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

More Articles

Read Harmony of Difference CD/LP/Track Review Harmony of Difference
by Phil Barnes
Published: October 18, 2017
Read No Answer CD/LP/Track Review No Answer
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 18, 2017
Read Agrima CD/LP/Track Review Agrima
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: October 18, 2017
Read Bright Yellow with Bass CD/LP/Track Review Bright Yellow with Bass
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 18, 2017
Read Kurrent CD/LP/Track Review Kurrent
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: October 17, 2017
Read Duets CD/LP/Track Review Duets
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: October 17, 2017
Read "Volume 1" CD/LP/Track Review Volume 1
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: November 19, 2016
Read "Out Of The Blue" CD/LP/Track Review Out Of The Blue
by Tyran Grillo
Published: November 4, 2016
Read "Reflections in Cosmo" CD/LP/Track Review Reflections in Cosmo
by Glenn Astarita
Published: March 16, 2017
Read "The Late Trane" CD/LP/Track Review The Late Trane
by Roger Farbey
Published: June 27, 2017
Read "Good Merlin" CD/LP/Track Review Good Merlin
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: August 19, 2017
Read "Stage 'N Studio" CD/LP/Track Review Stage 'N Studio
by Jack Bowers
Published: October 15, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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