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by Victor L. Schermer
Too many are the documentaries produced and directed in a formulaic way using archival clips, photos, and hastily staged interviews that are intended to make a series of facts evident and bring out a few key points. At their best, they give a reasonably realistic illustrated depiction of people, places, and things. That is why a screening of the film Buster Williams: From Bass to Infinity proved to be jaw-dropping in the way it revealed the music and musicians without ...read more
by Victor L. Schermer
Buster Williams: Bass to Infinity Director: Adam Kahan Distributor or Film Company USA: 90 minutes Premier Date: Nov. 12, 2019 This is an exceptional jazz film that most likely would have made its way into art theaters around the world were it not that four months after its premier in jny: New York City, the pandemic struck, and most theaters closed down. However, it is readily available on the web, for example at Amazon ...read more
by Mike Jurkovic
On Audacity, his first disc as the man-in-charge since 2004's restorative Griot Liberte, venerable bassist and jazz gentlemen Buster Williams delivers a stellar set of six potent, highly charged originals mixed generously with originals from long-time band members saxophonist Steve Wilson, drummer Lenny White and pianist George Colligan. Generous is the key word here. Humble yet eminently assured of his ability, agility and legacy, Williams spans the decades from '69 with Herbie Hancock's jazz/rock Mwandishi sextet through contemporary ...read more
by George Colligan
[ Editor's Note: The following interview is reprinted from George Colligan's blog, Jazztruth]I first heard bassist Buster Williams on a Herbie Hancock recording called VSOP Live (Columbia, 1976). I remember thinking that their version of Hancock's Toys" was pretty wild stuff. In addition to hearing him on some other recordings like Hancock's Sextant (Columbia, 1973)," the group Sphere's Four in One(Elektra/Musician, 1982), or Sarah Vaughan's Sassy Swings The Tivoli (Mercury, 1963), my friend David Ephross and I used ...read more
by Brandt Reiter
All great jazz essentially tells the same story: This is what it's like to be alive, right here, right now. First-call bass vet Buster Williams' latest disc, Griot Libertè, while no exception, tells an additional one: he loves his wife. Using her recovery from a serious illness as a jumping off point, Williams leads a crack quartet with vibraphonist Stefon Harris, pianist George Colligan, and drummer Lenny White through a post bop program of six excellent self-penned originals and two ...read more
by John Kelman
The instrumental lineup may mimic the Modern Jazz Quartet and, to be sure, Buster Williams' choice of vibes as the other front-line instrument was so that he could similarly express a certain softness in [the] music." But that's where the comparison ends. Griot Libertè may also swing on the light side like MJQ, but the musical choices are far more weighty.
Opening with the modal workout Nomads," Williams is quick to establish his dark and meaty tone, placed high in ...read more
by Douglas Payne
One of the great losses to jazz is that Herbie Hancock's 1970-73 Mwandishi band could not have been as profitable as it was protean, progressive and ever too-briefly productive. Launched from the spaces that fostered Bitches Brew, Hancock introduced elements of both the avant-garde and soul jazz to create a groove that was as unusual and provocative in sound as it was striking in its musical excellence.Hancock's young sextet was utterly prepared to traverse and unite such opposing ...read more