Selected Mary Lou Williams
R E C O R D I N G S & R E A D I N G S

1970s/1960s 1950s/1940s 1930s/1920s   MLW's Music Readings

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Introduction

Collection at IJS

Early Roots

Kansas City & the Clouds of Joy

Modern Jazz & Cafe Society

William Gottlieb Photo Essay, 1947

Europe & Travels in the 50's

Chuck Stewart Photo Essay, 1957

Religious Conversion

Lioness in Winter

Selected Recordings & Readings
 


A design for dresses Mary Lou Williams hoped to sell in her thrift shop, in accordance with her idea of marketing original clothing that would sell for more.
 


Williams plays a matinee concert during the 1971 Monterey Jazz Festival. The afternoon was dedicated to the Kansas City tradition in which she had such a large role in helping shape. © Paul Slaughter
 
Three of Mary Lou Williams' Musicians' Union cards from the 1940s.
Williams with Ronnie Boykins on bass in performance on February 29, 1977 at the Katherine Cornell Theater,
State University of New York at Buffalo. Photo by Raymond Phillips


1 9 3 0 s

KANSAS CITY HOT JAZZ
(ABC 846 222-2, 1990). 18 tracks featuring Andy Kirk and His Twelve Clouds of Joy, George E. Lee and His Orchestra, Bennie Moten's Kansas City Orchestra and Walter Page's Blue Devils. 4 Kirk recordings from 1930.


THE ORIGINAL DECCA RECORDINGS: A PIANO ANTHOLOGY (FROM JELLY ROLL MORTON TO BILL EVANS, 1926-1977) (GRP Records, GRD-639, 1994)). Best reproduction of Williams' 1930 classic recording of "Nite Life."

MARY LOU WILLIAMS STORY, 1930-1941(Jazz Archives #16, 159002). 20 tracks featuring solo piano, trio, Twelve Clouds of Joy and Kansas City Seven.

FORTY YEARS OF WOMEN IN JAZZ (Jass Records, JASS CD9/10). Five tracks of solo and small groups from 1930, 1945 and 1946.

HARLEM RHYTHM: VOL. 3, 1936-1939 (Jazz Time 797 906-2, 1991). 25 tracks, all but five featuring the Clouds of Joy and Mary Lou Williams Trio recorded between February 1936 and September 1936.

MARY'S IDEA (GRP, GRD 622, 1993). Reissue of 20 Decca recordings of Andy Kirk and Twelve Clouds of Joy recordings from March 1936 and January 1941.

THE CHRONOLOGICAL ANDY KIRK AND HIS TWELVE CLOUDS OF JOY, 1936-1937 (Classics 573, 1991). 24 tracks.

HANDFUL OF KEYS (Living Era, CD AJA 5073, 1990). Williams featured on March 1936 and September 1938 recordings in compilation of pianists, including Earl Hines, Duke Ellington, Teddy Wilson, Meade Lux Lewis, Albert Ammons, Count Basie, Fats Waller, Joe Sullivan, Art Tatum, Billy Kyle and Jess Stacy.

ANDY KIRK AND HIS CLOUDS OF JOY (Black and Blue 59.240.2, 1991). 24 tracks recorded between March 1936 and July 1940.

THE ORIGINAL DECCA RECORDINGS: BLACK LEGENDS OF JAZZ (GRP, GRD 2-641). 1 track of February 1937 recording of Williams' "(Keep It) In the Groove."

THE CHRONOLOGICAL ANDY KIRK AND HIS TWELVE CLOUDS OF JOY, 1937-1938 (Classics 581). 23 tracks.

THE CHRONOLOGICAL ANDY KIRK AND HIS TWELVE CLOUDS OF JOY, 1938 (Classics 598). 22 tracks.

MASTERS OF JAZZ, VOL. 3: BIG BANDS OF THE '30s AND '40s (Rhino, R2 72470, 1996). 18 tracks set featuring recording from February 1938.


THE COMPLETE COLUMBIA RECORDINGS OF MILDRED BAILEY (3Mosaic Records MD 10-204) ©2000. Contains all six selections and one alternate take accompanied "Her Oxford Greys" which included Mary Lou Williams on March 16, 1939.

MILDRED BAILEY: THANKS FOR THE MEMORY (Giants of Jazz, CD 53282, 1996). 4 tracks of Williams accompanying Bailey recorded on March 16, 1939.

MILDRED BAILEY: THAT ROCKIN' CHAIR LADY (Topaz Jazz, TPZ 1007). 2 tracks from March 16, 1939 recording.

 

1 9 2 0 s

THE CHRONOLOGICAL ANDY KIRK AND HIS TWELVE CLOUDS OF JOY, 1939-1940. 22 tracks.

THE CHRONOLOGICAL MARY LOU WILLIAMS, 1927-1940 (Classics 630, 1992). 25 tracks featuring work with Jeanette's Synco Jazzers, John Williams' Synco Jazzers, Six Men and a Girl, MLW and Her Kansas City Seven, and piano solos.


Portrait of Mary Lou Williams in the late 1930s.
William P. Gottlieb, From the Collection of the Library of Congress


JAZZ-KANSAS CITY STYLE (Topaz Jazz, TPZ 1036). 24 tracks featuring Benny Moten's Kansas City Orchestra, George E. Lee and His Orchestra, Walter Page's Blue Devils, Andy Kirk and His Twelve Clouds of Joy, Bennie Moten;s Modern Kansas City Orchestra, Smith-Jones, Inc., Count Basie and His Orchestra, Harlan Leonard and His Rockets, Pete Johnson, Joe Turner and His Fly Cats, Oran "Hot Lips" Page and His band, Eddie Durham and His Band, Mary Lou Williams and Her Kansas City Seven, Jay McShann and His Rhythm Accompaniment. 2 Kirk/Willams recordings from 1929 and 1940.

THE CHRONOLOGICAL ANDY KIRK AND HIS TWELVE CLOUDS OF JOY, 1929-1931 (Classics 655, 1992).
25 tracks of earliest Kirk recordings featuring Mary Lou Williams.


ANDY KIRK: MOTEN SWING
(Pro-Arte, CDD 3408, 1992). 19 tracks featuring Twelve Clouds of Joy recorded between November 1929 and October 1938.

ANDY KIRK AND THE TWELVE CLOUDS OF JOY WITH MARY LOU WILLIAMS (Living Era, CD AJA 5108).
25 tracks recorded between November 1929 and January 1940.


MARY LOU WILLIAMS: KEY MOMENTS (Topaz Jazz, TPZ1016).
23 tracks recorded between November 1929 and November 1940.


AN INTRODUCTION TO ANDY KIRK: HIS BEST RECORDINGS, 1929-1946 (Best of Jazz 4053). 22 tracks recorded between November 1929 and January 1946.

THE HISTORY OF JAZZ: KANSAS CITY AND THE SOUTH WEST. (Disky, DCD 8004, 1994) Seven tracks featuring Williams playing solo, leading a septet and with Andy Kirk's Twelve Clouds of Joy in recordings dating from 1929, 1930, 1936 and 1940.


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Compiled by REV. PETER F. O'BRIEN, S.J.
Executive Director of Mary Lou Williams Foundation