Clarence Williams

Clarence Williams' Jazz Kings 1927 to 1929

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This excellent LP from the English VJM company has 16 recordings made by pianist/bandleader Clarence Williams for the Okeh label during 1927 and 1928 (with two songs from the following year). Williams's output, although the personnel and the instrumentation were constantly changing, was remarkably consistent. The groups on this album range from solo (Clarence Williams playing piano and singing "Shootin' the Pistol" and the delightful "When I March in April with May") to nine pieces; among the sidemen are cornetists Ed Allen and King Oliver, Albert Socarras on clarinet, alto, and flute, trombonists Charlie Irvis and Ed Cuffee, pianist James P. Johnson, and (taking time off from Fletcher Henderson's Orchestra) clarinetist Buster Bailey, and tenor great Coleman Hawkins. Among the more memorable tracks are "Candy Lips," "Close Fit Blues," "Sweet Emmalina," and "Have You Ever Felt That Way." All of these performances have been reissued on CD in a "complete" series by Classics.