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Thursday, January 20, 2011

A special treat to close out the evening..........

It's been awhile since I've posted any Mary Lou Williams. I'd say that it's time again to check in for a visit.  Here's a special treat....the inaugural episode of Marian McPartland's NPR show, "Piano Jazz".

This show, aside from just listening to all of MLW's recordings serves to remind one so well that MLW didn't just live through every era of jazz, she actively played in all of them....masterfully....never becoming dated...simply amazing. And, even to this day, she doesn't really get the recognition that her legacy not just a great woman jazz artist, but as one of the greatest musicians, writers, and arranger in the history of the genre.

From NPR:

Piano Jazz commemorates the centennial of Mary Lou Williams' birth with a milestone episode — the very first Piano Jazz session ever, recorded in 1978 with Williams and bassist Ronnie Boykins. Host Marian McPartland is initially nervous interviewing her longtime friend and idol, and the cagey Williams still stands as a tough nut to crack. But once the giddiness subsides, McPartland exhibits signs of the masterful interviewer she would become, weaving in-depth discussion of the pianist's craft with a respectful sketch of Williams' personal history. 

Williams died in 1981, but her spirit lives on with Piano Jazz. She and McPartland were both great fans of Duke Ellington — his tunes are still favorites on the program — so it's no surprise that Williams performs her take on "Caravan." A prolific composer, she also performs her own tunes, and at McPartland's request, she improvises an intense composition without batting an eye. Williams even warms up enough to sing a chorus of "Rosa Mae." Even more than 30 years later, it's a marvel to hear a seasoned musician like McPartland improvise the successful formula for Piano Jazz during the the program's first session. 

Space playing blues 
Conversation 1
Baby man
Convo 2
What's your story, morning glory
Convo 3
Scratchin' in the gravel
Convo 4
Medi no. 2
Convo 5
Rosa Mae
Convo 6
Rosa Mae 2
Convo 7
Convo 8
I can't get started
Convo 9
The jeep is jumpin'
Convo 10
Exit playing

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