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10th Avenue

Patrick Williams

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Album Review

Pat Williams' electrified New York Band, comprised of many of Gotham's top studio pros, turns in some live-wire performances here in this solid, energetic album with nary a hint of routine. With the help of producer Phil Ramone, Williams manages to procure an airy, transparent yet full sound from his band despite the presence of five French horns and a tuba that one would normally associate with bottom-loaded, urbane darkness. The electronic keyboards on the session are arranged and recorded with unusual skill and taste, underpinning the acoustic instruments without bogging them down. A decade ahead of the new standards trend, Williams turns to contemporaneous popular hit songs — Paul Simon's "Still Crazy After All These Years," Billy Joel's "New York State of Mind," Paul McCartney's "Mull of Kintyre" — and does well by all of them, effectively translating them into a big band context. Also superb are Williams' imaginative treatments of Nat Adderley's "Jive Samba," Quincy Jones' "The Witching Hour" and his own title track. Michael and Randy Brecker are given flattering solo showcases, as are keyboardist Richard Tee and trombonist Bill Watrous. As a prime example of first-rate contemporary big band music that doesn't pander to the accountants, doesn't get too far out for the general public and doesn't sound like all the other ensembles, it's hard to beat this album — and it's too bad that there aren't more of them around. ~ Richard S. Ginell, Rovi


Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s

A major arranger who has been active in the film industry for over three decades, Patrick Williams occasionally leads projects of his own. He started out studying classical trumpet and played in the Norwalk Symphony Orchestra. At the same time, in high school, Williams led his own swing-oriented jazz band. He studied at Duke University (where he led the Duke Ambassadors) and Columbia University. Williams was active in the studios from an early age, piling up many credits while in New York during...
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10th Avenue, Patrick Williams
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