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Alter Ego

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Album Review

Pianist James Williams learned a great deal from his stint with Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers and when he emerged from the group he was perfectly qualified to be a bandleader. His Sunnyside session features such up-and-coming players as guitarist Kevin Eubanks, the reeds of Billy Pierce and Bill Easley, bassist Ray Drummond, and drummer Tony Reedus on a set of original material. Five of the seven songs were composed by Williams, while the other two (including the memorable "Waltz for Monk") were contributed by Donald Brown. The frequently exciting music (high-quality modern hard bop) still sounds fresh.


Born: 08 March 1951 in Memphis, TN

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '00s

Pianist James Williams channeled the gospel and R&B influences of his youth to forge a soulful, deeply expressive approach to contemporary jazz. A gifted soloist and accompanist, he was also a respected producer and educator. Born in Memphis on March 8, 1951, Williams began piano lessons at age 13. A fan of Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder, and Ramsey Lewis, he spent six years as the organist with Memphis' Eastern Star Baptist Church before studying music education at Memphis State University. After befriending...
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Alter Ego, James Williams
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