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Fast Track

Puchase Music

Marty Williams: The Problem
Marty Williams: It
Marty Williams: The Last Stop
Marty Williams: The Fool On the Hill
Marty Williams: Weather Plan
Marty Williams: Dig This
Marty Williams: Long Time Comin
Marty Williams: The Complete Moon Bay Sessions (Diverse Vibrations in Hip Hop & Jazz)
Marty Williams: Hidden Treasures
Marty Williams: It
JUN 8 Marty Williams is reviewed by Audiophile Audition Marty Williams – Long Time Comin’ – In Moon Bay Records SF Bay Area jazz singer brings mellow sophistication to standard classics by: Robbie Gerson Marty Williams – Long Time Comin’ – In Moon Bay Records, 71:19 ****:(Marty Williams – piano, vocals; Eric Swinderman – guitar; Ruth Davies – bass; Jon Evans – bass; Ranzel Merritt – drums)Jazz vocalists have struggled for acceptance. Key changes, tempo shifts and spontaneity make it challenging for any singer. Marty Williams is one who has accepted the challenge. A staple on the Bay area jazz scene, Williams blends his soulful vocals with deft piano licks in interpreting many genres of music. He has admitted to getting a “calling” to be a musician after listening to Ahmad Jamal’s Voices album. Among his many influences are Les McCann, Thelonious Monk, Oscar Brown Jr., Hampton Hawes, Shirley Horn, Ramsey Lewis and Miles Davis. For over twenty-five years, his reputation as a jazz player has evolved.His latest release, Long Time Comin’, is an accessible project covering a variety of composers. The jazzy side emerges on “Falling In Love With Love Again”. With idiosyncratic vocals that bring to mind Louis Armstrong, the quartet backs him up flawlessly. The syncopated piano licks are economical and fit the mood. Selecting the iconic arrangement of the Les McCann/Eddie Harris rendition of “Compared To What” might seem impudent, but Williams brings his smooth vibe to the song. The piano runs are refined, not intended to compete with prior versions. A bluesy aesthetic permeates the sound. A clever take on John Lennon’s Beatles classic, “Come Together” is slower and funk-infused. Wah wah guitar pedal (Eric Swinderman) complements the piano hooks. “Mercy Mercy, Mercy” (Josef Zawinul) gets the signature fluid treatment and fits the band’s style. Williams has arranged the songs to showcase a low-key bluesy approach. There is a deep emotional resonance in many of the cuts. The standout “Brother (Where Are You?)” (Oscar Brown Jr.) has a mournful sentiment. Swinderman’s guitar solo is fluid and the piece recalls the reflective narratives of 1970s soul. The reinvention of Bobby Hebb’s AM hit, “Sunny”, as a late night jazz sketch is interesting. Williams’ piano accompaniment is subtle but emotive. He adds some rhythmic chording to change the structure. Many of the tracks are extended and offer the group ample opportunity to jam. “Monk’s Dream” maintains a funky edge, but delivers a straight ahead, traditional jazz interpretation.  Cole Porter’s “Love For Sale” has a breeziness that is captured by the depth of the arrangement. Each song is adapted to Williams’ intuitive harmonics.Marty Williams Long Time Comin’ is a step forward for jazz vocals.    TrackList: Brother (Where Are You); Caravan; Come Together; Compared To What; Falling In Love Again; Love For Sale; Mercy, Mercy, Mercy; Monk’s Dream; On A Clear Day; Sunny; Sweet And Lovely; The Look Of Love ” - Robbie Gerson

— Audiophile Audition

APR 21 Marty Williams is reviewed by Oliver di Place   Oliver di Place   Musings on music. New Discoveries and Old Favorites. by: Darius RipsMarty Williams: Come Together [purchase]Marty Williams’ album Long Time Comin’ is a program of standards, many well known. Williams has a broad definition of “standards”; Come Together is the old Beatles song. Williams makes it a funky masterpiece, and he makes a musical connection to jazz by also including a version of Mercy Mercy Mercy on the album. The band is just drums, bass, and guitar, plus Williams at the piano. But the guitar part here is more like a horn part. To be honest, I’ve never been quite sure what this song is about, and I’m still not. But Wiiliams’ arrangement cooks, and his vocal brings out a bluesy quality I’ve never heard in the song before, and it really works. Most of the songs here get a more traditional treatment. But throughout the album, it is clear that Williams both loves and believes in his material. The album notes contain a moving dedication to his wife, and his performance of the love songs here always rings true and never sounds forced. Posted 21st April 2011 by Kari Gaffney ” - Darius Rips

— Oliver di Place