Mary Lou Williams Trio: Free Spirits

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Straightahead / Hard Bop / Piano Trios
premiera polska:
kontynent: Ameryka Północna
kraj: USA
opakowanie: Jewelcaseowe etui
In the vibrant landscape of jazz history, certain albums resonate as masterpieces, encapsulating the brilliance of their creators and the spirit of their era. Mary Lou Williams’ “Free Spirits” stands as a luminous gem within this pantheon. Released in 1976, this album is a testament to Williams’ boundless talent as a pianist and composer. Recorded with the exceptional ensemble of Buster Williams on bass and Mickey Roker on drums, “Free Spirits” is a journey through the realms of musicality, weaving together iconic jazz standards and Williams’ own evocative compositions.

A Musical Odyssey:
“Free Spirits” embarks on an enchanting journey, taking the listener through a tapestry of emotions, rhythms, and melodies. The trio, comprising Williams on piano, Buster Williams on bass, and Mickey Roker on drums, demonstrates an uncanny synergy that breathes life into each note. The result is an album that transcends time, resonating with both seasoned jazz enthusiasts and those new to the genre.

“Dat Dere” (Bobby Timmons) – 4:48
Williams’ rendition of Bobby Timmons’ classic is a spirited opening, infusing the piece with her signature style, marked by intricate phrasings and a playful rhythmic approach. The interplay between Williams’ piano and Buster Williams’ bass creates a lively dialogue, evoking a sense of joy and spontaneity.

“Baby Man, #2” (John Stubblefield) – 7:56
John Stubblefield’s composition takes on a new life in the hands of the trio. Williams’ piano work is a revelation, dancing around the melody with graceful precision.

“Baby Man” (John Stubblefield) – 8:31
The contemplative atmosphere of this piece allows each musician to explore the nuances of their instruments, resulting in a soul-stirring performance.

“All Blues” (Miles Davis) – 6:59
Williams pays homage to the legendary Miles Davis with a rendition of “All Blues.” The trio’s interpretation captures the essence of the original while imbuing it with a fresh, soulful vigor. Mickey Roker’s deft drumming provides a rhythmic foundation that propels the piece forward, while Buster Williams’ bass lines anchor the melody, creating a rich tapestry of sound.

“Temptation” (Nacio Herb Brown, Arthur Freed) – 5:08
This track is a testament to Williams’ versatility, as she navigates through the sultry contours of the melody with a sensuous touch. Her masterful use of dynamics and phrasing infuses “Temptation” with an alluring quality, evoking a sense of intimacy and longing.

“Pale Blue” (Buster Williams) – 4:27
Written by bassist Buster Williams, “Pale Blue” is a captivating exploration of mood and color. Williams’ delicate touch on the piano evokes a sense of serenity, while Buster Williams’ bass lines provide a gentle undercurrent of warmth. The interplay between the two musicians creates a nuanced and introspective atmosphere.

“Free Spirits #2” (John Stubblefield) – 5:04
John Stubblefield’s composition “Free Spirits” carries a sense of liberation and spontaneity. The trio’s performance exudes a sense of adventurous exploration, with Williams’ piano leading the way. Mickey Roker’s dynamic drumming adds a layer of excitement, propelling the piece into exhilarating heights.

“Free Spirits” (John Stubblefield) – 5:25
The eponymous track “Free Spirits” further showcases the trio’s ability to convey a sense of boundless creativity and improvisation. Stubblefield’s composition serves as a canvas for each musician to paint their musical expressions. Williams’ piano work, marked by its fluidity and precision, guides the piece through a journey of musical discovery.

“Blues for Timme” (Mary Lou Williams) – 5:37
Williams’ own composition is a testament to her ability to craft evocative, deeply personal music. “Blues for Timme” is a heartfelt homage to Timme Rosenkrantz, a prominent figure in the jazz world. The piece exudes a sense of melancholy, with Williams’ piano work serving as a poignant reflection on friendship and musical legacy.

“Ode to Saint Cecile” (Mary Lou Williams) – 5:55
“Ode to Saint Cecile” pays tribute to the patron saint of music, Saint Cecilia. Williams’ composition captures a sense of reverence and spiritual contemplation. The piece unfolds with a graceful elegance, with each note resonating as a tribute to the transcendent power of music.

“Surrey with the Fringe on Top” (Richard Rodgers, Oscar Hammerstein II) – 2:58
The trio’s interpretation of this classic from Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Oklahoma!” is a delightful departure, infusing the familiar melody with a fresh, jazz-inflected twist. Williams’ playful approach to the piano adds a touch of whimsy, inviting the listener to experience the song in a new light.
“Gloria” (Mary Lou Williams) – 5:31
“Gloria” is a tour de force, showcasing Williams’ ability to craft intricate compositions that resonate with emotional depth and complexity. The piece weaves together layers of musical motifs, creating a rich tapestry of sound. Buster Williams’ bass provides a steady anchor, while Mickey Roker’s drums add a dynamic intensity to the performance.
Reception and Legacy:

“Free Spirits” by Mary Lou Williams is a monument to her enduring legacy as a jazz music pioneer. The album’s ability to mix recognized classics with Williams’ original compositions demonstrates her unrivaled talent. Williams invites us into a universe of limitless creative expression with each note, making an everlasting stamp on the annals of jazz history. “Free Spirits” is more than just an album; it’s a musical odyssey, an invitation to travel through Mary Lou Williams’ ageless brilliance.

Mary Lou Williams – piano
Buster Williams – bass
Mickey Roker – drums

1. Dat Dere (Bobby Timmons) 4:48
2. Baby Man, #2 (John Stubblefield) 7:56 Bonus track on CD reissue
3. Baby Man (Stubblefield) 8:31
4. All Blues (Miles Davis) 6:59
5. Temptation (Nacio Herb Brown, Arthur Freed) 5:08
6. Pale Blue (Buster Williams) 4:27
7. Free Spirits #2 (Stubblefield) 5:04 Bonus track on CD reissue
8. Free Spirits (Stubblefield) 5:25
9. Blues for Timme (Mary Lou Williams) 5:37
10. Ode to Saint Cecile (Mary Lou Williams) 5:55 Bonus track on CD reissue
11. Surrey with the Fringe on Top (Richard Rodgers, Oscar Hammerstein II) 2:58 Bonus track on CD reissue
12. Gloria (Mary Lou Williams) 5:31

wydano: 2008
nagrano: Recorded July 8, 1975, at C.I. Recording, NY



Mary Lou Williams Trio
Free Spirits
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