An amazingly accomplished jazz pianist, Williams summarized the impact of the blues on her musical thinking and development with this important release. Originally recorded September, 1977.
Personnel: Mary Lou Williams (vocals, piano); Mary Lou Williams; Cynthia Tyson, Cynthia Tyson (vocals); Buster Williams (bass instrument).
Audio Remasterer: Joe Tarantino.
Liner Note Author: Mary Lou Williams.
Recording information: RCA Studios, New York, NY (12/27/1977).
Photographer: Phil Stern.
As progressive and ambitious as Mary Lou Williams's work could be, it was always rooted in the blues, so it comes as no surprise that 1977's MY MAMA PINNED A ROSE ON ME honors and exalts the influence of the blues form. Gospel-inspired vocalist Cynthia Tyson steps up to the mic on two tracks here (and these are among several standouts on the album). Williams's deft piano playing is center-stage throughout, as is the sinuous bass playing of Buster Williams. The lack of drums and conventional rhythmic structures help keep MY MAMA airy and light, even while Williams and company bring it all home in rootsy fashion.