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What We Need Are Hearts On Fire

Read "What We Need Are Hearts On Fire" reviewed by Mary Foster Conklin

Sample sweet holiday music from Beegie Adair, plus new releases by pianists Harold Mabern and Sue Palmer, with birthday shout outs to Diane Schuur, Frank Sinatra, Joe Williams (celebrating his centennial this year), Jazz Master Bob Dorough, Cassandra Wilson and lyricist Morgan Ames, among others. Playlist Gordon Goodwin Big Phat Band “The Little Drummer Boy" from Wrap This! A Big Phat Christmas (Music of Content) 00:00 Kurt Elling “We Three Kings from" The Beautiful Day (Sony Masterworks) 06:44 ...

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Joe Williams: Music for Lovers

Read "Music for Lovers" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki

Joe Williams' Music for Lovers comes closer to the cocktail sophistication of Nat King Cole or Billy Eckstine than to any blues jump or shout to which Williams gave joyous voice as vocalist with the Count Basie Band.

Perhaps the best part of this material, drawn from Williams' 1959-63 ballad albums for Roulette Records, is hearing his profound, inexhaustible voice keeping quiet company with fellow Basie alumni Harry “Sweets Edison (trumpet), Ben Webster (tenor saxophone), and rhythmist Freddie ...

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Joe Williams featuring Ben Webster: Havin' a Good Time

Read "Havin' a Good Time" reviewed by AAJ Staff

By Ted Kane

Over the years, I've come to be a bit skeptical of the “discovered" or “lost classic" type of record release. You know, the kind where the historical significance is trumpeted and the sound quality is at a subbootleg level. Most of the time, that stuff languished in a vault for a reason all those years. Still, when I heard about Havin' a Good Time, the only known pairing of the great jazz/blues singer and Basie ...

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Joe Williams: A Man Ain

Read "A Man Ain" reviewed by Jim Santella

Sorely missed since his passing last year, Joe Williams set a mark for high standards that few are willing to follow. Only a handful of male jazz singers hang on to that valuable tradition today. Known for his definitive performance of the blues, Williams captured the hearts and minds of a broad audience. As a big band singer, he brought perfection to the stage. Throughout his 60-year career, he explored many different aspects of the jazz and blues world. This ...

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Joe Williams: A Man Ain't Supposed To Cry

Read "A Man Ain't Supposed To Cry" reviewed by AAJ Staff

When Joe Williams passed away in March of 1999 while walking home in Las Vegas, he of course was acknowledged as one of the greatest vocalists in jazz. Legions of jazz musicians enjoyed performing with him and admired the way he crafted a song, not to mention the way he knew how to add character to a big band with the sound of his voice. Nancy Wilson's respect overflowed when she interviewed him on Nancy Wilson's Jazz Profiles. A concert ...

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Joe Williams: Nothin' But The Blues

Read "Nothin' But The Blues" reviewed by Ed Kopp

I was bummed after hearing of Joe Williams' death in early April. A sophisticated big band singer best known for his work with Count Basie, Williams was also an admirer of the great blues shouter Joe Turner. Williams tackles some Turner-style material on this 1983 CD featuring Jack McDuff (organ), Red Holloway (tenor sax), Eddie Cleanhead Vinson (sax and vocals), Phil Upchurch (guitar) and Ray Brown (bass). These veteran soul-jazzers swing out in soulful fashion and inspire some of the ...

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Joe Williams: At Newport '63 / Jump for Joy

Read "At Newport '63 / Jump for Joy" reviewed by Joel Roberts

This valuable reissue from Collectables brings together two complete Williams albums from 1963, originally recorded for RCA, on one 73-minute CD.

Newport '63 captures the longtime Basie vocalist leading a red hot festival jam session that includes Clark Terry and Howard McGhee on trumpets, and a pair of pretty fair tenor players, Zoot Sims and Coleman Hawkins. The informal, loosely swingin' set, recorded in front of a loud and appreciative audience, features such well-known Williams blues and gospel-tinged fare as ...