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Joe

Stu Williamson

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Dude could play, especially when he picked up his trumpet. Not quite sure how to characterize his sound, often mellow, even a bit "fluffy" ... I guess there's some Clifford Brown in there, but more measured, certainly less exuberant (hear his contributions to that Elmo Hope Quintet date waxed for Richard Bock) ... maybe some Sweets Edison, too. And Shorty Rogers, duh, but without the overt impishness. And bouncier. Not quite the West Coast Tommy Turrentine, but, like TT, I always look forward to hearing his contributions when he shows up. That includes those Shelly Manne mid-50s LPs (in the company of Charlie Mariano), Pepper Adams' Mode date, Lennie Niehaus' Contemporary recordings, a handful of sessions under his own name/leadership for Bethlehem.

Brother of Claude, of course, and, by all accounts, a more troubled individual. But he seemed to have found regular work in Hollywood's studios. So, really, what was his deal?

 

Edited by Joe

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I am also someone who like Stu Williamson's playing. He also played valve trombone, but it is his trumpet playing that especially stands out

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14 hours ago, Joe said:

Dude could play, especially when he picked up his trumpet. Not quite sure how to characterize his sound, often mellow, even a bit "fluffy" ... I guess there's some Clifford Brown in there, but more measured, certainly less exuberant (hear his contributions to that Elmo Hope Quintet date waxed for Richard Bock) ... maybe some Sweets Edison, too. And Shorty Rogers, duh, but without the overt impishness. And bouncier. Not quite the West Coast Tommy Turrentine, but, like TT, I always look forward to hearing his contributions when he shows up. That includes those Shelly Manne mid-50s LPs (in the company of Charlie Mariano), Pepper Adams' Mode date, Lennie Niehaus' Contemporary recordings, a handful of sessions under his own name/leadership for Bethlehem.

Brother of Claude, of course, and, by all accounts, a more troubled individual. But he seemed to have found regular work in Hollywood's studios. So, really, what was his deal?

 

A good summary and analysis of his style, if I may say so and I also like his playing a lot. Re "troubled individual", I hadn't heard about this, but now see that his Wikipedia entry says "he battled drug addiction for most of his life". Those were sad days for so many musicians!

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2 hours ago, Peter Friedman said:

I am also someone who like Stu Williamson's playing. He also played valve trombone, but it is his trumpet playing that especially stands out

Agreed! Interesting to compare his work on this instrument to Bob Brookmeyer's and Bob Enevoldsen's. He's much closer to the latter than the former, at least to my ear.

This is a nice, heretofore unheard-by-me example of his prowess on his other horn.

 

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I recall reading a fairly lengthy interview with Claude Williamson in Cadence Magazine a number of years ago.

Claude filled in a lot of information regarding his brother Stu. Unfortunately don't recall any of the details. 

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1 hour ago, Peter Friedman said:

I recall reading a fairly lengthy interview with Claude Williamson in Cadence Magazine a number of years ago.

Claude filled in a lot of information regarding his brother Stu. Unfortunately don't recall any of the details. 

Thanks! I will look for that!

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Update: the Claude Williamson interview in question looks like it appears in the March 1997 issue of CADENCE. Not sure what volume and issue that would be, though...

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Stu Williamson played valve trombone on "Dickie's Dream" and "Long Ago And Far Away" on 2/22/55. Released on Contemporary label C3504 "Howard Rumsey's Lighthouse All-Stars vol. 6" LP. Also released on OJCCD-386-2.

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