New York Jazz

Clarence Williams

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New York Jazz Review

by Scott Yanow

This out-of-print LP has 13 performances from groups headed by pianist Clarence Williams. Four feature cornetist King Oliver (including alternate takes of "Wildflower Rag" and "Midnight Stomp") in a band with tenor-saxophonist Benny Waters. Two are vocal duets by Williams and Joe Sims (who are backed by cornetist Louis Metcalf and the young pianist Fats Waller), one has a Laura Bryant vocal, "Close Fit Blues" is by The Memphis Jazzers, and the other six titles are from The Barrel House Five Orchestra (a quartet with cornetist Ed Allen, Arville Harris on reeds, Floyd Casey's washboard, and Williams's piano). Most but not all of this music is currently available on CD, and it gives listeners a fine overview of Clarence Williams's brand of hot, classic jazz.