Saturday, July 17, 2010


If you listen to Monk / you listen to Mary Lou Williams, or you should. She was teacher, friend, mentor with him and many of the giants in Be-Bop. Born in the south and raised in Pennsylvania (1910-1981), at the age of six Williams was already playing for money to support her family. Self-taught and overwhelmingly spread through jazz, spirituals, ragtime, blues, swing; one can build up quite a record collection gathering and knowing the world of this composer, player and arranger, who gave some of her finest stuff to Duke Ellington. At the end, dying of cancer, she added it up, "I did it, didn't I. Through muck and mud."