Joe Williams

The Legend at His Best

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Collectables dishes up four Joe Williams albums from the mid- and late-'50s -- Joe Williams Sings Everyday (1956, Savoy) and Joe Williams Sings About You! (1959, Roulette) -- and early '60s -- Jump for Joy and At Newport '63 (both 1963, RCA) -- on a pair of CDs. These are key pieces in the smooth big-voiced singer's early solo career and deliver ballads to jump blues to big-band jazz standards with authority, grace, and a rough-hewn elegance. While any one of these discs is worth owning, together the four provide a wealth of Williams at his very best accompanied by the greatest players in jazz, including the arrangements of Oliver Nelson, among others. From Duke Ellington's "Rocks in My Bed" and Oscar Hammerstein II's "The Song Is You" to Jerry Leiber's "Kansas City" and Leroy Carr's "In the Evening When the Sun Goes Down," these 48 cuts form a lasting portrait of an artist entering the prime of his career. Anyone who has only heard his material from the Count Basie years would do well to check this out.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 2:45
2 3:04
3
2:57
4 3:37
5 2:54
6 2:30
7 2:22
8 2:49
9 3:15
10 2:44
11 2:45
12 2:32
13 3:26
14 3:07
15 2:39
16 3:16
17 3:21
18 2:53
19 2:51
20 3:51
21 2:47
22 2:40
23 3:08
24 2:40

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 2:35
2 2:20
3 2:34
4 4:32
5 3:04
6 3:25
7 3:45
8 2:05
9 5:14
10 4:55
11 3:58
12 5:41
13 2:13
14 2:25
15 2:04
16 2:26
17 2:01
18 2:40
19 2:25
20 2:28
21 2:52
22 2:37
23 2:28
24 2:16
blue highlight denotes track pick