Buster Williams (Charles Anthony Williams Jr.) American
double bass player, arranger and composer born Camden, New Jersey
April 17, 1942, performed with The JAZZPAR 2003 Combo featuring Lars Møller,
Geri Allen and Billy Hart.
His father worked various day jobs to support his five children, and
at night played gigs as bassist to support his musical spirit. When Buster
got home from school he was supposed to practice. My father was
a fan of Slam Stewart, and he strung his basses the way Slam did. Instead
of the regular G-D-A-E, he strung a high C-G-D-A.
In 1959 Buster began working with Jimmy Heath, and at
the age of 17 he played with Gene Ammons and Sonny Stitt, just one month
after graduating from Camden High School in 1960, and stayed with them
for a year. Back home in Camden, Buster took courses in Composition, Harmony
and Theory. In 1962, he worked with singer Betty Carter, and then Sarah
Vaughan, who took him on his first European tour.
In 1964 he joined Nancy Wilson, got married, and moved
out to Los Angeles. A handful of albums came from this relationship. During
this time he also recorded five albums with the Jazz Crusaders; worked
and recorded with Miles Davis; played with Kenny Durham and was in demand
for recording sessons.
After returning to New York in October 1968 gigs began
to conflict. Buster chose to stay with Herbie Hancock with whom Buster
has toured since the early 80s in the trio format and other constellations.
In 89, Buster recorded an album of his compositions that featured Wayne
Shorter; Hancock, Al Foster, and Shunzo Ono. This project became the catalyst
for Buster to form his own quintet, Something More.
But before this he was a member of the cooperative quartet,
Sphere, with pianist Kenny Barron; drummer Ben Riley; and the late tenor
saxophonist Charles Rouse. Then came his work with The Timeless All Stars,
featuring Cedar Walton; Billy Higgins; Curtis Fuller; Harold Land; and
Buster Williams has been featured soloist with the London
Symphony Orchestra on a film soundtrack. Other recorded soundtracks include
David Lynchs, Twin Peaks Fire Walk With Me; Spike Lees,
Clockers among others.
The acoustic bass player, who has received numerous awards, grants and
proclamations, makes elegant bass lines and has a characteristic mix of
dancing phrases; sure-footed speed; dark, humming low notes; and bursts
of insistent jazz-groove walking.