Mary Lou Williams: The Lady Who Swings the Band
An Unsung Hero of Jazz History

Mary Lou Williams: The Lady Who Swings the Band - An Unsung Hero of Jazz History
Show More

2 videos in this playlist

Mary Lou Williams: The Lady Who Swings the Band - An Unsung Hero of Jazz History
She was ahead of her time, a genius. During an era when Jazz was the nation's popular music, Mary Lou Williams was one of its greatest innovators. As both a…
Chief - Written and Arranged by Mary Lou Williams
A Rediscovered orchestral composition of Mary Lou Williams Composed CA. 1968

Comments (6)

Anonymous picture

Amazing! So grateful to have access to her music.

Anonymous picture

Great Lady!

Anonymous picture

Does anyone know where the filmmaker sourced all of the quotes from Ms Williams?

Anonymous picture

Great documentary. I agree that she was one of the jazz innovators.

Anonymous picture

This was astoundingly good. I didn't know anything about Mary Lou Williams and I was able to learn not only about her life but about American music through the 20th century.

Dylan avatar

I'm embarrassed to admit I didn't know much about Mary Lou Williams. After watching this, I believe she is a true genius, a woman who transcended her time and culture. It's difficult to overstate the influence she had on musicians such as Dizzy Gillespie and others, but perhaps even more ...Read more

Related videos

Vince Giordano: There's a Future in the Past - Portrait of a Jazz Artist
What does it take to keep Jazz Age music going strong in the 21st century? Two words: Vince Giordano -- a bandleader, musician, historian, scholar, collector, and NYC institution. For nearly 40 years, Vince Giordano and The Nighthawks have brought the joyful syncopation of the 1920s and '30s to life…
Jazz: A Film by Ken Burns - The History of Jazz Music in America
A celebration of America's greatest original art form. Ken Burns' 10-part documentary series opens at the dawn of the 20th century, incorporating American culture and historical events that interact directly with the music. From the 1890s through the ferment of the Harlem Renaissance and the Jazz Age, to the Great…
Monk - A Portrait of the Legendary Jazz Musician
A portrait about the great Jazz composer and pianist, Thelonious Monk.
Erroll Garner: No One Can Hear You Read
In a triumphant career that lasted forty years Erroll Garner pushed the playability of the piano to its limits, developed an international reputation, and made an indelible mark on the jazz world. And yet, his story has never been told. Until now. Atticus Brady's new film uses an astonishing array…
Sound of Redemption - Jazz Musician Frank Morgan
By 15 years old, Frank Morgan was an accomplished saxophonist, playing with the likes of Charlie Parker and Billie Holiday. As his notoriety grew, so did a steady heroin addiction, landing him in and out of jail for over 30 years. With so much incarcerated musical talent, San Quentin in…
Night Bird Song - The Incandescent Life of Musician Thomas Chapin
Destined to be among the great jazz virtuosos, musician/composer Thomas Chapin was at the height of his career when in 1998 leukemia took him at the age of 40. A sax and flute master who left an indelible mark on jazz, his music is inspiring a new generation of artists…
Black February - Legendary Jazz Composer Lawrence D. “Butch” Morris
Vipal Monga's first feature-length documentary chronicles an unprecedented series of concerts performed in February 2005 by the legendary jazz composer Lawrence D. Butch Morris. The concerts were in celebration of the 20th anniversary of Conduction, Butch's revolutionary technique for live music-making. Butch put on 44 performances in 28 days with…
Fly in a Bottle - An American Avant-Jazz-Funk Band
Taking a look into the minds and lives of the band, Medeski Martin & Wood, the drummer and percussionist Billy Martin directed the first feature film in the band's history. Working through a year-long period of personal 16mm film and HD camcorder footage of MMW on the road and in…
Alvin Ailey - An Evening With The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
In this brilliant studio recording, the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, the country's boldest and most exciting dance company, brings its distinctive style home to you - dazzling, brash and dynamic, yet graceful and poetic. Divining was Judith Jamison's first major work as a choreographer for Alvin Ailey. The dance…
Brothers Hypnotic - The Sons of Jazz Legend Phil Cohran
For the eight young men in the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble, "brotherhood" is literal: they're all sons of anti-establishment jazz legend, Phil Cohran. Cohran and their mothers raised them together on Chicago's South Side on a strict diet of jazz, funk and Black Consciousness. Family band practice began at 6 AM.…
Too Late Blues
In his first Hollywood production, the formidable giant of American independent film John Cassavetes tells the story of a jazz musician who falls in love with a timid vocalist. After joining his group, she unintentionally turns his life upside down. With unforgettable performances by crooner Bobby Darin and Stella Stevens,…
Song of Africa
A fantasy tale about a young Zulu who leaves his village to go to the city, falls in love with the new music he hears there, and returns home to form a Zulu jazz band. The South African production and distribution company African Films followed up the success of Zonk!…