Patrick Williams R.I.P.

Discussion in 'Jazz on A&M/CTi/Horizon and Others' started by lj, Dec 19, 2018.

  1. lj

    lj Active Member Thread Starter

    Earlier this year the musical world lost this brilliant composer and arranger. Pat had an amazing ability to blend the best of jazz and classical musical influences into a big band/orchestral sound. Please refer to his Grammy winner "Threshold" album. He really got started as a top arranger for the top pop vocalists in the late 1960s for the likes of Dionne Warwick, Jack Jones and Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme. Pat brilliantly orchestrated Steve and Eydie's Broadway Show "Golden Rainbow" from 1968. This show had a wonderful score with each song a melodic winner with his arrangments as icing on the cake. A personal favorite of mine was his first album from 1968--"Shades of Today." The tracks included Edu Lobo songs as well as his own compositions using only brass and no wind instruments to a wonderful effect. You may already be familiar with the theme from the 1970s TV series "The Streets of San Francisco," which he wrote. He could do it all writing for TV, motion pictures and in recording studio. He was simply the best in what he did.
     
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  2. lj

    lj Active Member Thread Starter

    I remember reading in Stereo Review a review of the album "Shades of Today"by Gene Lees, the the famous jazz essayist and lyricist ("Quiet Nights and Quiet Stars"). Lees wrote that Pat Williams had the most exciting big band sound since that of the legendary Billy May. Interestingly May, arguably the most inventive and creative arranger ever, arranged two albums "Big Fat Brass" and Sinatra's "Come Swing With Me" without reed instruments. Billy May was known for his driving sound, and Williams also achieved that with his "Shades" album sans any reeds, just driving trumpets, trombones, french horns and a rhythm section. A true tour de force.

    But Williams could also arrange magnificently for ballads. Here is an example--Dionne Warwick's Theme from Valley of the Dolls. Notice his wonderfully haunting use of the piano and flugelhorn at the start and ending of the song.

     
  3. lj

    lj Active Member Thread Starter

    Pat Williams had a knack for writing classic arrangements for Brazilian songs. Here is his version of Ponteio.

     
  4. lj

    lj Active Member Thread Starter

    Here is the title track--Threshold--from his grammy award winning album. Note the great flute playing by Tom Scott, who also stood out on the "Circle Game" from the Brasil 77 Primal Roots album.

     
  5. I had not heard of his passing.

    RIP Mr. Williams and thank you for the music.

    His album “Aurora” is every bit as good as “Threshold”, and Threshold is brilliant.
     
  6. lj

    lj Active Member Thread Starter

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