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MMD > Archives > September 2003 > 2003.09.17 > 06Prev  Next


Clarence Williams, QRS Piano Roll Artist
By A. B. Bonds

Clarence Williams (1898-1965) was an extraordinarily gifted and
prolific musician whose productivity peaked in the mid-1920's.
Born and raised in New Orleans, he played (and wrote for) Bessie
Smith and formed groups including luminaries such as Sidney Bechet,
Bunk Johnson and Louis Armstrong.  Around 1915 he formed a publishing
company and was responsible for classics such as "Royal Garden
Blues" in collaboration with Spencer Williams.  In 1921 he married
blues singer Eva Taylor, with whom he had a number of successful
collaborations.  Much of his recorded oeuvre (over 300 sides) arises
from groups like the Clarence Williams Washboard Band, which was
regrettably the expected medium of expression for African-American
musicians of the period, but those sides show remarkable sensitivity
and melodic line ("Breeze" is a favorite of mine).  In his later
life he served as a record producer and A & R man for Okeh records.
I would think that your roll would demonstrate exquisite musical taste.
More on Clarence Williams is available at
http://www.redhotjazz.com/williams.html (and if you haven't cruised
the redhotjazz site, you are missing some rare treats....).

A. B. Bonds


(Message sent Wed 17 Sep 2003, 16:09:16 GMT, from time zone GMT-0500.)

Key Words in Subject:  Artist, Clarence, Piano, QRS, Roll, Williams

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