A great one-day research seminar at the University of Surrey’s International Guitar Research Centre in October. Was happy to be asked to present a paper on the playing style of Mary Osborne, perhaps the only female to gain commercial success as a jazz guitarist in the late swing and be-bop era.
Osborne was a highly-skilled and versatile player, playing in big bands and small combos, and working extensively on radio and television in the 1940s and 1950s.
Her playing on ‘Spotlite’ (1946) Coleman Hawkins’ 52nd Street All- Stars exemplifies well her fantastic lead playing. Listen for her main solo @0:38;
Her lead and comping skills are in full effect on the Mary Osborne Trio recording of ‘Blues in Mary’s Flat’ (1947), composed by Osborne herself;
Finally, a fantastic video of Osborne performing with Billie Holliday on the Art Ford Jazz Party programme in 1958;