The jazz musician-composer-arranger Mary Lou Williams spent her sixty-year career working in—and stretching beyond—a dizzying range of musical styles. Her integration of classical music into her works helped expand jazz's compositional language. Her generosity made her a valued friend and mentor to the likes of Thelonious Monk, Charlie Parker, and Dizzy Gillespie. Her late-in-life flowering of faith saw her embrace a spiritual jazz oriented toward advancing the civil rights struggle and helping wounded souls.
Tammy L. Kernodle details Williams's life in music against the backdrop of controversies over women's place in jazz and bitter arguments over the music's evolution. Williams repeatedly asserted her artistic and personal independence to carve out a place despite widespread bafflement that a woman exhibited such genius. Embracing Williams's contradictions and complexities, Kernodle also explores a personal life troubled by lukewarm professional acceptance, loneliness, relentless poverty, bad business deals, and difficult marriages.
In-depth and epic in scope, Soul on Soul restores a pioneering African American woman to her rightful place in jazz history.|
Cover Title Copyright Contents List of illustrations Acknowledgments Prefae to the New Edition Introduction 1. I Dream a World 2. Take Me to Froggy Bottom: The Early Musical Years 3. From East Liberty (Pittsburgh) to Beale Street (Memphis) to Eighteenth and Vine (Kansas City) 4. Until the Real Thing Comes Along: The Andy Kirk Years (1931– 42) 5. How Do You Keep the Music Playing? 6. Love on a Two-Way Street: Barney Josephson and Moe Asch 7. Under the Signs of the Zodiac 8. The Calm before the Storm 9. The Crossroads 10. The Long Journey Back Home 11. What a Difference a Day Makes 12. A Season of Change 13. The Fruits of One's Labor Notes Bibliography Selected Discography Index Back cover|Tammy L. Kernodle is a professor of musicology at Miami University of Ohio. She served as associate editor of the three volume Encyclopedia of African American Music and as a senior editor for the revision of New Grove Dictionary of American Music.