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Now Cut Loose

John Williams'
Memphis Stompers


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Feat. Mary Lou Williams


This recording was produced in Kansas City, Missouri on November 11th 1929 featuring Gene Prince and Harry Lawson trumpets, Alan Durham trombone, John Harrington clarinet & alto sax, Lawrence Freeman tenor sax, John Williams alto & baritone sax, Mary Lou Williams piano & arranger, Claude Williams violin, William Dirvin banjo & guitar, Andy Kirk bass sax & director, and Ed McNeil drums.

-Although this record was billed as "John Williams' Memphis Stompers" the ensemble heard is actually
"Andy Kirk's Twelve Clouds of Joy" featuring John and Mary Lou Williams.

*"Now Cut Loose" was composed by John Williams.

In the Fall of 1929 John Williams accepted an invitation to join "Andy Kirk's Twelve Clouds of Joy" in Oklahoma City, leaving his wife Mary to assume temporary leadership of his Tennessee based "Memphis Stompers".

As a child piano prodigy and veteran of the Orpheum Circuit, Mary Williams had already established herself as remarkable jazz piano stylist by the time she married John Williams and moved to Memphis with him in 1927.

In January of that year Mary Williams perform with her husband's band at a prearrange record date for Paramount to provide accompaniment for vaudevillian singer Jeanette James billed as her "Synco Jazzers". In February the group returned to the studio to record two sides on their own, this time appearing as "John Williams Synco Jazzers".

When "Andy Kirk's Twelve Clouds of Joy" accepted a longstanding engagement in Kansas City, Missouri, a short time later, Mary Joined her husband there and began sitting in with the band. By 1931 she had assumed a permanent role as the band's pianist/arranger touring and making records in Kansas City, Chicago, and New York. At the advice of Brunswick Record's executive Jack Kapp she would even change her stage name from Mary Burleigh to the more memorable and endearing Mary Lou Williams.

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