John A. Williams is a noted novelist and poet who considers jazz to be one of his inspirations. Williams actually wrote about jazz in the early '60s and one of his books, Clifford's Blues, is named after trumpeter Clifford Brown. On Suite for John A. Williams, bassist Tyrone Brown (no relation) utilizes altoist Bobby Zankel, a string quartet, and a pianoless rhythm section to performs six of his originals, all named after writings of John A. Williams. Williams himself appears on "Readings from Safari West" to recite some of his poetry. Altoist Zankel and bassist Brown are the key soloists on this colorful, moody, and mostly swinging set, although the brevity of the program is a minor flaw.
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AllMusic Review by Scott Yanow