RIP "Cousin Mary"
Celebrated in song by John Coltrane as “Cousin Mary,” she helped preserve his legacy and keep the jazz scene vibrant in Philadelphia.
"Mary Lyerly Alexander, who worked to preserve the legacy of her cousin John Coltrane and in the process became a pillar of the Philadelphia jazz scene, died on Aug. 31 at a nursing home in Philadelphia. She was 92.
Lovett Hines, the artistic director of the Philadelphia Clef Club of Jazz & Performing Arts and a friend of Ms. Alexander’s, confirmed the death.
Whether they realized it or not, music fans across the globe knew Ms. Alexander’s name thanks to “Cousin Mary,” a composition that Coltrane wrote in her honor and included on “Giant Steps,” his pathbreaking 1960 album. A first cousin, she had shared a home with him for much of his life until then."