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MUSICIAN Born:

Mary Lou Williams

Imagine a pianist playing concerts with Benny Goodman and Cecil Taylor in successive years (1977-78). That pianist was Mary Lou Williams. In a career which spanned over fifty years Mary was always on the cutting edge.

She was born Mary Scruggs in 1910 Atlanta. Her mother was a single parent who worked as a domestic and played spirituals and ragtime on piano and organ. At age three Mary shocked her by reaching up from her mother's lap to pick out a tune on the keyboard. Rather than hiring a teacher (for fear the child would lose the ability to improvise) Mary's mother invited professional musicians to their home

Sex & Drugs & Jazz & Jive: Top Ten Stash Records Albums

Read "Sex & Drugs & Jazz & Jive: Top Ten Stash Records Albums" reviewed by Chris May

With all the transgressive flair you would expect of bohemian New York City in the 1970s and 1980s, Bernie Brightman's Stash Records made its name with a hugely entertaining series of sex and drugs-themed compilations of swing-era recordings. The first was Reefer Songs in 1976. But Brightman's legacy extends much further. There was a finite amount ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

Mothers Day with Birthday Celebrations for Mary Lou Williams and Carla Bley

Read "Mothers Day with Birthday Celebrations for Mary Lou Williams and Carla Bley" reviewed by Mary Foster Conklin

The Mothers Day broadcast included new releases from the Posi-Tone Swingtet, bassist Anne Mette Iversen, vocalists Joan Watson-Jones, Rachelle Garniez, and Diane Schuur plus the Charles Pillow Ensemble, with birthday shout-outs to Carla Bley and Mary Lou Williams as well as a nod to a few Jazz Mothers and their children. Thanks for your continued support ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Dave Douglas: Dizzy Atmosphere: Dizzy Gillespie At Zero Gravity

Read "Dizzy Atmosphere: Dizzy Gillespie At Zero Gravity" reviewed by Giuseppe Segala

Chi si aspetta da questo disco un omaggio fedele all'approccio umoristico e pirotecnico di Dizzy Gillespie, non conosce Dave Douglas. Il trombettista, che ha compiuto lo scorso marzo cinquantasette anni, ha mostrato nelle frequenti dediche ai protagonisti della storia del jazz la propria propensione del tutto personale a tale pratica: lo ha fatto tra l'altro con ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Dave Douglas: Dizzy Atmosphere: Dizzy Gillespie At Zero Gravity

Read "Dizzy Atmosphere: Dizzy Gillespie At Zero Gravity" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

The distinctive trumpet of Dizzy Gillespie (1917-1993), with the idiosyncratic upward angle of its bell, is transformed into a starship on the cover of Dave Douglas' Dizzy Atmosphere: Dizzy Gillespie in Zero Gravity, seemingly soaring above the stratosphere, in Earth orbit. Douglas has a history of nodding to past greats: pianist Mary Lou Williams on Soul ...

ARTICLE: WHAT IS JAZZ?

The Touch of Your Lips, Part II: Touch and Tone Color in Jazz Piano

Read "The Touch of Your Lips, Part II: Touch and Tone Color in Jazz Piano" reviewed by Kurt Ellenberger

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 As mentioned in Part I, tone color took on a prominent role in classical music in the 19C. The Romantic composers like Wagner, Strauss, Berlioz, Chopin and many others were, I think it is fair to say, somewhat obsessed with it. The composers before them were ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

I Sing Just to Know I'm Alive - Happy Birthday to Nina Simone

Read "I Sing Just to Know I'm Alive - Happy Birthday to Nina Simone" reviewed by Mary Foster Conklin

This week we focus on new releases from pianist Jen Allen, vocalists Rosemary Loar, Simone Kopmajer, Casey Abrams and Ian Shaw, plus birthday shout outs to Nina Simone in the first hour (who also has a new single out), flutists Nicole Mitchell and Mayu Saeki, vocalists Nancy Wilson, Anne Phillips, Kellye Gray and Shirley Crabbe, violinist ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

I Gotta Swing - Celebrating Blanche Calloway and Her Joy Boys

Read "I Gotta Swing - Celebrating Blanche Calloway and Her Joy Boys" reviewed by Mary Foster Conklin

This week's broadcast includes new releases from Danish sax/flute/clarinetist Sarah Elgeti, flutist Elsa Nilsson, vocalists Lizzie Thomas and Chanda Rule, pianists Lynne Arriale and Carla Bley plus the Kenny Barron / Dave Holland Trio with birthday shout outs to Blanche Calloway (sister of Cab Calloway, pictured), Dena DeRose, Sharel Cassity, Marsha Heydt, Kenny Rankin and Melissa ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

You Can Never Be Too Magical - Celebrating Esperanza Spalding

Read "You Can Never Be Too Magical - Celebrating Esperanza Spalding" reviewed by Mary Foster Conklin

This week we feature new releases from vocalists Kat Edmonson, Tamuz Nissim, Maria Schafer and JD Walter with birthday shout outs to pianists Lil Armstrong, Marc Cary and Jutta Hipp, bassist Katie Thiroux, trumpeter Jeannie Tanner, and vocalist Ed Reed, among others. In the first hour, a celebration of Esperanza Spalding's latest Grammy win for Jazz ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

No Ordinary Love - Celebrating Jazz Aquarians Barbara Carroll, Etta James and Sade Adu

Read "No Ordinary Love - Celebrating Jazz Aquarians Barbara Carroll, Etta James and Sade Adu" reviewed by Mary Foster Conklin

This week our playlist includes new releases by pianists Yelena Eckemoff and Marina Albero, trumpetist Gabriel Mark Hasselbach, and trombonist Audrey Ochoa, plus birthday shout outs to Etta James, Barbara Carroll, Sade, Mariah Parker, Adi Meyerson, Kate McGarry, Lizz Wright, Peter Eldridge, Cheryl Bentyne and Chelsea McBride, among others. Also a nod to Mary Lou Williams, ...


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