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James Williams

Born:

James Williams was an American jazz pianist. Williams began playing piano at age 13, and served as the organist at the Eastern Star Baptist Church in Memphis for six years early in his career. He attended Memphis State University, where he began playing jazz. In 1973 he became a faculty member at the Berklee College of Music, also playing with Alan Dawson's group alongside visiting musicians such as Milt Jackson, Art Farmer, and Sonny Stitt. His first album as a leader arrived in 1977, and in 1978 he joined Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers, remaining there for four years. He moved to New York City in the early 1980s, playing with Dizzy Gillespie, Freddie Hubbard, and Kenny Burrell, and formed his own group, the Intensive Care Unit, with Christian McBride, Bill Pierce, and Tony Reedus

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Article: Live Review

George Colligan Quartet At Magy's Farm

Read "George Colligan Quartet At Magy's Farm" reviewed by Ian Patterson


George Colligan Quartet Magy's Farm Dromara, N. Ireland May 8, 2024 Ordinarily the words George Colligan and Dromara would not belong in the same sentence. Colligan is one of the world's great modern jazz pianists. Dromara is a small village and sparsely populated townland in the County Down hills that ...

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Article: Interview

Meet Bobby Watson

Read "Meet Bobby Watson" reviewed by Craig Jolley


This article was first published at All About Jazz in October 1999. Background and early career... I started playing clarinet and piano in my grandfather's church. I played saxophone in junior high school: originally tenor and switched to alto when I got to high school. From there I got hip to jazz and tried ...

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Article: Interview

Ahmad Jamal: In his Own Sense of Time and Place

Read "Ahmad Jamal: In his Own Sense of Time and Place" reviewed by Josef Woodard


This interview first appeared in the Santa Barbara News-Press on October 2005. The introduction has been updated. For the late, great and uniquely poetic pianist Ahmad Jamal, who passed on at age 92 on April 16, 2023, easy descriptors never sufficed in capturing his particular magic. He was a classicist, a modernist, a minimalist ...

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Article: Album Review

Bobby Broom: Keyed Up

Read "Keyed Up" reviewed by Jack Bowers


On his latest album, Keyed Up, the well-traveled and well-respected guitarist Bobby Broom pays tribute to pianists “who have been an important part of [his] musical life." As he writes, ..."many great pianists who didn't need to include my six-string version of what they could already do harmonically and melodically saw fit to include me. Perhaps, ...

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Article: Radio & Podcasts

The Infinite Variety of the Human Voice

Read "The Infinite Variety of the Human Voice" reviewed by Jerome Wilson


This show examines a wide variety of jazz singing styles, including frisky swinging by Annie Ross and Eddie Jefferson, vocal chorus work from New York Voices, wordless experimenting by Karin Krog and folk song interpretations by Maxine Sullivan and Sheila Jordan. Playlist Henry Threadgill Sextett “I Can't Wait Till I Get Home" from The ...

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Article: Interview

John Clayton: Career Reflections

Read "John Clayton: Career Reflections" reviewed by Schaen Fox


John Clayton is as interesting to talk to as he is an artist of great talent and experience. The former has allowed him to interact with numerous major figures of his time as well as have long tenures performing with aggregations as diverse as Count Basie's band and the Amsterdam Philharmonic Orchestra. The latter gives him ...

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Article: Catching Up With

Meet Mulgrew Miller

Read "Meet Mulgrew Miller" reviewed by AAJ Staff


From the 1995-2003 archive: This article first appeared at All About Jazz in June 2002. All About Jazz: You were born in Greenwood, Mississippi, and grew up listening to blues, gospel and R&B music. What attracted you to jazz? Mulgrew Miller: The thing that pulled me toward jazz was jazz itself. By ...

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Article: Take Five With...

Take Five with Will Lyle

Read "Take Five with Will Lyle" reviewed by AAJ Staff


Meet Will Lyle Born in Southern California, Will began studying cello when he was three and also played drums, guitar, piano and percussion, taking up the electric bass at the age of 12. “I had aspirations to become a producer and I originally went to Berklee for musical production, but during my freshman year I heard ...

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Article: Interview

Mark Ruffin: Bebop Fairy Tales

Read "Mark Ruffin: Bebop Fairy Tales" reviewed by Seton Hawkins


Celebrating 40 years as a jazz broadcaster, music producer, and writer this year, Mark Ruffin--perhaps best known as the program director for the Real Jazz channel on SiriusXM --stands as one of jazz's unsung heroes. Countless artists owe their career successes and prominence to his tireless efforts, boundless enthusiasm and advocacy, and encyclopedic knowledge of the ...


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