The Giving Tree of Jazz

Click left of 00:00 to play “Giving Tree of Jazz” sample

This series is called The Giving Tree of Jazz, and has its genesis in the History of Jazz Tree graphic by Mary Lou Williams and the artist David Stone Martin and The Giving Tree, a book by Shel Silversteen. Because both sources are enigmatic, they’ll allow for lots of interpretations and stretching out in listening and commentary.

We’ll play off the concept of jazz growing from many directions in this program, and discuss why musicians may be included or excluded from the Mary Lou Williams history.

The graphics below – and their modifications – accompany the program “The Giving Tree of Jazz” currently being broadcast at Marfa Public Radio and West Texas Public Radio by David Leonnig, a volunteer producer at the stations.


The History of Jazz Tree, by Mary Lou Williams and David Stone Martin (1979)

The Musicians on the Mary Lou Williams / David Stone Martin Jazz Tree


  • Julius Watkins • Kenny Clarke • Percy Heath • Roy Haynes
  • Buster Williams • Thelonious Monk • Fats Waller • Erroll Garner
  • JJ Johnson • Art Blakey • Horace Silver • Billy Taylor(piano)
  • Paul Chambers • Sonny Rollins • Sonny Green(sp?) • Sam Jones
  • Max Roach • Jimmy Jones(piano) • Milt Hinton • Louis Armstrong
  • Tyree Glenn • Coleman Hawkins • Bud Powell • Milt Jackson
  • Cootie Williams • Harold “Shorty” Baker • Earl Hines • Jo Jones
  • George Coleman • Sammy Price • Milt Buckner • Miles Davis
  • Milt Jackson • Dizzy Gillespie • James Moody • Larry Gales
  • Charlie Christian • Lester Young • Ben Webster • Jack Teagarden
  • Art Tatum • Fats Waller • Bennie Moten • Eddie Heywood • Sid Catlett
  • Zoot Sims • Don Byas • Charles Mingus • Clark Terry
  • Duke Ellington • Sonny Greer • Oran “Hot Lips” Page • Benny Carter
  • Roy Eldridge • Charlie Parker • John Lewis • Chick Webb
  • Eddie Barefield • Tricky Sam (Nanton) • John Coltrane • Jimmy Blanton
  • Don Redman • Freddy Guy • Tiny Grimes • Herchel Evans
  • Count Basie • Luckeyeth Roberts • Sidney Bechet • Joe Nanton
  • Johnny Hodges • Harry Carney • Oscar Peterson • Billy Taylor (bass)
  • Barney Bigard • Kenny Dorham • Oscar Pettiford • J P Johnson
  • Albert Ammons • Ram Ramirez • Sweets Edison • Ray Bryant
  • Buddy Tate • Joe Oliver • Chu Berry • Willie the Lion
  • Leadbelly • Lovie Austin • Meade Lux Lewis • Lonnie Johnson
  • John Williams • Bubber Miley • Gene Ammons • Lawrence Brown
  • Rex Stewart • Pete Johnson • Kid Ory • Jelly Roll Morton • Rose Murphy


Click below or here to see this later jazz tree.

To order the 2002 poster (most current info)

Producer’s note: The commentary and related annotations regarding these graphics and the choice of music played by these musicians are totally his. Of course, his comments do not reflect the views of the stations or their management.