Mary Lou Williams—pianist, arranger, composer, and probably the most influential woman in the history of jazz—receives the attention she has long deserved in this definitive biography.
Praise for Morning Glory
Dahl, a frequent contributor to jazz publications and the author of Stormy Weather: The Music and Lives of a Century of Jazz Women, presents here an overdue and definitive portrait of one of the 20th century’s most important and overlooked jazz figures, the troubled pianist, composer, and arranger Mary Lou Williams. Relating Williams’s story without sentimentality or sensationalism, Dahl portrays her as a woman who transcended economic and gender obstacles to create an enduring legacy in the notoriously male-dominated world of jazz. Although the book does not require familiarity with music theory, it manages to interweave the details of Williams’s life with the development of her music and her contributions to a variety of styles. Dahl details Williams’s influence on and collaboration with some of the premier names in jazz–Duke Ellington, Thelonius Monk, and Bud Powell–and her late-life religious conversion that resulted in a number of ambitious sacred music projects. This highly readable title is essential for jazz studies collections, suitable for women’s history collections, and recommended for all collections.
A stunning character is search of a soul mate. Williams has found her soul mate in Linda Dahl and the engrossing result is Morning Glory. A serious and engaging historical portrait of one of jazz’s greatest underappreciated figures.