Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

3

Jeff Williams: The Listener

C. Michael Bailey By

Sign in to view read count
It may be a poor-man's explanation, but here it goes: bebop begat hard bop begat the freer post-bop. Free jazz emerged among them. What next? Jeff Williams' The Listener. The greater freedom of post bop compared to its predecessor is given more freedom, but not so much that the music descends into the ravenous particles of John Coltrane In Japan (Impulse!, 1973).

So, where does that leave us?

Williams often programs solos against the bass alone or the bass and drums. The effect is like Ornette Coleman, circa early '60s, when Tomorrow Is The Question! (Atlantic, 1959) and The Shape of Jazz to Come (Atlantic, 1959) were brand new and smoking. But Williams does not merely imitate, he shines the style to a high gleam to an almost blinding incandescence.

The Listener is not a simple throwback to Coleman in the way that the Black Crowes is to the Faces and Rolling Stones; rather, it is the acknowledgement and development of an idea after the white-heat of its creation has cooled. This music is a reconsideration employing a similar Coleman piano-less quartet, investigating the music fifty years later.

Recorded May 7, 2012 at London's Vortex Jazz Club, The Listener surveys seven originals (strangely, none composed by alto saxophonist John O'Gallagher) and a single, transformed standard, captured before an appreciative audience. The songs are live performance length, allowing plenty of solo space, even for bassist John Hébert, who gives a yeoman's effort in support. His playing is both exciting and splendid.

O'Gallagher and trumpeter Duane Eubanks give their level Ornette Coleman/Don Cherry best, often over Williams' cacophony of skins and cymbals. Given the exceptional sonics and the creative camaraderie, The Listener turns into an intellectually muscular listen with predictably positive results.

Track Listing: Beer And Water; Borderline; She Can't Be A Spy; Fez; Lament; Scrunge/Search Me; Slew Footed; Dedicated To You.

Personnel: Jeff Williams: drums; Duane Eubanks: trumpet; John O'Gallagher: alto saxophone; John Hebert: bass.

Title: The Listener | Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: Whirlwind Recordings Ltd

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop Music & Tickets

Click any of the store links below and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

CD/LP/Track Review
Wide Open Jazz and Beyond
Read more articles
Lifelike

Lifelike

Whirlwind Recordings
2018

buy
Outlier

Outlier

Whirlwind Recordings
2017

buy
Outlier

Outlier

Whirlwind Recordings
2016

buy
The Listener

The Listener

Whirlwind Recordings
2013

buy
Another Time

Another Time

Whirlwind Recordings
2011

buy

Related Articles

Read I Always Knew CD/LP/Track Review
I Always Knew
by Paul Rauch
Published: December 12, 2018
Read It's Alright To Dream featuring JD Allen CD/LP/Track Review
It's Alright To Dream featuring JD Allen
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 12, 2018
Read SHIFTED CD/LP/Track Review
SHIFTED
by James Fleming
Published: December 12, 2018
Read Volume One CD/LP/Track Review
Volume One
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: December 12, 2018
Read Songs in the Key of Wonder CD/LP/Track Review
Songs in the Key of Wonder
by Geannine Reid
Published: December 12, 2018
Read Vilddjur CD/LP/Track Review
Vilddjur
by Ian Patterson
Published: December 11, 2018
Read "Lebroba" CD/LP/Track Review Lebroba
by Mark Sullivan
Published: November 22, 2018
Read "Bay of Rainbows" CD/LP/Track Review Bay of Rainbows
by John Kelman
Published: December 1, 2018
Read "Opus" CD/LP/Track Review Opus
by Doug Collette
Published: March 29, 2018
Read "New Hymn To Freedom" CD/LP/Track Review New Hymn To Freedom
by Gareth Thompson
Published: August 23, 2018
Read "The Law of Vibration" CD/LP/Track Review The Law of Vibration
by Karl Ackermann
Published: December 2, 2018
Read "Changed Beings" CD/LP/Track Review Changed Beings
by Chris May
Published: November 16, 2018