The boastful title is no exaggeration; this is a welcome return for the classic Chicago blues sideman, who, primarily because of the misfortune of his music being exploited by other musicians, took a self-imposed retirement for nearly 30 years. It's especially rewarding since Williams – whose work you hear on early Howlin' Wolf, Otis Spann, Bo Diddley, Billy Boy Arnold (who guests here) sides – hadn't played a lick during that time, keeping his guitar stashed under his bed. He sounds like he never put the instrument away on this album, the first cohesive disc under his own name ever. Aided by comparative youngsters Tinsley Ellis, Ronnie Baker Brooks, and Rusty Zinn, along with a 21-year-old Sean Costello, Williams holds the spotlight like the pro his is. Though well into his sixties when this was recorded in 2001, he sounds remarkably vibrant, completely confident, and totally in his element.
anned in London, busted in Milwaukee, the legendary Wendy O. Williams and the Plasmatics caused a seismic cultural shock still felt today. They pioneered the mohawk, the fusing of punk and metal and did shows including the blowing up of cars yet to be matched. Labeled 'the greatest punk band in the world' by Tom Snyder on his 1981 TV show, by 1982 their next album was hailed by the LA Times as the best heavy metal since AC/DC…
Proving that 2002's appropriately titled Return of a Legend was no one-off fluke, semi-legendary Chicago guitarist Jody Williams cements his comeback with this invigorating follow-up. Producer Dick Shurman, who worked on the previous disc, frames Williams' expressive voice and clean, jazzy guitar in a subtle, frills-free environment that brings out his best. The album's 13 originals (and one Sam Cooke cover) showcase Williams' talents as a fluid, understated, yet soulful guitarist; witty songwriter; and, more importantly, a singer of surprising passion. Esteemed horn arranger Willie Henderson also returns from the last album to add his arrangements to four tracks, highlighted by the simmering, staccato touches on a remake of Williams' "Hideout," originally recorded in 1962. Part Freddie King's "Hideaway," part Earl King's "Come On," it's an accurate, updated example of Williams' six-string prowess. Although the majority of the tracks are straightforward Chicago shuffles and slow blues, the guitarist infuses his upbeat personality to the proceedings, which makes the album so consistently refreshing.
Venerable jazz bassist and session musician of choice, Buster Williams steers this thoroughly swinging quartet through a set of vibrant standards and original compositions along with an ace front line consisting of pianist Mulgrew Miller and vibist Steve Nelson. Recorded live in 1999 at the Montreux Jazz Festival, the bassist once again exhibits his seasoned musical persona via fluent lines, limber soloing, and a comprehensive sense of swing. Meanwhile, Nelson and Miller share most of the soloing opportunities as they consistently demonstrate a keen harmonic relationship atop drummer Carl Allen's masterstrokes and the leader's sinewy walking bass patterns.
Set the time machine for early morning on KSIB, Creston, Iowa. February, 1950. Hot on the heels of the collectable 10' vinyl Record Store Day EP Omnivore Recordings is proud to present The Garden Spot Programs, 1950, featuring 24 performances, unheard for 64 years, from the one and only Hank Williams! Rescued from obscurity, these shows originally aired over 6 decades ago, and The Garden Spot Programs, 1950 collects material from the four of them now known to exist. From hits to standards to songs rarely (if ever) performed, this is pure Hank Williams, including playful, between song banter. Fully restored to incredible quality, The Garden Spot Programs, 1950 is more like being in the studio when they were recorded than actually listening to them on the radio!
Over the 90-year history of sound film, there have been a handful of instances where a director and a composer have formed a longtime partnership that resulted in a series of classical scores, creating music that stands the test of time. None, however, have been as long or as fruitful as the 43-year collaboration of Steven Spielberg and John Williams. None have encompassed such a wide range of subject matter or, more significantly, have had such an enormous impact on worldwide popular culture. From the ominous shark signature of Jaws to the five-note alien greeting of Close Encounters of the Third Kind; from the heroic march of Raiders of the Lost Ark to the moving themes for Schindler’s List – the music Williams has written for more than two dozen Spielberg projects has not only served them brilliantly but entered the wider public consciousness.
CAROL WILLIAMS, from Montclair, New Jersey, was the first female singer to sign a solo recording contract with the legendary disco label Salsoul Records. With Williams vocal audition trumping all other hopefuls, allied with her extensive experience in the industry due to being an integral member of soul groups The Geminis and The Del-Rios, she was the obvious choice for the label who were looking for their equivalent of Gloria Gaynor who was riding high at the time with the success of her disco smash “Never Can Say Goodbye.” Williams soon got to work with legendary producer and multi-instrumentalist Vincent Montana, Jr. and his incredible Salsoul Orchestra, contributing not only several track selections but also co-writing three of the cuts on her debut offering.
Music both old and new, but all of it inspired by the timeless modal harmony of medieval and Mediterranean cultures: this is the subject of John Williams's brilliant guitar disc for Sony, which also features his debut as a composer. The main work is his own "Aeolian Suite" for guitar and chamber orchestra, based on both original and 14th-century tunes (one of which, the "Saltarello," appeared on early-music pioneer David Munrow's disc called Instruments of the Middle Ages). The suite is a lovely piece of writing, deftly composed, and neither tacky nor pretentious. It's paired with an inspired assortment of spiritually related but diverse arrangements and original pieces by Satie, Theodorakis, Domeniconi, and an emotionally intense four-movement work called "Stélé," by Australian composer Phillip Houghton. Naturally, Williams performs each piece expertly, but most important, he makes his instrument sing, and that's just what the music demands. Simply super.