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C.I. Williams: When Alto Was King

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Yet another chapter in Hamiet Bluiett’s Explorations series of productions, which often seek to set the record straight on what the outspoken bari man views as under-recognized artists, this date by C.I. Williams goes a distance in doing just that for a neglected master of the alto sax. Mr. Williams has a buttery tone that is delivered with authority and the veteran’s sense of relaxed swing. His tone bending, for example, is done very subtly and with a knowingness that never announces the arrival of the next bended note. He plays it with a liquidity and fluid sense of phrasing that makes every piece a study in elegance.

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