Saxophonist Willie Williams come charging out of the gate like Sonny Rollins' trio featuring bassist Wilbur Ware and drummer Elvin Jones on A Night at the Village Vanguard (Blue Note, 1957) The title track of Williams' Comet Ride is aptly named, with bassist Gary Wang and drummer Rudy Walker taking no prisoners alongside Williams' tenor, with lightning speed, dexterity and chops to spare. The liner notes reveal that the tune was named for the roller coaster ride in Hershey Park, Pennsylvania where a much younger Willie Williams experienced his first Comet" ride.
It has been a long wait ...read more
To this program of eight original compositions, saxophonist Willie Williams adds a medley of two tunes each by Eddie Harris and Jimmy Heath as well as a closing romp on the ever-faithful Caravan." His combination of fresh originals and familiar standards gives this trio album its vitality, demonstrating a love for past generations of the jazz canon as well as for future legions. Known in New York for his work with drummer Arthur Taylor and as a member of TS Monk's ensemble, Williams loves the musical colloquy, a conversation between two persons who share common ground. Bassist Gary Wang enjoys ...read more
The opening and title track of Willie Williams' Comet Ride really does blaze out of the speakers like visitor from the outer reaches of the solar system. Williams' searing tenor wails; trailing a fiery tail of sax, splashing cymbals and loping bass lines. And though the trio configuration--sax/bass/drums, without a chording instrument--suggests a free outing, the sound here maintains an accessible melodic structure, even when it's cranked-up into an approaching-the-sun velocity.Tenor Ballet" slows things down to a dirge level. The tune begins with Williams blowing long, eerie notes in front of Gary Wang's bowed bass for a beautifully ...read more
It took saxophonist Willie Williams fourteen years to record a follow-up to his fourth release as a leader, WW3 (Enja, 1993). It is a shame, since the Philadelphia-born, New York-based 49 year-old Williams, a regular of T.S. Monk's band and veteran of drummer Arthur Taylor quintet and Mingus Dynasty, is a great performer and composer, with a great knowledge of the hard and post-bop vocabularies. Fortunately Williams found vibraphonist Mark Sherman's newly founded Miles High Records, a label eager to document this trio--Williams on tenor and soprano saxophones, bassist Gary Wang and drummer Rudy Walker--hot and ready just after completing ...read more