1944

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Arwulf Arwulf
Recorded at a time when Mary Lou Williams was performing regularly at Café Society downtown and sitting in at Minton's uptown, these two dozen tracks represent the heart of her 1944 artistic output as documented by Moses Asch on the record label bearing his own name. The opening piano solos are exceptionally fine and the Chosen Five sides are exquisitely rendered using a front line of trumpeter Frankie Newton, trombonist Vic Dickenson, and clarinetist Edmond Hall. With Al Lucas and Jack Parker working alongside her, Mary Lou Williams presided over this little band in the creation of a beautiful ballad, two boogies, and "Satchel Mouth Baby," a novelty bounce with group ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Arwulf Arwulf
Recorded at a time when Mary Lou Williams was performing regularly at Café Society downtown and sitting in at Minton's uptown, these two dozen tracks represent the heart of her 1944 artistic output as documented by Moses Asch on the record label bearing his own name. The opening piano solos are exceptionally fine and the Chosen Five sides are exquisitely rendered using a front line of trumpeter Frankie Newton, trombonist Vic Dickenson, and clarinetist Edmond Hall. With Al Lucas and Jack Parker working alongside her, Mary Lou Williams presided over this little band in the creation of a beautiful ballad, two boogies, and "Satchel Mouth Baby," a novelty bounce with group vocal. One additional track from this session, involving only the rhythm section, was issued under the same heading as the Chosen Five. Three more piano solos -- a boogie, a slow drag, and a delicious treatment of "St. Louis Blues" -- were recorded in April of this fruitful year. A few weeks later, Williams accompanied vocalist Nora Lee King as she sang a domestic blues embellished with scat syllables. Four tracks recorded on June 5, 1944, were released by Mary Lou Williams & Her Orchestra. This was a slightly expanded, reconstituted septet now featuring tenor saxophonist Don Byas and trumpeter Dick Vance. The mood established by the Williams/Byas composition "Man o' Mine" exquisitely conveys the sense of a wartime society in transition so peculiar to the mid-'40s. This ethereal tide also flows into an oddly bifurcated version of "Stardust," its halves weirdly separated here by an upbeat swing stomp called "Gjon Mili Jam Session." The only rationale for reissuing the tracks in this order -- with "Pt. 2" placed first and "Gjon Mili" interrupting the mood before "Pt. 1" -- is that the effect is something like a film soundtrack laid over contrasting scenes, with maybe a reprise of the earlier theme bringing the "plot" full circle. In any case, the music is excellent. Williams waxed six sides with bassist Al Hall and trumpeter Bill Coleman in August of 1944, beginning with solid renditions of two of Irving Berlin's most enduring melodies, "Russian Lullaby" and "Blue Skies." Both "Persian Rug" and "Night and Day" are delightful and Coleman sings "You Know Baby," a plea in a minor key for "a kiss and a hug." This wonderful trio session wraps up most inventively with an experimental version of "I Found a New Baby." And the disc itself closes with two comparatively brassy V-Discs with a much different sound quality than those rusty old Asch sides! featuring trumpeter Charlie Shavers, trombonist Trummy Young, guitarist Remo Palmieri, bassist Hall, and shuffle/bop drummer Gordon "Specs" Powell. It is an exhilarating finish for this outstanding album of vintage jazz recordings by our lady of the fine piano and solid arrangements, Mary Lou Williams.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 11/19/1996
  • Label: Melodie Jazz Classic
  • EAN: 3307517081421
  • Catalog Number: 814
  • Sales rank: 137,378

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Blue Skies (2:20)
  2. 2 Caravan (2:30)
  3. 3 Yesterdays (2:14)
  4. 4 Lullaby of the Leaves - Mary Lou Williams & Her Chosen Five (3:42)
  5. 5 Little Joe from Chicago - Mary Lou Williams & Her Chosen Five (2:52)
  6. 6 Roll 'em - Mary Lou Williams & Her Chosen Five (2:47)
  7. 7 Satchel Mouth Baby - Mary Lou Williams & Her Chosen Five (2:51)
  8. 8 Yesterday's Kisses - Mary Lou Williams & Her Chosen Five (2:43)
  9. 9 Mary's Boogie (2:33)
  10. 10 Drag 'Em (3:45)
  11. 11 St. Louis Blues (3:11)
  12. 12 Until My Baby Comes Back Home - Nora Lee King (2:49)
  13. 13 Man O' Mine - Mary Lou Williams & Her Orchestra (4:07)
  14. 14 Stardust, Pt. 2 - Mary Lou Williams & Her Orchestra (2:49)
  15. 15 Gjon Mili Jam Session - Mary Lou Williams & Her Orchestra (3:13)
  16. 16 Stardust, Pt. 1 - Mary Lou Williams & Her Orchestra (3:23)
  17. 17 Russian Lullaby (2:49)
  18. 18 Blue Skies (2:39)
  19. 19 Persian Rug (2:37)
  20. 20 Night and Day (2:44)
  21. 21 You Know Baby (2:38)
  22. 22 I Found a New Baby (2:56)
  23. 23 Roll 'em (2:40)
  24. 24 Gjon Mili Jam Session (2:53)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Mary Lou Williams Primary Artist, Primary Artist, Piano
Bill Coleman Trumpet, Vocals
Charlie Shavers Trumpet
Edmond Hall Clarinet
Frankie Newton Trumpet
Trummy Young Trombone
Don Byas Tenor Saxophone
Vic Dickenson Trombone
Jack Parker Drums
Dick Vance Trumpet
Al Lucas Bass
Gordon "Specs" Powell Drums
Remo Palmieri Guitar
Nora Lee King Track Performer
Technical Credits
Mary Lou Williams Composer
Anatol Schenker Liner Notes
Joe Young Composer
Bernice Petkere Composer
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