Claude Williams Swinging The Blues

Williams was a star soloist with Count Basie until producer John Hammond insisted that the Count replace his raw violin dynamics with the smooth rhythmic poise of guitar player Freddie Green. As a result, Williams slid into obscurity for much of his career. Yet this superb blues player and swing stylist possesses an individual bite that confirms why he remains worthy of comparison to the legendary Stuff Smith. This relaxed session may be short on fireworks but the ravishing tone that Williams brings to "Somewhere Over The Rainbow," "These Foolish Things" and "There Is No Greater Love" adds sufficient variety to a program of mid-tempo blues and swing performances. Joined by guest alto player Bobby Watson on "A Smooth One" and "These Foolish Things," this session is distinguished by the input of New Orleans piano heavyweight Henry Butler. When these guys swing the blues in "Gee Baby Ain't I Good To You," "I'm Just A Lucky So And So" and "One For The Count," the air sounds filled with inspiration. (Bullseye Blues)