Joe Williams

Having the Blues Under a European Sky

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Having the Blues Under a European Sky is a collection of some very engaging live performances Joe Williams gave in Europe in the early '70s -- a decade after embarking on a solo career. Williams had risen to fame as Count Basie's vocalist, and the first seven tracks (featuring small groups of varying personnel led by the wonderful pianist Ellis Larkins) show Williams' supreme artistry as a jazz singer. The arrangements are wide open and rich in vocal improvisation. Williams reunites with the Count Basie Orchestra on the last six tracks. These numbers find him in marvelous voice, at the top of his game, and still swinging his unique blend of sophisticated jazz blues at a time when most ears in the world were tuned to rock.

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