At Rick's Café Americain

by: Mary Lou Williams

With relatively few recordings of Mary Lou Williams from the latter years of her life, the discovery of a previously unreleased live date is a joy. There are many highlights: her peppy take on "The Jeep Is Jumpin'," her very first recording of "Without a Song," and her bluesy classic "What's Your Story Morning Glory." A furious "Caravan" is followed by a lengthy exploration of Billy Taylor's "A Grand Night for Swinging," as indeed it was for the trio heard that night in 1979 in Chicago. Bassist Milton Suggs shows off his chops on the opener "Autumn Leaves," while drummer Drashear Khalid proves to be an impeccable timekeeper. Highly recommended. ~ Ken Dryden

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