|Jeff Williams. Photo credit: Alex Bonney|
Jeff Williams is returning to playing after an injury, and has a new album “Outlier” out on Whirlwind Recordings on March 11th, and some UK tour dates. He writes about the background:
I’m excited that the UK based group I’ve had for some time finally has a studio recording, as well as live performances coming up around its release. The album features seven of my original compositions, with amazing playing from Phil Robson, Josh Arcoleo, Kit Downes and Sam Lasserson. The music covers a lot of ground, from pieces I wrote in the ‘70s and ‘80s that are getting their first hearing, to brand new material, some of it played for the first time on this date.
While the album has no overarching theme, the title track is a response to so-called migration and its profound effect of uprooting entire populations, even on the lives of those remaining stationary. Such an upheaval means that few can experience the feeling of Home as they once knew it and are cast adrift. Outlier is also a term bestowed to me in 1973 by someone with an uncanny ability to see into my future. Other tracks convey tales of assumption, the paranormal, mistaken identity, relationship and loss, reverence and dedication, playfulness and humour. I hope what really comes through is the joy we have playing together and in making this music.
With Phil Robson’s recent move to New York performing with the CD’s exact lineup has proven difficult. Fortunately American alto saxophonist John O’Gallagher from my US band has relocated to Birmingham and will be joining us for upcoming dates. John and I have a long association and he knows my music well. Plus I love being able to put some of my favourite musicians together from different continents and watch them interact.
While I worry that by mentioning it attendance at our upcoming gigs may be affected, I have been through a rough time of late. I broke my left shoulder and upper arm in early November. Recovery has been slow and I wasn’t sure how well I’d be playing by now. After two recent gigs with Alex Merritt’s Quartet and one in New York at Club Bonafide with Leo Genovese and Esperanza Spalding on the 13th of February I’m greatly encouraged and feel ready for anything, the latter gig having tested all of my abilities.
So, I hope people will come out and see us at one or more of these performances and pick up a CD. I’ll be happy to sign one for you.
16/03/16 ROYAL NORTHERN COLLEGE OF MUSIC, MANCHESTER
17/03/16 SEVEN ART SPACE, CHAPEL ALLERTON, LEEDS, WEST YORKSHIRE
18/03/16 SHEFFIELD JAZZ
28/03/16 THE COCKPIT, LONDON (OFFICIAL LAUNCH)
13/05/16 THE VERDICT, BRIGHTON