FEATURE: Drummer Jeff Williams – (New Album Outlier – quartet tour dates continue)

Jeff Williams
Photo Credit: Alex Bonney

Jeff Williams writes:

My latest Whirlwind Recordings CD, Outlier, came out on 11 March and I’m thrilled that the UK based group I’ve had for some time finally has a studio recording. 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.

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We just completed a tour following its release. While Phil Robson recently moved to New York (and has been touring the UK with his trio this month), American alto saxophonist John O’Gallagher, from my US band, has relocated to Birmingham and joined us for these live 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 the album has no overarching theme, the title track is a response to migration and its profound effect of uprooting entire populations, even on the lives of those remaining stationary. 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.

I broke my left shoulder and upper arm in early November and recovery is on-going. It has been a blessing to have the opportunity to play with my band this month, just what I needed!

My heartfelt thanks to all at Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, Seven Jazz in Leeds, Sheffield Jazz and Jazz in the Round at the Cockpit, London. Audiences have been wonderful. It amazes me how tirelessly these people work to present jazz in this country.

LINKS: Video clip from Leeds:
CD  review of Outlier

Next performance: 
Jeff Williams Quartet with John O’Gallagher, Kit Downes, Sam Lasserson 

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