peoplepill id: al-williams-1
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Al Williams

Al Williams

American piano player and jazz and R&B musician
Al Williams
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro American piano player and jazz and R&B musician
Is Musician Pianist R&B musician Jazz musician
From United States of America
Type Music
Gender male
Birth 17 December 1919, Memphis, Shelby County, Tennessee, USA
Age 101 years
Star sign Sagittarius
Peoplepill ID al-williams-1
The details


Al Williams (born December 17, 1919) is a former American pianist of early jazz and rhythm and blues, known for his associations with Buck Clayton With His All-Stars, Henry "Red" Allen Sextet, Johnny Richards And His Orchestra, Lucky Thompson and His Lucky Seven.

Life and career

Al Williams was born Alfred W. Williams on December 17, 1919, in Memphis, Tennessee. He moved to Chicago, Illinois, in 1922 and began playing professionally in various orchestras from 1936 onwards, including with Red AllenJimmy Noone, and Erskine Tate.

In 1942 he had his own trio. In 1946, Williams accompanied Big Joe Turner on recordings for Savoy Records ("I Got My Discharge Papers"). 

From the early 1950s, he worked in New York City and played in the Savoy Ballroom in Harlem with Jimmy RushingLucky MillinderDick Vance, and Erskine Hawkins. He then kept busy with recordings/performances with such musicians as Benny CarterStuff SmithKing CurtisJesse StoneLaVern Baker, and Sam "The Man" Taylor.

1957/58, Williams performed with Sol Yaged's Dixieland band at New Yorks' Metropole Cafe at Seventh Avenue and 48th Street. In 1958, he played on Buck Clayton's album Songs for Swingers, alongside Earle Warren (alto saxophone, clarinet), Gene Ramey (bass), Herbie Lovelle (drums), Buddy Tate (tenor saxophone), Dicky Wells (trombone), and Emmett Berry(trumpet).

In 1959, Williams with his orchestra toured Europe (Copenhagen Concert). The same year, he worked on recordings of the poet Langston Hughes (The Weary Blues) and also played with Vic Dickenson and Joe Thomas.

In 1961, Williams made guest appearances as a member of an all-stars band with Duke Ellington under the direction of saxophonist Johnny Hodges in Europe, to be heard on the album Johnny Hodges at Sportpalast Berlin, playing alongside Harry Carney (baritone saxophone), Aaron Bell (bass), Ray Nance (cornet, violin, vocals), Sam Woodyard(drums), and Lawrence Brown (trombone). The recordings were released in 1978 on Pablo Live label.

Other musicians with whom Williams has recorded/performed/collaborated over the years: Jimmy Rushing ("Go Get Some More You Fool" and "The Way I Feel"), Danny Taylor ("You Look Bad" and "Gator Tail"), Jesse Stone ("Oh, That'll Be Joyful"), Budd Johnson("Ya! Ya!"), Dizzy Gillespie ("Soul & Salvation"), and Big Red McHouston ("I'm Tired", "Where Is My Honey").

Unfortunately, not much is known about Williams' later years.

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