Mary Lou Williams: Spirits of ’76

obody embodied the jazz tradition quite like Mary Lou Williams. She was born in 1910 and helped define stride piano, big-band, and boogie-woogie when those genres were at their peak. When modernism came in, she befriended Thelonious Monk and Herbie Nichols. As early as the 1950s, she programmed concerts and recordings that sought to celebrate different historical styles from ragtime to bebop; in the ’60s she was quick to accept funk beats as

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