298

Leroy Williams: Time Is

By

Sign in to view read count
At 67, the precocious Leroy Williams is prepared to unleash his talents as a leader on the music world. Williams, a wonderfully melodic drummer who has been playing around New York for decades, always seems to be an important part of someone else's group. Hopefully, this album will alert folks to his talents.

For his debut effort he has assembled a stirling group of people who know how to—as the old report card said—play well with others. Guitarist Roni Ben-Hur (who co-produced the album with Williams), pianist Richard Wyands, and bassist Walter Booker have the ability to listen to each other and interact seamlessly. And while Williams' drums are in the fore, he is his usually generous self, giving more than ample solo space to his sidemen. Ben-Hur's guitar has a strong effect on how themes are stated on the album, allowing Wyands far more freedom than he otherwise would have. It also opens up the range of the music, allowing for higher accents. The overall effect is to lighten the feel of the music, unexpected on a drummer's album. If there is someone who has been taken for granted even more than Williams, it's Wyands, who in recent years has been exhibiting some of his best playing efforts. Booker helps move the music along while never being obvious about it.

Williams playing, as always, is supple and subtle. He never overpowers when using sticks, his brushwork is flawless, and he has a keen appreciation of the drum kit's dynamics. "My Rosita," a laid-back Latin-tinged Williams original, flows effortlessly. It's a catchy tune similar to "Star Eyes" and is subtly addictive: listen to it once, and you'll have a difficult time getting it out of your head. "Just for You," the second Williams original on the album, is a lovely slow ballad that also has the heard-it-somewhere-before quality of a well-crafted tune. Even when playing the John Coltrane barn-burner "Impressions," the musicians don't get carried away with themselves. Williams drives the tune along but never lets the temptation for bombast win out. A tasteful first effort by a deserving youngster for whom I foresee a long and successful career.

Track Listing: 1. Back Home Blues 2. Nutty 3. My Rosita 4. Impressions 5. Just for You 6. Our Delight 7. Back When 8. Milestone

Personnel: Leroy Williams: drums; Richard Wyands: piano; Walter Booker: bass; Ronnie Ben-Hur: guitar.

Title: Time Is | Year Released: 2004 | Record Label: Jazz Child


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Whispers on the Wind CD/LP/Track Review Whispers on the Wind
by Jack Bowers
Published: October 23, 2017
Read Shropshire Lads: Songs to the Poems of AE Housman CD/LP/Track Review Shropshire Lads: Songs to the Poems of AE Housman
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: October 23, 2017
Read Heptagon CD/LP/Track Review Heptagon
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 23, 2017
Read ON Tour CD/LP/Track Review ON Tour
by John Kelman
Published: October 22, 2017
Read On a Distant Shore CD/LP/Track Review On a Distant Shore
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: October 22, 2017
Read Friends & Heroes: Guitar Duets CD/LP/Track Review Friends & Heroes: Guitar Duets
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 22, 2017
Read "Retrorespective" CD/LP/Track Review Retrorespective
by Phillip Woolever
Published: June 15, 2017
Read "Honest Woman" CD/LP/Track Review Honest Woman
by James Nadal
Published: February 20, 2017
Read "Invisible Hand" CD/LP/Track Review Invisible Hand
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 9, 2017
Read "Groovin’ Hard - Live at the Penthouse 1964 - 1968" CD/LP/Track Review Groovin’ Hard - Live at the Penthouse 1964 - 1968
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: January 11, 2017
Read "Escualo" CD/LP/Track Review Escualo
by Duncan Heining
Published: November 24, 2016
Read "Antidote" CD/LP/Track Review Antidote
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 29, 2017

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY IT!  

Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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