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Kimo Williams

Kimo Williams

Given the loose feel composer/producer/multi-instrumentalist Kimo Williams’ 22-piece big band Kimotion achieves on his latest album, Tracking (Little Beck), you might think the ensemble was all together during the recording process. In reality, the Chicago-based Williams recorded each part individually and relied on a combination of meticulous planning and trust in his musicians to attain the sound he was after.

Williams came to the sessions with very specific ideas about each part and outlined for each musician exactly what he was looking for-sort of the way a movie director works with his cast. It was then up to the player to interpret Williams’ directives, and he welcomed experimentation. “I’m always asking for recommendations,” he says. “So that means [the musicians] become part of the process. They’re not just somebody who’s been hired to do something.”

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