The Best of Joe Williams: The Roulette, Solid State & Blue Note Years is an excellent sampler of Williams' work for Roulette and Solid State, providing a terrific overview of Williams' early records. Most of these 18 tracks feature Williams with the Count Basie Orchestra; there are also several cuts with Jimmy Jones, Harry "Sweets" Edison, Horace Ott, Jimmy Mundy, the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra, and Lambert, Hendricks & Ross. For anyone wondering why Williams is considered one of the great blues and big-band vocalists, this offers a reason why.
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AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine