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Clarence Williams-1937-1941

Clarence Williams


Format: CD   Release Date: 12/30/1997
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The 14th and final Clarence Williams Classics CD completes the complete reissuance of all of his recordings. By 1937, Williams' career was winding down and his music was far overshadowed by the big swing orchestras. Although the first 15 selections on this CD are listed as being by "Clarence Williams' Swing Band," all but three numbers are spirituals that showcase the forgettable singing of William Cooley. The impressive group (which includes cornetist Ed Allen, clarinetist Buster Bailey, altoist Russell Procope and Cecil Scott on tenor and clarinet) has little to do, except on the instrumentals, and the overall results are a bit disappointing. Also on the CD are three selections from 1938 by an organ-piano-drums trio (two of the songs have vocals by Babe Matthews) that do not actually include Williams. Concluding the lesser release are a pair of performances from 1941 in which Eva Taylor and Clarence Williams are heard on vocals while joined by pianist James P. Johnson (Williams plays second piano), two guitars and bassist Wellman Braud. These final numbers (pity there were not more) hint at the earlier classic recordings and served as Clarence Williams' last hurrah. Completists will want this set. ~ Scott Yanow, Rovi

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