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Album Review

This is journeyman alto saxophonist C.I. Williams' first album as a leader in 25 years. Essentially a swing player with deep roots in the blues, Williams has a rich, languorous tone reminiscent of Johnny Hodges. This is most evident on a handful of straight-out blues, including two originals and the Ellington/Hodges classic "Jeep's Blues." Williams receives excellent support here from veterans like Keter Betts, Jimmy Cobb, Ed Cherry, and Larry Willis. Although the song selection skews toward the too-familiar — "Misty," "Round Midnight," "Lover Man," "You'd Be So Nice to Come Home To" — this superb-sounding album is a fitting showcase for Williams' alto talents.


Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '90s

Based in New York but originally from the Midwest, C.I. Williams is a gifted yet underexposed alto saxophonist who is comfortable in both swing and bop settings. Williams' very attractive tone owes a lot to Johnny Hodges; however, he has also been greatly influenced by Benny Carter and the seminal Charlie "Bird" Parker. Williams grew up in the St. Louis area, where he played in various local bands in the '40s and '50s; the veteran saxman moved to New York in the late '50s and has been based there...
Full Bio
When Alto Was King, C.I. Williams
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  • $9.99
  • Genres: Jazz, Music
  • Released: Aug 19, 1997

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