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