My Blue Heaven and Lush Life – 1978

Stan Getz and Mary Lou Williams

A rare encounter between two musical giants

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Tenor-saxophonist Stan Getz and pianist Mary Lou Williams are two musical greats who only recorded together in one occasion: two songs during the 1972 Newport In New York jam sessions.

Otherwise they never seemed to have crossed paths which makes this filmed performance from 1978 a major surprise.

Mary Lou Williams (1910-81) was a true rarity in that she was a stride pianist from the 1920s who continually modernized her playing throughout her long career but without losing the ability to play in her earlier styles whenever she wanted.

At the Grande Parade du Jazz in Nice, France, Getz and Williams are joined by bassist Ronnie Boykins and drummer J.C. Heard on the 1920s hit “My Blue Heaven” (this version sounds nothing like the 20’s) and a warmly expressive version of “Lush Life” that showcases Getz’s beautiful tone.

-Scott Yanow


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