Video - Mary Lou Williams - Fabulous Solo Blues Piano - 1980

Here is a wonderful video of Mary Lou Williams playing a great solo blues piece in 1980 at the age of 70. Her playing exhibits strongly developed blues melodies coupled with a beautiful stride left hand.

Piano legend Mary Lou Williams (May 8, 1910 – May 28, 1981) was an American Jazz piano player, composer, and arranger. She composed hundreds of pieces and arrangements and recorded more than 100 records. She composed music and did arrangements for the bands of Duke Ellington and Benny Goodman. Among her acquaintances were Thelonious Monk, Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, and numerous other artists.

Williams was born in Atlanta Georgia. She never took piano lessons, but taught herself how to play. By the age of six, she was already helping to support her family by playing piano at parties. Remarkably, by seven, she has already begun her professional career. By her teens, she was already well known as a performer. At the age of 15, she began playing concerts with Duke Ellington. She impressed everyone around her with her mastery of the keyboard. Famous for her stride piano, Mary Lou Williams’s superb agility on the keyboard brought her great recognition with her peers and fans alike. Her career spanned over 70 years. She recorded with many famous artists, and performed at countless concerts and jazz festivals. Other famous stride piano artists are James P. Johnson, Fats Waller, Art Tatum and Willie “The Lion” Smith.

Some Mary Lou Williams Recordings
The Circle Recordings
Solo Recital (Montreux Jazz Festival 1978 – Live)
My Mama Pinned a Rose on Me
Free Spirits

more about Mary Lou Williams