OUTLIER: Something (or someone) that lies outside the main body or group of which it is a part. "That's a rough approximation of the position I've al


OUTLIER: Something (or someone) that lies outside the main body or group of which it is a part.

"That's a rough approximation of the position I've always seemed to occupy..."

– Jeff Williams

“One expects rhythmic interest from the compositions of a drummer. Experience has also led me to expect some pretty tunes. Jeff Williams confounds the latter expectation at least. There are strong themes and rich harmonies in his writing, but what you won’t find is much sentimentality or sweetness. No-nonsense is an adjective that could be applied to everything about him as a musician. “

Peter Bacon The Jazz Breakfast

“A treasure of a group”

Mike Collins Jazzyblogman

Quintet CBSO

"Over the last decade...
...that I have been living for much of each year in London I have been fortunate to be able to hand pick some of the city's finest musicians for my UK-based group. Our performances have been revelatory, if infrequent--a situation I hope to improve upon with the release of our upcoming album 'Outlier'.

My first studio recording as a leader on Whirlwind since 2011's Another Time (with my American quartet), Outlier features both new and never-before-recorded original compositions played magnificently by Josh Arcoleo-tenor saxophone, Phil Robson-guitar, Kit Downes-piano and Sam Lasserson-bass. I am the drummer, of course, but I also manage to sneak in on some other instruments on one selection.

The program is a journey through some of the different aspects of my musical life, going from the title track's mysterious nature to the Monkishly playful second track, 'The Interloper', and on to ''Dream Visitor', a slice of pre-fusion jazz-rock. Continuing with the balladic 'Meeting a Stranger' (first heard on my 90's release Jazzblues), then a dedication to Hermeto Pascoal, followed by the briskly swinging 'Oddity'.

I am thrilled to have this recording coming out on Whirlwind next March."



Videos by Ed Lawes & Associates: ed@1-4-4.com


In a career spanning four decades...

...on the New York jazz scene Jeff Williams' musical associates have included Dizzy Gillespie, Stan Getz, Lee Konitz, Dave Liebman and Lookout Farm, Joe Lovano, Paul Bley and many more.

Since making a second home in London, following marriage to novelist Lionel Shriver, Jeff Williams has performed in the UK with Kenny Wheeler, Norma Winstone, and has toured with McHenry, Konitz, the Phil Robson/Dave Liebman Quartet, and Martin Speake's Change of Heart (with Bobo Stenson) while also collaborating with Hans Koller, Mike Gibbs, Nikki Iles and many others.

Jeff's UK Quintet features...

Parliamentary award winning guitarist Phil Robson, known for his exceptionally versatile musicianship and compositional excellence in the band Partisans, as well as with Christine Tobin and his own groups, including his latest organ trio, has worked with Jeff in a variety of contexts in the UK and US over the last decade, notably in a quartet featuring Dave Liebman.

Josh Arcoleo, was a 2011 1st class degree graduate of the Royal Academy of music (where he had one to one lessons with Jeff) while also winning a Yamaha Parliamentary Jazz Scholarship and the Kenny Wheeler Jazz Prize, the latter being a recording contract with Edition Records for his debut album Beginnings. In addition to leading his own groups he has toured with artists ranging from Pee Wee Ellis to Joss Stone.
One of the best young saxophonists to emerge in the UK in recent years” –Ian Mann

Pianist Kit Downes composes for and tours with his own group 'Tricko' (in which he plays piano, with Lucy Railton - cello), while also working with 'Wedding Music' (playing church organ, Tom Challenger - saxophone) and a new piano trio 'The Enemy' featuring Petter Eldh (bass) and James Maddren (drums). He also plays and writes for 'Troyka', and collaborates with many other musicians, composers, artists, filmmakers and organisations.
"One of the finest pianists of his generation" - Timeout Magazine

Double bassist Sam Lasserson has worked with Jeff in a number of different ensembles, including those led by Martin Speake, Ethan Iverson and Mike Chillingworth. John Fordham called him “the linchpin” in Jeff’s quintet. Others who regard Sam in the same manner include George Crowley, Emilia Martensson, Julian Arguelles and Jim Hart, to name but a few. Sam also joins Jeff and American saxophonist John O’Gallagher in the group Valence, whose recently released debut CD on Willful Archives was called “An absorbing and thrilling example of the art of the trio” by Ian Mann.

John O'Gallagher is considered one of the most compelling alto saxophonists and composers at work today on the New York jazz scene. He is known for an innovative style which pushes the boundaries of jazz while rooted in it's tradition. During the past 25 years living in New York he has become known for his projects as a leader, and as a sought after sideman, working with artist such as Joe Henderson, Maria Schnieder, Kenny Wheeler, Billy Hart, Tony Malaby, Jeff Williams, Tom Rainey, Chris Cheek, Ralph Alessi, Rudresh Manhathappa, Mike Formanek, Ben Monder and numerous others.
"Mr. O'Gallagher is an exploratory alto saxophonist with a clear melodic streak" - The New York Times
(John O'Gallagher will replace Phil Robson from March 2016).

Jeff's Recent & Upcoming Performances

8th July: w/Dave Scott Group, Smalls Jazz Club, NYC

24th Sept: Jeff Williams Quartet w/Phil Robson, Josh Arcoleo, Sam Lasserson, NC Jazz, Northampton, UK http://www.ncjazz.co.uk/index.html

29th Sept. w/Martin Speake, Guildford, UK

10th Nov. Jeff Williams Trio w/Josh Arcoleo, Sam Lassserson, Spotted Dog, Birmingham, UK https://www.facebook.com/spotteddogjazz

27th Nov: w/Hans Koller, Vortex, London

30th Nov: w/Alex Merritt Quartet, The Oxford, Kentish Town, London


16 March: Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester

17 March: Seven Jazz, Leeds

18th March 2016: Jeff Williams Quartet w/Josh Arcoleo, KIt Downes, Sam Lasserson, Sheffield, UK Sheffield Jazz Website



Danielle White
+44 (0)7841 675 263
* Photos by John Watson Jazzcamera

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