All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

147

James Williams Magical Trio: Awesome!

Mark Corroto By

Sign in to view read count
The title of pianist James Williams 1992 recording with tenor saxophonists George Coleman, Joe Henderson and Billy Pierce is James Williams Meets The Saxophone Masters (DIW/Columbia). This millenium, the designation “master” certainly belongs to Williams. The Memphis born musician was raised on Gospel and R&B, but soon turned to the music of the hometown pianists Harold Mabern and Phineas Newborn for jazz inspiration. He did an extended stint as Art Blakey’s pianist (1977-81). After leaving the Messengers he began the Magic Trio, recording with Ray Brown and Art Blakey. Elvin Jones replace Blakey for number two, the he tried two young(er) cats in Charnett Moffett and Tain Watts, for three. He has also created two ambitious projects: The Contemporary Piano Ensemble, which recorded four pianists, Harold Mabern, Mulgrew Miller, Geoff Keezer, and Williams in tribute to Phineas Newborn and his I.C.U., a jazz Gospel band that blends the sacred with the secular for some moving music.

This reunion of The Magic Trio finds Williams reunited with bassist Ray Brown and drummer Elvin Jones. Recorded ten years after the trio’s initial session, the ten tracks elicit a wow factor reserved usually for the likes of Tommy Flanagan and Hank Jones. James Williams, like the aforementioned peers, speaks the language of the modern mainstream piano. Working with the hall-of-fame Brown and Jones, Williams chose classic composers, Cole Porter, George Gershwin, Sonny Rollins, and Thad Jones, as the common ground for the band’s interplay. As there is no competition between musicians, the session acts as a loving reunion of three master musicians.

Track List:It’s Alright With Me; Quietude; Time After Time; Lonely Moments; Somebody Loves Me; Give Me The Simple Life; Sophisticated Lady; Go Tell It To The Mountain; Sweet And Lovely; Sonnymoon For Two.


Personnel: James Williams

Title: Awesome! | Year Released: 2000 | Record Label: DIW

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read Walk The Walk CD/LP/Track Review
Walk The Walk
by Mark Sullivan
Published: May 21, 2018
Read Vol II CD/LP/Track Review
Vol II
by Geno Thackara
Published: May 21, 2018
Read Months, Weeks and Days CD/LP/Track Review
Months, Weeks and Days
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 21, 2018
Read Space Is The Place CD/LP/Track Review
Space Is The Place
by James Fleming
Published: May 21, 2018
Read Poetry in Motion CD/LP/Track Review
Poetry in Motion
by Liz Goodwin
Published: May 21, 2018
Read Murals CD/LP/Track Review
Murals
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: May 20, 2018
Read "New Beginnings" CD/LP/Track Review New Beginnings
by Jack Bowers
Published: May 9, 2018
Read "Way Out West" CD/LP/Track Review Way Out West
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: February 16, 2018
Read "Northern Migrations" CD/LP/Track Review Northern Migrations
by Ian Patterson
Published: April 22, 2018
Read "The Colours Suite" CD/LP/Track Review The Colours Suite
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 29, 2017
Read "In Transit" CD/LP/Track Review In Transit
by Kris Perdew
Published: November 2, 2017
Read "Quiet Life" CD/LP/Track Review Quiet Life
by Glenn Astarita
Published: November 5, 2017