John Williams (8)
John Williams (8)
In 1964, he began studying classical bass with Ron Carter, after spending 4 years in the military. He studied for three years before auditioning for the The Horace Silver Quintet. The band stayed together for two years, after which Williams went on to play with several different artists, including Hugh Masekela, Dizzy Gillespie, Kenny Burrell and Roland Hanna. He recorded with Roy Ayers, Count Basie, Louis Armstrong, Benny Carter and Billy Cobham among others.
From 1969 to 1976 he was part of the studio band of "Tonight Show" with Johnny Carson.
In 1975 he formed a band of his own, called "Expectations". The line-up included saxophonist Ernie Watts, pianist Bill Mays, and later, Bobby Lyle, then Milcho Leviev, guitarist Mitchel Forman, percussionist Steve Forman, drummer Ted Hawk, and sound & special effects engineer Fred Stites. The band was a success, but ended up splitting. Afterwards, Williams continued on doing freelance work and recording with such artists as Benny Carter, Louis Bellson, Pearl Bailey, Lainie Kazan, and Freddie Hubbard.
In the fall of 1976, Williams was asked to join the "Nancy Wilson Trio", which began a twenty-five year musical relationship with Nancy Wilson.
In 1989, Williams joined another late night show band, "The Posse" on "The Arsenio Hall Show", where he also started the "John B. Williams Poetry Moment". While performing at clubs in Los Angeles, he started adding poetry and monologues to his music, a fusion which came about in part from his collaboration with the playwright Bradley Rand Smith. That collaboration gave birth to "Jazz Theater," which combines the two art forms: theater (spoken word) and jazz.
After "The Arsenio Hall Show" ended, Williams released a live album with Bennie Maupin and continued to work as a freelancer. He has also released a solo album "Gratitude", and he keeps on promoting "Jazz Theater".