Bill Allred & Roy Williams
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Two trombones and rhythm is a tried and true formula first brought to prominence through the lilting sounds of J. J. Johnson and Kai Winding in the 1950s. Bill Allred and Roy Williams fall squarely in that tradition, with this full-length recording that focuses on popular tunes like "It's Only a Paper Moon" and "Too Close for Comfort." The two trombonists produce visceral excitement with their tight harmonies, upbeat tempos, and overall good fun. This is music that makes you want to stand up and dance. When Allred and Williams get hot — as they do with great regularity — they burn with enthusiasm. The trombonists don't take themselves too seriously; they focus on having a rollicking good time. Regardless of how sophisticated your tastes, if you ever wondered what attracted you to jazz in the first place, it very well might have been the kind of unadulterated joy manifested by this glorious quintet. Allred and Williams are pre-modern stylists: big toned, even raucous, but with great technique. They front a first-rate rhythm section, including powerful drummer Butch Miles, bassist (and otherwise sometime trombonist) Isla Eckinger, and pianist Johnny Varro. When they're hot — as they are so often (just here 'em blow on "Blues #1") — they are unstoppable. Simple, but never simplistic; tasteful, but never dull; professional, but not showy; and hot, but not corny — what an act! Highly recommended for all those who love the sounds of the trombone, and those who just like a swinging good time.
Born: November 19, 1936
Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s