Valdo O. Williams (March 30, 1928 – July 8, 2010). Played with Charlie Parker in the 50s (Uptown CD) and with Hal Singer in the 60s.
Was a member of David Avram's trio with Denis Charles which was augmented from time to time with John Ore or Ahmed Abdul-Malik.
In 1964 his trio played with Bill Dixon at the Cellar Coffee. At another occaison Aylbert Ayler joined a trio with Alan Silva, the drummer Gerald Splivvy McKeever and Williams.
Barry Altschul's first gigs were with his group.
"Writers and musicians sometimes talk as if only major players leave the big footprints. But minor players can be key influences, too. Jackie mentions two he knew from his old Harlem neighborhood. By example Ernie Henry (...) Less known was Valdo Williams. In the late '40's, says Jackie, "He was the first guy playing kind of free concept rather than Thelonious, who I thought was always freer then everybody else, even back then. Valdo's solos were very close to what you hear Cecil Taylor playing. When he played a song like 'All The Things You Are,' a blues, or whatever, he would play the correct chords, and accompany all the soloists in the traditional way. But when his solo came, he would stretch out and play against the form. If it was a 36-bar form, he would fill up 36 bars with his chorus, but it wouldn't be based directly on the chords. He would be playing much freer, freer than anybody I'd heard at the time." Williams left New York for Montreal in the early 50's." (Down Beat, October 90, p. 22)
In an interview with Ben Sidran, McLean says that Sonny Rollins used to know Valdo Williams too.
At least one more LP was recorded by Discovery but it never surfaced.
In February 1967 the Down Beat magazine (Volume 34, 1967, S. 12) announced a concert of the "New Advanced Jazz Trio".
Since then his whereabouts are unknown.
Valdo Williams, piano
Reggie Johnson, bass
Stu Martin, drums
1. Desert Fox 09:50
2. Bad Manners 11:40
3. Move Faster 05:52
4. The Conqueror 16:40
All tunes by Valdo Williams.
Recorded in NYC, December 20, 1966.
SAVOY MG 12188
(Savoy SV-0238 CD)
(produced by Bill Dixon?)
See also an interview where Alan Silva is talking a bit about Valdo Williams > #