94

Jeff Williams: Another Time

Dan Bilawsky By

Sign in to view read count
The catch-all term "playing time" is often used as a descriptor for drummers that find a steady, supportive pattern and play it ad infinitum, whether to the benefit or detriment of a band, but that definition has always been limiting. Drummer Jeff Williams, for example, has and plays impeccable time, but he paints around the lines and shifts patterns to accent and highlight what's happening in the music at any given moment. He's the rare drummer who understands and conceptualizes time as something beyond the standard "spang-a-lang" status quo, and this ideal comes to the fore with Another Time.

While Williams has been an important voice on the jazz scene for four decades, he's always managed to stay slightly under the radar because his credits have often marked him as a supporting player rather than a leader. Williams secured his place in jazz history as a founding member of the far-reaching band Lookout Farm in the early '70s, and racked up an impressive list of sideman credits in the decades that followed. He has constantly been called upon to provide backing for left-leaning artists-in-the-know, like fellow Lookout Farm members Dave Liebman and Richie Beirach, pianist Richard Sussman, the legendary Lee Konitz, and saxophonist Bill McHenry, but Williams has only stepped out on his own on relatively few occasions over the past two decades.

For this, the first record released under his name in the new millennium, Williams brought together a piano-less quartet that occasionally leans on the sound of early Ornette Coleman ("Search Me"), but isn't handcuffed to any single influence. Williams penned five of the eight pieces on the album, with each of his band mates contributing one song each to round out the program, and he brings different artistic elements into the mix on each number. "Fez" marries Coleman's ideals with Middle Eastern sounds—a la John Zorn's Masada—and the title track begins without drums, with some buzzing arco work from bassist John Hébert underscoring the horn lines of trumpeter Duane Eubanks and alto saxophonist John O'Gallagher. Elsewhere, Williams shifts the sands of time from slow and dirge-like to spirited and snappy ("Purple, Blue And Red"), shines a spotlight on Hébert sans band ("She Can't Be A Spy"), and gives plenty of solo space to the fine horn players he employs.

While Another Time is another clear indicator of Williams' drumming talents, it also serves as a fine display of his skills as a composer. One can only hope that he doesn't wait so long to release his next disc.

Track Listing: Search Me; She Can't Be A Spy; Double Life; Purple, Blue And Red; Fez; Under The Radar; Go Where You're Watching; Another Time.

Personnel: Jeff Williams: drums; Duane Eubanks: trumpet; John O'Gallagher: alto saxophone; John Hébert: bass.

Title: Another Time | Year Released: 2011 | Record Label: Whirlwind Recordings Ltd


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Estonian Suite: Live In Tallinn CD/LP/Track Review Estonian Suite: Live In Tallinn
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: November 18, 2017
Read The Princess CD/LP/Track Review The Princess
by Mark Corroto
Published: November 18, 2017
Read Queen City Blues CD/LP/Track Review Queen City Blues
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: November 18, 2017
Read Latin Lover CD/LP/Track Review Latin Lover
by Rob Rosenblum
Published: November 18, 2017
Read Reclamation CD/LP/Track Review Reclamation
by Glenn Astarita
Published: November 18, 2017
Read Provenance CD/LP/Track Review Provenance
by Karl Ackermann
Published: November 17, 2017
Read "Aspiration" CD/LP/Track Review Aspiration
by Karl Ackermann
Published: September 5, 2017
Read "The Authorized Bang Collection" CD/LP/Track Review The Authorized Bang Collection
by Doug Collette
Published: April 29, 2017
Read "The Voice of Robert Desnos" CD/LP/Track Review The Voice of Robert Desnos
by Geannine Reid
Published: April 22, 2017
Read "Brownout Presents Brown Sabbath II" CD/LP/Track Review Brownout Presents Brown Sabbath II
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: March 16, 2017
Read "Piano Song" CD/LP/Track Review Piano Song
by Karl Ackermann
Published: January 9, 2017
Read "A Home In Between" CD/LP/Track Review A Home In Between
by Troy Dostert
Published: July 17, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.

Please support out sponsor