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About Roy Williams

Williams began his career during the British trad jazz movement of the 1950s. He's not an early jazz specialist, however, but a versatile improviser who can play convincingly in a swing-derived style; his playing bears the influence of both Jack Teagarden and Urbie Green. Williams played with trumpeter Mike Peters and clarinetist Terry Lightfoot in the early '60s. He joined trumpeter Alex Welsh's Dixieland outfit in 1965, replacing Roy Crimmins. While with Welsh, Williams played with such prominent American jazz players as Wild Bill Davison, Bud Freeman, and Ruby Braff. Williams left Welsh in 1978 and joined Humphrey Lyttlelton's band. He stayed with Lyttelton for four years. In the '80s he began working freelance, playing with such musicians as clarinetist Peanuts Hucko, tenor saxophonist Scott Hamilton, trumpeter Bent Persson, and Williams's former mate in the Alex Welsh Band, clarinetist John Barnes. He also performed with The World's Greatest Jazz Band. Among Williams's recordings are Gruesome Twosome (Black Lion, 1980) and Interplay (Sine, 1996), both with Barnes. In 1998 Williams co-led a swing-oriented quintet date with saxophonist Danny Moss; the session produced Steamers! for the Nagel-Heyer label. At this writing Williams remains a popular presence on the British mainstream jazz scene. ~ Chris Kelsey

Bolton, Lancashire, England
7 Mar 1937