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 



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

Mary Lou Williams during her Cafe Society days, c. 1944-45. Photo by Duncan Schiedt.

"The city of Paris, and the sector called Monmartre in particular, has a reputation for pouring new youth and fresh vitality into anyone or anything fortunate enough to come within pouring. But Mary Lou Williams was never short of youth or vitality," wrote J.F. Lively in the liner notes for Williams' 1953 Paris recordings.
Mary Lou Williams in a lighter moment in Paris around 1954. It was during this period that Williams experienced a profound spiritual crisis that resulted in her eventual conversion to Roman Catholicism in the middle 1950s. Photograph by Roger Prigent.

Dahl, Linda. Morning Glory: A Biography of Mary Lou Williams. New York: Pantheon, 1999.

Dance, Stanley. "An Afternoon with Mary Lou Williams." (1964 interview) Jazz Journal International. October 1989:8-10.

Fledderus, France. The Function of Oral Tradition in Mary Lou's Mass by Mary Lou Williams. Master's thesis, University of North Texas, 1996.

Hall, James Cameron. 'There Is No Deed But Memory": African-American Antimodernism and the American Sixties. Ph.D. dissertation, University of Iowa, 1992. Ann Arbor: UMI, 1992. 9318438.

Kaplan, Erica. 'The Lady Who Swings the Band': A Performance and Analysis of Six Works by American Pianist/Composer Mary Lou Williams. Master's thesis, New York University, 1987.

Kernodle, Tammy L. 'Anything You Are Shows Up in Your Music': Mary Lou Williams and the Sanctification of Jazz. Ph.D. dissertation, Ohio State University, 1997. Ann Arbor: UMI, 1997. 9731653.

O'Brien, Peter. Mary Lou Williams: The Asch Recordings, 1944-47. (Folkways Records, FA-2966, 1977) Liner notes.

-- Nite Life. (Chiaroscuro Records, CR [D] 103) Liner notes, 1998.

Pickeral, Charles W. The Masses of Mary Lou Williams: The Evolution of a Liturgical Style. Ph.D. Dissertation, Texas Tech University, 1998. Ann Arbor: UMI, 1998. 9912788.

Placksin, Sally. American Women in Jazz, 1900 to the Present: Their Words, Lives and Music. New York: Wideview Books, 1982.









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

  Unterbrink, Mary. Jazz Women at the Keyboard. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 1983.

Williams, Mary Lou and D. Antoinette Handy. "Conversation with Mary Lou Williams, First Lady of the Jazz Keyboard." Black Perspective in Music. 8.2 (1980): 194-214.

Williams, Mary Lou. Jazz Oral History Project. Interview with John S. Wilson,June 1983. The Institute of Jazz Studies, Rutgers University, Newark, NJ.

Watercolor of Mary Lou Williams on board done in 1971 by Martha Salemme, wife of the painter and sculptor Antonio Salemme.

-- "Mary Lou Williams." from Reading Jazz: A Gathering of Autobiography, Reportage, and Criticism from 1919 to Now. Robert Gottlieb, ed. New York: Pantheon Books, 1996: 87-116. Edited version of ten autobiographical essays by Williams, published between April 3, 1954 and June 12, 1954 in Melody Maker.

Williams' business card, c 1940s.