How Mary Lou Williams Shaped The Sound Of The Big-Band Era

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Mary Lou Williams began arranging in 1929. By 1942, she was among the most renowned arrangers in the business.

In jazz, arranging — designing parts to fit together and creating new spins on familiar songs — is often unglamorous. But Williams’ incomparable success as an arranger only further proves her genius.

(Image credit: Bettmann/Bettmann Archive)