May 4-7 THE MARY LOU WILLIAMS COLLECTIVE
Mary Lou Williams Birthday Celebration
GERI ALLEN (PIANO); KENNY DAVIS (BASS); ANDREW CYRILLE (DRUMS)
Celebrating the release of their new CD Zodiac Suite: Revisited (Mary Records)
This lovely piece of music which is jazz as expansive language" - Ben Ratliff
About the CD...
The Mary Lou Williams Collective, under the musical direction of pianist/arranger/composer Geri Allen, reexamines and revitalizes Mary Lou Williams' Zodiac Suite - the first lady of instrumental jazz's landmark 1945 recording of her collection of twelve solo, duo and trio piano pieces named for the astrological signs of the fellow jazz greats to whom they are dedicated - on Zodiac Suite: Revisited. Allen, joined by virtuoso bassist Buster Williams (Mary Lou Williams' frequent colleague) and drummer Billy Hart (the very creative third member of the younger pianist's working trio from 2003), in the words of producer Father Peter O'Brien, SJ, explores and explodes the music ... preserving the composition, but putting herself entirely into it." In addition to the selections from the suite, the trio also recreates Williams' exciting collaboration with bassist Milton Suggs, Intermission." On the date's other two selections, Herbie Nichols' The BeBop Waltz" (a favorite of Mary Lou's) and Thank You Madam" (Allen's dedication to Williams), the great Andrew Cyrille, who had performed often with Williams and appeared on Allen's debut recording, makes a guest appearance on drums.
What the critics are saying...
Zodiac Suite: Revisited is the perfect homage at a time where women in jazz are no longer novelties and their art is assessed on the basis of its merits, not their gender." - John Kelman All About Jazz
Allen is a Williams scholar but also an instinctive, daring improviser. She credibly represents Williams' rich suite but also spills it free and reinvents it. This project to rejuvenate an historic jazz composition is important." -Thomas Conrad JazzTimes April 2006
Highly recommended, Zodiac Suite: Revisited combines traditional elements from jazz history with the kind of progressive energy that has always followed great artists." - Jim Santella, All About Jazz Zodiac Suite: Revisited is a great CD that showcases Geri Allen's outstanding solo playing and the genius compositions of the late Mary Lou Williams." -Andrew Johnston JazzReview.com
Allen is true to the spirit of William's works, keeping their character intact while incorporating a modern perspective." - Ken Dryden Coda Magazine
Listen to a great live review of the Zodiac Suite Revisited by NPRs Kevin Whitehead.
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