FRIDAY 17 NOVEMBER, 9:30 PM
Buster Williams & Something More
Buster Williams contrabaixo
Steve Wilson saxofones
Tommaso Perazzo piano
Marcello Cardillo bateria
Among all the names included in the program of Guimarães Jazz’s 2023 edition the one which perhaps most clearly embodies the historical legacy of twentieth century jazz, with the exception of the institution Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, is that of double-bassist Buster Williams, whose musical biography is comprised of countless chapters alongside many of the legendary musicians who nowadays symbolize jazz’s “golden age” such as, among many others, Art Blakey, Betty Carter, Dexter Gordon, Chick Corea or Sarah Vaughn – the list is almost infinite. If we are forced, however, to choose one of those chapters in order to epitomize such a long and multifaceted artistic trajectory, the most obvious choice would be Buster Williams’ longstanding creative relation with Herbie Hancock in countless projects and formations that contributed decisively to shape the sound of jazz fusion. The famous and iconic keyboardist was precisely one of the members of the original group we are now presenting at Guimarães – the quartet Something New, whose first line-up included, besides Williams and Hancock themselves, Shunzo Ohno on saxophone and Al Foster on drums.
Charles Anthony “Buster” Williams was born in 1942 in New Jersey, and, inspired and encouraged by the example of his father, who was an amateur musician himself, Williams displayed since a very young age a ferocious will to pursue a professional career in music and, at the age of only seventeen, he was already performing alongside relevant jazz musicians of the time such as Jimmy Heath, Gene Ammons or Sunny Stit. In 1962, after a period of studies in musical theory at Camdem and Pittsburg, Williams began to perform live and to record with Betty Carter and Sarah Vaughn, who offered him the opportunity to participate in the first of many European tours he would engage in throughout his career. With his reputation in jazz’s circuit already established due to his collaborations with the two aforementioned legendary vocalists, the double-bassist from New Jersey returned to New York in order to begin a series of new creative partnerships, namely with Herbie Hancock and, by extension, with countless other musicians (Tony Williams, Wynton Marsalis or Billy Hart, among others) who would shape the musical aesthetics of the 1970s jazz. The following decades of Buster William’s activity were marked, besides his work as sideman which granted him the reputation of one of the most solid instrumentalists in jazz music, by the relation with guitarist Larry Coryell and by his work in the context of the cooperative quartet Sphere (alongside Kenny Barron, Ben Riley and Charles Rouse) devoted to the reinterpretation of Thelonious Mon’s repertoire. If Buster Williams’ stylistic blueprint is easily recognizable in contemporary music, his presence in the North-American cultural landscape of the twentieth century has surpassed the strict frontiers of music and contaminated cinema and television in result of his participation in the recordings of the soundtracks of cinematic works such as the Spike Lee’s movie “Clocker’s” and, above all, the iconic television series “Twin Peaks” created by the great David Lynch.
The reincarnation of the project Something New that we will be present at Guimarães Jazz is formed by a remarkable trio of musicians: two young and extremely talented Italian instrumentalists with a prominent presence in today’s global music (pianist Tommaso Perazzo and drummer Marcelo Cardillo) and veteran saxophonist Steve Wilson (a collaborator of musicians such as Michael Brecker, Dave Holland, Dianne Reeves or Don Byron, among many others alongside whom Wilson built his own prestigious and vast discographic curriculum).