Joe Williams

At Newport '63

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At Newport '63 Review

by John Bush

The second LP Joe Williams released on RCA was this live set recorded at 1963's Newport Jazz Festival. The recording had actually been in the works for a year; Williams' energetic performance at the previous year's festivities was what got him his contract with George Avakian and the RCA label, and the two agreed that same night to record one studio LP (Jump for Joy) before releasing his next Newport performance as his second album. With an amazing lineup (Clark Terry and Howard McGhee on trumpets, Coleman Hawkins and Zoot Sims on tenor saxes), Williams took listeners through a 12-song journey comprising urbane rhythm tunes ("Gravy Waltz," "Roll 'Em Pete," "Some of This 'N' Some of That") and a few blues ballads ("Come Back, Baby," "Wayfaring Stranger"), plus his pair of inimitable standards: "Every Day I Have the Blues" and "In the Evenin' (When the Sun Goes Down)." The statement in the liner notes describing "the entire program that rocked the 1963 Newport Jazz Festival" is overstating the case, but Williams displays all of his talents -- a subtle blend of blues singer, band singer, and rhythm singer -- and proves himself quite the triple threat in the process. [Once combined on a Collectables CD with Jump for Joy, At Newport '63 was reissued by Bluebird in 2002, with studio and live versions of the three songs -- "Gravy Waltz," "Medley," and "Some of This 'N' Some of That" -- re-recorded in the studio after the live versions were deemed unusable.]

Track Listing

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1 Joe Williams 01:35 Amazon
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