Sunday, November 14, 2010

John Williams Trio

Emarcy A&R man Bob Shad (later owner of the Flying Dutchman label) offers
advice to John Williams
during the pianist's trio date. Bob Parent photo

Another in our piano series ...

Vermont native John Williams has has long been eclipsed by his classical and pop namesake, but at the time of this recording – 1954 – he was a rising young star with real promise in the jazz idiom. A tasteful soloist and occasional composer, he had joined Charlie Barnet's big band in 1951 after a stint in the Army (where he played baritone horn!) and then moved on to Stan Getz's quartet, his steady gig at the time of this Emarcy recording. This EP contains four of the eight tunes that eventually comprised Williams' first recording as a leader, but they give a good sampling of John's skill as a soloist – nothing flashy, just thoughtful and swinging. Williams would go on to make a second record for Mercury (Emarcy) and record as a sideman with such luminaries as Al Cohn, Zoot Sims and Cannonball Adderley. The critics applauded this first effort, as can be seen in the Metronome review from May 1955 above (of the complete LP).

While John Williams still plays (or at least did up until 2004), he dropped out of sight in the 1960s to become a full-time banker and eventually became a city commissioner in Hollywood, Florida. This little EP I picked up at a church rummage sale a couple decades back and always liked it, so even though you can get the complete John Williams on Emarcy for a stiff price at Amazon (an import), I thought it was worth sharing with other inquiring jazz minds.

As always, the music in this posting was ripped from the original vinyl with no enhancement other than a mild cleaning up of minor clicks and pops.

John Williams, piano
Bill Anthony, bass
Frank Isola, drums
New York, NY; 1-3: July 1954; 4: August 13, 1954
Emarcy EP-1-6092 (10" extended play record) 

1. I'll Take the Lo Road
2. Out of the World
3. Railroad Jack
4. For Heaven's Sake
Find it here:

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for this.I recently bought a Japanese reissue of The John Williams Trio album.Your vinyl rip of the posted EP is excellent.Cheers!