Sunday, January 17, 2016

Brad Allen Williams - Lamar

While busy as a sideman with the likes of Kris Bowers, Cory Henry and Jose James), guitarist Brad Allen Williams debuts as a leader on "Lamar (Allegro Music/Nail-Sojourn Records)." On this recording he is joined by organist Pat Bianchi and drummer Tyshawn Sorey for a solid collection of performances of originals along with some recognizable pop and soul tunes. Williams states that "This album is exclusively about creating and capturing a feeling …," and this is reflected not simply in how they play but also in recording this "with the three of us in one great-sounding room together using the best analog tape machines and a great analog engineer." This analog recording is available in vinyl.

This is is a lively varied organ trio with Williams up front starting with the lively interpretation of Joe Jackson's "Steppin' Out," with Williams' fluid runs and Bianchi's greasy B-3. Williams blues, "201 Poplar," is a superb blues performance with an after hours feel with Bianchi helping color the leader's solo as Sorey deftly adds his accents. On renditions of the Glen Campbell hit "Galveston" and The Stylistics' "Betcha By Golly Wow," Williams employs a vocalized approach in his playing centered around the songs lyrics, with Bianchi and Sorey adding light support. "Euclid and Lamar" is a briskly played Williams original that showcases all three players and followed by a lovely rendition of the classic ballad "Stairway to the Stars."

After the loping groove of a bluesy shuffle "Culver Viaduct Rehabilitation Project" by the trio, Williams closes "Lamar" with a solo rendition of "More Than You Know." It is an exquisite close to a highly entertaining, excellent jazz guitar and organ trio recording.

I received my review copy from a publicist. This review appeared in the January-February Jazz & Blues Report (Issue 364).  Here is "More Than You Know" from the recording.

No comments: