"Outlier has a classy, lived-in feel that never glosses over this band's tough, restless spirit in performance." Jazzwise "...robustly appealing tun


"Outlier has a classy, lived-in feel that never glosses over this band's tough, restless spirit in performance."


"...robustly appealing tunes and sparky improv...">>Read More Here<<


"This is a very good album which benefits from Williams' imaginative compositions and the ensemble's excellent musicianship. It's also a grower, so play frequently for a lasting effect." >>Read More Here<<

All About Jazz

“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



Across a career spanning four decades, it would seem easiest to consider the musicians with whom Jeff Williams hasn’t worked. A respected stalwart of the international jazz circuit, the American drummer has most notably rubbed shoulders with Stan Getz, Dizzy Gillespie, Lee Konitz, Dave Liebman, Randy Brecker, John Abercrombie and Joe Lovano.

Williams has graced innumerable New York and London stages over the years, making frequently Atlantic crossings between the two cities. In his latest solo project, the accomplished band leader and composer collaborates with both seasoned and up-and-coming colleagues from the UK: Josh Arcoleo (tenor), Phil Robson (guitar), Kit Downes (keys) and Sam Lasserson (basses). On this engaging album of originals, the dynamic quintet riffs on typically various, energized tunes.

His third album for Whirlwind (following 2011’s Another Time and 2013’s The Listener), Williams’ Outlier combines revisited works from the ‘70s and ‘80s – such as the driving, fusion-laced ‘Dream Visitor’ and Brazilian-hued ‘Hermeto’ (after Hermeto Pascoal) – with more recent, equally assertive compositions. As an experienced leader at the kit, with an instinctive, deeply imbued jazz sensibility, Williams coaxes intelligent, colorful interplay from his colleagues. As Jeff confirms: “It always astonishes me what these guys – leaders in their own right – bring to the music that I write. They find things I didn’t even know existed.”

Indeed, this imaginative band ranges from the smouldering, Joe Henderson-influenced oscillations of the title track ‘Outlier’ to no-let-up ‘Oddity,’ which swings with unbridled vitality. The simpler, straight-ahead beauty of ‘New and Old’ recalls poignant memories with tender detail. Also a pianist, adding Rhodes to this album, Williams describes ‘Meeting a Stranger’ as “one of those rare tunes that came out whole”. ‘The Interloper’ exudes joyful, Monkish abandon.

Like all masters of a genre, Jeff Williams has profoundly internalized the traditions of jazz without being tyrannized by its conventions. Fusing and remixing his influences into his own unique voice, he refuses to constrain himself to a single stylistic approach. Most vitally, he wants his audience to respond to his music emotionally: “It’s my continued vision – my aim to offer something that’s universal but also personal, and which might transport the listener into a realm that’s pleasurable and thought-provoking. It’s important to me that, amongst the technicality of music, there’s a feeling and a warmth to be discovered.”



Click image above to hear tracks from Outlier


Bob Hewson photo

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

"I’m excited that the UK based group I’ve had for some time finally has a studio recording, as well as live performances coming up around its release. "

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 Williams Band Upcoming Gigs

16 March: Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester w/Josh Arcoleo, KIt Downes, Sam Lasserson
17 March: Seven Jazz, Leeds w/Josh Arcoleo, KIt Downes, Sam Lasserson
18th March: Sheffied Jazz w/Josh Arcoleo, KIt Downes, Sam Lasserson
28 March - ALBUM RELEASE EVENT - Jazz in the Round/ Giles Peterson
13 May: The Verdict, Brighton
14 Oct: Wakefield Jazz
11 Nov: Leicester Jazzhouse
23 Nov: Liverpool Hope University (quartet w/ Sam Lasserson, Josh Arcoleo and John O'Gallagher)
25 Nov: Fleece Jazz (quartet w/ Sam Lasserson, Josh Arcoleo and John O'Gallagher)



Raestar Promotions
Danielle White
+44 (0)7841 675 263

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