Treasure Seeker review by Frank Griffith for London Jazz News October 25, 2018
Singer Gary Williams has just released his tenth CD, Treasure Seekers, a collection of 13 songs that he co-wrote with pianist and composer Jon Nickoll.
Williams flows seamlessly through his songs that feature a variety of tempi, grooves with dramatic and subtle qualities alike. The one thing that they all share is a positive view and an optimistic air for impending romance. Gary’s clear and resonant voice, coupled with his perfect tuning and diction, goes a long way to delivering this collection with aplomb.
The legendary composer and songwriter, Leslie Bricusse, states it well: “Songs like these make you want the ghosts of Mel Torme and Matt Monro to come back and sing them. Until they do, Gary Williams is their worthy guardian.” Enough said.
Other key members that seal this recording effort include Phil Steel’s eloquent big band arrangements as well as producer/engineer, Chris Traves, not to mention playing all of the trombone parts (does this guy ever sleep?) all with great precision and taste.
The excellent band includes studio and jazz stalwarts like Matt Regan – piano, Elliot Henshaw – drums, Joe Pettit – bass, Adrian Revell – reeds and Malcolm Melling – trumpet, among many others.
I found that the tenor sax solos of Australian-born Graeme Blevins have a succinctness and effectiveness that add immensely to this CD. His clear and fiery tone fused with an effortless command of the horn brought untold dramatic heights to the proceedings. The listener’s focus never veers away from the song or the singer.
Gary confessed that sharing his initial reticence in writing and recording his own songs to Oscar-winning lyricist, Don Black, was met with “You know what a great song sounds like because you’ve been singing them all your life. You’ll be fine.”
I could not agree more and Treasure Seekers is an excellent testimonial to this. Grab it.