't Take That Away from Me; Satin Doll; The Jeep is Jumping; St. James Infirmary; Surrey with the Fringe on Top; My Funny Valentine; Mack the Knife; What's Your Story Morning Glory; Without a Song; Caravan; A Grand Night for Swinging.

| Record Label: Storyville Records | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read Transparent Water CD/LP/Track Review Transparent Water
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Billows Of Blue CD/LP/Track Review Billows Of Blue
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Love Dance CD/LP/Track Review Love Dance
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Honest Woman CD/LP/Track Review Honest Woman
by James Nadal
Published: February 20, 2017
Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Final Concert CD/LP/Track Review The Final Concert
by John Sharpe
Published: February 19, 2017
Read "Tie the Stone to the Wheel" CD/LP/Track Review Tie the Stone to the Wheel
by John Eyles
Published: April 3, 2016
Read "I Just Did Say Something" CD/LP/Track Review I Just Did Say Something
by Glenn Astarita
Published: September 27, 2016
Read "In Denmark 1959-1960" CD/LP/Track Review In Denmark 1959-1960
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: June 18, 2016
Read "My Head is Listening" CD/LP/Track Review My Head is Listening
by Glenn Astarita
Published: February 2, 2017
Read "First Set" CD/LP/Track Review First Set
by Jerome Wilson
Published: February 6, 2017
Read "All These Hands" CD/LP/Track Review All These Hands
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 20, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!