William Warfield

Something Within Me

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This is one of the more curious titles issued in the jazz world. Recorded in 2001, the day before a jazz heritage concert assembled by historian, clarinetist, and bandleader Bill Carter, this is the great singer and monologist William Warfield's last recording. But it presents something that never occurred previously in his long career. Warfield appears on nine of the 17 cuts here, singing and playing piano; as such, it is the only time that Warfield has ever been taped commercially accompanying himself while singing, and the first time he ever performed publicly with a Dixieland band. Sometimes Warfield appears singing solo with his piano, as on "Every Time I Feel the Spirit," "What a Friend We Have in Jesus," "His Eye Is on the Sparrow," and "Ain't Gonna Study War No More." In other places, he accompanies the band as their pianist, such as on "When the Saints Go Marching In." This is not for everybody, but fans of the great black spirituals and early jazz will flip. The sound is wonderfully warm and full, and the performances are nothing short of stellar.

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