Mary Lou Williams: Play It Momma


Play It Momma



Zoning (Smithsonian/Folkways SF CD 40811)

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Mary Lou Williams (piano), Bob Cranshaw (bass),

Tony Waters (conga)


Composed by Mary Lou Williams


Recorded: New York, January 17, 1974


Rating: 85/100 (learn more)

Mary Lou Williams was the rarity for jazz in her era and beyond. She left a legacy of great piano playing, stellar arranging capabilities and a substantial body of work as a composer. She started as a prodigy, venturing to play the piano at age 2, and logging her first paying gig at 6. She made her recording debut at 17, and by the early 1930s found herself in the midst of the thriving Kansas City jazz scene. This piece reflects the blues foundation that she witnessed and participated in with many of the founders of the swing and modern jazz eras. There isn't a stilted note in this performance, and the bass and drum simpatico is all funked up.

Reviewer: Frank Murphy

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