Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Buster WILLIAMS - Something More 1989

Buster WILLIAMS - Something More 1989
Recorded at, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey on March 8-9, 1989


. . . What more could you want? This late eighties classic session on the German label In & Out (who also brought us the great and largely unheard band Roots) features Herbie Hancock (piano and keyboards), Wayne Shorter (soprano and tenor sax), Al Foster (drums), and the brilliant (and largely unknown) Japanese trumpeter Shunzo Ohno. With leader Buster Williams, who has played with Miles Davis, Dexter Gordon, Sonny Rollins, Art Blakey, Freddie Hubbard, Chet Baker, Woody Shaw, and McCoy Tyner, this is a killer band. Somehow, this disc has flown almost completely under the radar. And that's a shame, given the level of playing consistently on display.
The first thing one notices is that Ohno easily hangs with such top drawer jazz talent. He constantly solos with invention and conviction, his tone is dark, thick, and mysterious, and his conception definitely comes out of Woody Shaw. Shorter also is in fine form. Dividing his time about equally between soprano and tenor (and, personally, I'm thrilled to hear him devoting so much space to the latter), he shows that he has always been as brilliant a player as composer. He tenor tone--rich, meaty, hortatory--is unique in jazz.

One wonders why such glorious music has languished almost unheard. The reasons are probably pretty ready to hand. First, the packaging is atrocious. The typography is virtually illegible, the band members' names almost unreadable. Second, this label has never received proper distribution stateside. I believe I picked it up at Chicago's Jazz Record Mart, one of the most complete jazz stores in the country. Third, the late eighties were almost a dead zone for jazz.

What ought to happen is that some smart label like Evidence get the rights to this disc, repackage it, and heavily promote it. But as that probably isn't in the cards, the next best thing is for everyone who reads this review (all three of you) to snatch this baby up pronto. I guarantee you won't be disappointed.
By Jan P. Dennis.
One of jazz's most valuable sidemen, Buster Williams has been able to flourish through many periods of changing fashions in jazz. Best known since the 1980s for his solid, dark tone and highly refined technique on the acoustic bass, the jazz-rock generation knew him as the mobile anchor of Herbie Hancock's exploratory Mwandishi Sextet from 1969 to 1973, doubling on acoustic and electric basses sometimes attached to electronic effects devices.
BUSTER WILLIAMS is a prodigious artist whose playing knows no limits.

He has played, recorded and collaborated with jazz giants such as Art Blakey, Betty Carter, Carmen McRae, Chet Baker, Chick Corea, Dexter Gordon, Jimmy Heath, Branford Marsalis, Wynton Marsalis, Gene Ammons, Sonny Stitt, Herbie Hancock, Larry Coryell, Lee Konitz, McCoy Tyner, Illinois Jacquet, Nancy Wilson, Elvin Jones, Miles Davis, the Jazz Crusaders, Ron Carter, Woody Shaw, Sarah Vaughan, Benny Golson, Mary Lou Williams, Hank Jones, Lee Morgan, Jimmy Rowles, Hampton Hawes, Cedar Walton, Bobby Hutcherson, Billy Taylor, Sonny Rollins, Count Basie, Errol Garner, Kenny Barron, Charlie Rouse, Dakota Staton, Kenny Dorham, Freddie Hubbard.

He has recorded soundtracks for movies including Les Choix des Armes; McKenna's Gold with Gregory Peck; David Lynch's, Twin Peaks " Fire Walk With Me"; Spike Lee's, "Clockers" etc. Television commercials include, Coca-Cola; Old Spice; Tott's Champagne; Prudential Insurance; Chemical Bank; Alpo Dog Food; HBO; Budweiser Beer; etc.

TV shows include an appearance on the Johnny Carson " Tonight Show' with Errol Garner; the Jay Leno "Tonight Show" where he performed five of his original compositions with the Branford Marsalis Tonight Show Band.

Other television shows include: Sesame Street with Joe Williams; A&E (Arts and Entertainment) with Bill Cosby; The Joan Rivers Show with Bill Cosby; The Andy Williams Show with Nancy Wilson; the Joey Bishop Show; the Grammy Awards with Herbie Hancock, Tony Williams and Bobby McFerrin; the Mike Douglas Show; the Today Show; etc.

Mr. Williams has recorded soundtracks for movies including Les Choix des Armes; McKenna's Gold with Gregory Peck; David Lynch's, Twin Peaks " Fire Walk With Me"; Spike Lee's, "Clockers" etc.
Buster Williams- Bass, Piccolo Bass
Wayne Shorter- Soprano Saxophone, tenor Saxophone
Shunzo Ohno- Trumpet
Herbie Hancock- Piano, Keyboards
Al Foster- Drums
01. Air Dancing  7:07  
02. Christina  8:21  
03. Fortune Dance  8:43  
04. Something More  4:35  
05. Deception  8:23  
06. Sophisticated Lady  6:58  
07. I Didn't Know What Time It Was  14:28 

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