How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
I was bummed after hearing of Joe Williams' death in early April. A sophisticated big band singer best known for his work with Count Basie, Williams was also an admirer of the great blues shouter Joe Turner. Williams tackles some Turner-style material on this 1983 CD featuring Jack McDuff (organ), Red Holloway (tenor sax), Eddie Cleanhead Vinson (sax and vocals), Phil Upchurch (guitar) and Ray Brown (bass). These veteran soul-jazzers swing out in soulful fashion and inspire some of the most spirted singing of Williams' long career. The singer's fun-loving personality and considerable charm shine through on every track, and his deep baritone voice sounds surpisingly low-down. Mostly blues classics on this one, including "Please Send Me Someone to Love," "Goin' To Chicago Blues," "Rocks In My Bed," "Sent For You Yesterday," and two tunes that Williams himself made famous, "Alright, Okay, You Win" and "Comeback." If you like blues-oriented jazz, this one belongs in your collection.