Mary Lou Williams and Marian McPartland

Jul 17, 2018

Composer, arranger, and pianist Mary Lou Williams (1910–1981) was essential to the 1930s swing era and a major force in the bebop revolution of the 1940s. Her peers included Thelonious Monk, Charlie Parker, and Duke Ellington, and Williams was deeply respected by her colleagues during a time when women musicians struggled to be treated as equals, especially in the jazz world. Today she is remembered as one of the greatest of her generation. In this Piano Jazz session from October 1978—the first show ever recorded—Williams demonstrates her boogie-woogie style and performs her hit song “What’s Your Story, Morning Glory.”


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