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Morning Glory: A Biography of Mary Lou Williams Hardcover – Feb 2000

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"A serious and engaging historical portrait of one of jazz's greatest underappreciated figures."--"New York Times Book Review --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Linda Dahl writes frequently about jazz. Her groundbreaking book Stormy Weather: The Music and Lives of a Century of Jazzwomen was published in 1984. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 7 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
The Empress of Jazz Piano 9 Nov. 2006
By Bomojaz - Published on
Format: Paperback
It's too easy (and condescending) to say that Mary Lou Williams was one of the greatest female jazz artists; she actually was one of the greatest, period. Her compositions and arrangements for the Andy Kirk band while she was a member throughout the 1930s brought much praise and admiration at the time (and still do today). (She also arranged for Benny Goodman, Tommy Dorsey, and other top-rated swing band leaders.) She was a sensational pianist, too, one of the finest boogie-woogie and stride players in jazz; she was also a great innovator and was among the first to master and play bebop in the 1940s. She greatly influenced many modern pianists, and personally changed the styles of Bud Powell and Thelonious Monk. Mary Lou was a deeply religious person and wrote much religious music and kept very close relations with the Catholic Church (Ms. Dahl covers this aspect of Mary Lou's life very thoroughly.) Williams was a demanding player and seemed to have her greatest difficulties dealing with incompatible bass players (she once fired the great bassist Richard Williams during a New York club engagement). Linda Dahl has written a detailed and comprehensive biography of Mary Lou, covering all her musical and extra-musical activities. Included is a nicely organized selective discography. Anyone familiar with Mary Lou's playing or arranging and would like to learn more about her will benefit greatly by reading this excellent biography.
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Highly recommended reading for American Jazz fans. 3 May 2000
By Midwest Book Review - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Mary Lou Williams' jazz experiences are detailed in a biography which covers both her life and career and her role as an Afro-American female musician. Dahl was given unlimited access to the Williams archive and her first full-length biography of Williams makes for an important coverage.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
A Must Read 31 Jan. 2013
By Bruce Hart - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Linda Dahl's biography of Mary Lou is a precious document for anyone interested in the history of jazz as well as just how difficult it was for a black woman to succeed in a world of men. Dahl had done an excellent job of researching her life and it was a sad one. Her playing has always appealed to me and one of my favourite cds is 'MY Mama Pinned A Rose On Me. This is a very important book for those men who believe that women cannot play jazz. Mary Lou was something else. And then some.

One of the great piano players 26 Jan. 2015
By Bruce Heckman - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book really gives the flavor of Mary Lou Williams life. Research appears to be solid. One of the great piano players, composers, arrangers, educators in jazz. Forget about gender. The book makes you want to explore her music. A worthwhile pursuit.
Fascinating 8 July 2010
By Maria Benito - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Dahl's impressive biography presents a thorough and fascinating portrait of the little known jazz legend Mary Lou Williams. A must-read for all jazz lovers, especially those interested in women's unsung contributions to jazz.
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