Claude "Fiddler" Williams

King of Kansas City

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Eighty-eight at the time of this date, the apparently ageless violinist Claude Williams plays a variety of swing standards with plenty of energy, an appealing tone, and creative ideas. He features some excellent players (all from Kansas City) in the supporting cast, including tenor saxophonist Kim Park (who steals the show on the opening "Lester Leaps In"), guitarist Rod Fleeman, and singers Karrin Allyson and Lisa Henry (who are on two songs apiece). Williams, who sings "St. Louis Blues" and "Gee Baby, Ain't I Good to You," has rarely sounded better, and he is remarkably youthful throughout.