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Mary's Idea
     

Mary's Idea

by Andy Kirk
 
Maybe pianist, composer, and arranger Mary Lou Williams will get her critical due in the next millennium. Williams's presence is strongly felt in each decade from the 1930s to the 1980s; still the precociousness of her early work is particularly astounding. Barely out of her teens, Williams became a linchpin for the Kansas City-based big band Andy Kirk and His Twelve

Overview

Maybe pianist, composer, and arranger Mary Lou Williams will get her critical due in the next millennium. Williams's presence is strongly felt in each decade from the 1930s to the 1980s; still the precociousness of her early work is particularly astounding. Barely out of her teens, Williams became a linchpin for the Kansas City-based big band Andy Kirk and His Twelve Clouds of Joy. Kirk's band was graced with a swinging rhythm section and a brilliant tenor saxophonist, Dick Wilson, who died not long after these recordings were made. Still, it's Williams's stunningly constructed compositions and imaginative arrangements -- "Walkin' and Swingin'," "Froggy Bottom," "Mary's Idea," "The Lady That Swings the Band" -- that make this ensemble special. Williams also got around the piano with dexterity, wit, and invention. Musicians from Thelonious Monk and Miles Davis to Cecil Taylor and Gerri Allen recognized Williams's genius; MARY'S IDEA is a great point of entry to learn why.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Scott Yanow
This well-conceived CD has 20 of the most rewarding recordings by Andy Kirk's Orchestra. Ending a five-year period when they were off record, the big band (which had recently relocated to New York from Kansas City) showed that it could outswing most of its competitiors, due largely to Mary Lou Williams arrangements and piano playing, the underrated tenor Dick Wilson, and a strong group sound. Pha Terrell's high-pitched vocals helped the band to catch on commercially, but fortunately, he is almost absent from this collection (singing only "What's Your Story, Morning Glory"), which, with the exception of seven selections from 1939-41 (including two small-group numbers led by Mary Lou Williams), concentrates on 1936-37. Among the many highlights are "Walkin' and Swingin'," "Froggy Bottom," "The Lady Who Swings the Band," "Mess-A-Stomp," "Mary's Idea" and "Ring Dem Bells." Highly recommended to listeners who, in skipping the Classics series, want a strong sampling of Andy Kirk's music rather than every single title.

Product Details

Release Date:
03/30/1993
Label:
Grp Records
UPC:
0011105062220
catalogNumber:
622

Related Subjects

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Andy Kirk   Primary Artist,Track Performer
Mary Lou Williams   Piano,Track Performer
Freddy Robinson   Trombone
Harold Baker   Trumpet
Ted Brinson   Guitar
Don Byas   Tenor Saxophone
Booker Collins   Bass
Ted Donnelly   Trombone
John Harrington   Clarinet,Alto Saxophone,Baritone Saxophone
Edward Inge   Clarinet,Tenor Saxophone
Harry Lawson   Trumpet
Trice Lawson   Trumpet
Earl Miller   Alto Saxophone
Harry Mills   Drums
Rudy Powell   Clarinet,Alto Saxophone
Floyd Smith   Guitar
Pha Terrell   Vocals
Ben Thigpen   Drums,Vocals
Earl Thompson   Trumpet
Clarence Trice   Trumpet
Henry Wells   Trombone
Claude "Fiddler" Williams   Violin
Dick Wilson   Tenor Saxophone
Fred Robinson   Trumpet
John Williams   Alto Saxophone,Baritone Saxophone
Paul King   Trumpet

Technical Credits

Andy Kirk   Contributor
Mary Lou Williams   Arranger,Composer,Contributor
Euday L. Bowman   Composer
Dave Grusin   Executive Producer
Clyde Hart   Arranger
Orrin Keepnews   Reissue Producer
Jack Lawrence   Composer
Sonny Mediana   Director,Production Director
Larry Rosen   Executive Producer
Earl Thompson   Arranger
Paul Francis Webster   Composer
Dick Wilson   Composer
Andy Kirk & His Clouds of Joy   Contributor
Dan Serrano   Graphic Design
Andy Baltimore   Director
Erick Labson   Engineer
Vincent Pelote   Liner Notes
Bud Katzel   Director
Jackie Salway   Graphic Design
Alba Acevedo   Graphic Design
Scott Johnson   Graphic Design

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