Wonderful Tunes Provided By Friends. Wild Tangents Provided By Me.

I’ve been meaning to post Mary Lou Williams for a while now. She was a gifted pianist, band leader, composer and arranger. She taught herself to play when she was 6 and began performing in Vaudeville as a child. Even though she was a contemporary of greats like Earl Hines, Duke Ellington, and Benny Goodman, her contributions to jazz music are often sadly overlooked. The video I chose is simply called “Solo Blues Piano.”

My grandma, had no crackpot theories about Mary Lou Williams. In fact, the parallels between the two women’s lives are astounding ( “astounding” here meaning few but sorta neat). My grandmother was also named Mary Lou and she was also a jazz pianist… well she was an IRS tax clerk who enjoyed playing along with her jazz albums in the evenings after work. Grandma was actually pretty good but she could swear with the best of them when she missed a note. There is really nothing more entertaining to a child than a particularly blue string of little old lady swears on a Friday night! Sometimes when I listen to a particularly excellent pianist I stop and say a silent “$^&%$ thank you” to my Beautiful Grandma. =)


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