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Reviewers: Don Mather, Dick Stafford, Marc Bridle, John Eyles, Ian Lace, Colin Clarke

Mary Lou Willams - Piano
Beryl Bryden - Vocals 3&8
Nelson Williams - Trumpet 2,5,10&11
Ray Lawrence - Tenor2,5,10&11
Buddy banks - Bass
Kansas Fields, Jaques David - Drums


Jazz in Paris
GITANES 013 141-2
  1. Avalon
  2. Scratchin' the Gravel
  3. Rock Me
  4. I Made you Love Paris
  5. Nancy is in Love with the Colonel
  6. Swingin' for the Guys
  7. Club Francais Blues
  8. Freight Train Blues
  9. Memories of You
  10. Leg'n You
  11. Mary Lou Blues
  12. Devil and the Deep Blue Sea
  13. There's a Small Hotel
  14. En ce temps-la
  15. Lover
  16. Carioca
  17. Nicole
  18. Tire tire L'aiguille
  19. Autumn in New York

Mary Lou Williams is easily the most honoured and well-known female instrumentalist in jazz so far. Her career started in earnest with Andy Kirk's Band for whom she was not only pianist, but also staff arranger. Many people believe that it is because of her arrangements that the music of the Kirk Band is still heard today.

She was very influential with a lot of younger jazz performers who she constantly helped and encouraged. Her latter days were spent teaching at Duke University in North Carolina, she died in 1981 at the age of 71.Her most famous composition was her Zodiac Suite, which was performed by the Dizzy Gillespie Big band at the 1957 Newport Jazz Festival.

This particular CD has her playing I many different settings from solo piano to quintet. On two of the tracks British singer Beryl Bryden is heard, this was something of a surprise as she has mostly worked with more traditional organisations, however everything works out fine. In all the different groups the talent of Mary Lou shines through and she certainly was a top class performer, I particularly liked the trio version of Memories of You, the up-tempo Lover and the solo piano on Small Hotel. On every tack however she exudes professionalism.

It is nice to have something from Mary Lou Williams in the library, she was a woman who lived for her music and her chosen music was jazz. She made a major contribution to its enhancement both as a performer and arranger.

Don Mather

Don Mather is a saxophone player and Bandleader in Coventry

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