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Cecilia Smith’s ‘The Mary Lou Williams Resurgence Project’ featured on New Day, New Play June 19-23

Cecilia Smith
c/o the artist
Cecilia Smith

Pianist and composer Mary Lou Williams was a road warrior, working in territory bands of the 1930's, most notably Andy Kirk's 12 Clouds of Joy. She was a major contributor to the bebop era, mentoring Thelonious Monk, Bud Powell and other significant players. She remained an imaginative and creative force until her passing in 1981.

For vibraphonist Cecilia Smith the connection to Mary Lou is ongoing. On The Mary Lou Williams Resurgence Project, Smith reimagines a number of Williams' compositions, with Lafayette Harris, Jr. and Carlton Holmes on piano and organ, bassist Kenny Davis, drummer Ron Savage, vocalist Carla Cook, and even our own Sheila Anderson on a moving spoken word piece.

From Monday, June 19 through Friday, June 23, one cut from The Mary Lou Williams Resurgence Project, Vol. 1 album will be featured each morning on the New Day, New Play spotlight on my Daybreak show.

Preview “It's a Grand Night for Swinging” from The Mary Lou Williams Resurgence Project, Vol. 1, above.

In jazz radio, great announcers are distinguished by their ability to convey the spontaneity and passion of the music. Gary Walker is such an announcer, and his enthusiasm for this music greets WBGO listeners every morning. This winner of the 1996 Gavin Magazine Jazz Radio Personality of the Year award has hosted the morning show each weekday from 5:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. And, by his own admission, he's truly having a great time.