Jeff Williams was raised in Oberlin, Ohio where he began playing drums at age eight. Self-taught, with the aid of his parents' collection of jazz recordings as a guide, he started playing gigs with local professionals at age fourteen. Jeff's mother, Ann Williams, moved to New York to pursue a jazz singing career when he was nine, introducing him to a number of musicians who would be his early mentors, including drummers Jo Jones, Herb Lovelle, Elvin Jones, and Oliver Jackson. In 1967 Jeff made his recording debut with the psychedelic group Ant Trip Ceremony (Cicadelic).
For the last decade Jeff has been dividing his time between New York and London. He has toured the UK with Bill McHenry (2005), Lee Konitz (2006), and Dave Liebman (in a quartet co-led by British guitarist Phil Robson--2008-09). During 2006-09 Jeff performed throughout Britain with saxophonist Martin Speake and pianist Bobo Stenson in support of Speake's Change of Heart (ECM). He has also appeared in the UK with Nikki Iles, Hans Koller's ensemble (with guest soloists Kenny Wheeler, Bob Brookmeyer, and Evan Parker), Christine Tobin, Bobby Wellins, Julian Arguelles, Ingrid Laubrock, Barry Green, Julian Siegel, Norma Winstone, Kit Downes, Olie Brice, Alex Merritt, Mike Fletcher and Alex Bonney. Recent activities have included a 50+ date tour with Martin Speak and Mike Outram in support of the CD Always a First Time, additional touring with John O'Gallagher, Francois Théberge, Sam Lasserson, and a reunion tour with Tony Malaby organized by bassist Olie Brice.
Jeff's latest recordings include Richard Sussman Continuum, featuring Randy Brecker and Jerry Bergonzi (Origin), Hans Koller with Bill Frisell Cry Want (psi), Martin Speake Live At Riverhouse (Pumpkin) and Always a First Time (Pumpkin), Nikki Iles Hush (Basho), Mike Gibbs Twelve Play GilEvans, Lee Konitz, Dan Tepfer, Michael Janisch, Jeff Williams First Meeting (Whirlwind Recordings) and Jeff Williams Another Time and The Listener (Whirlwind Recordings) featuring Jeff's current New York-based quartet comprised of Duane Eubanks, John O'Gallagher and John Hébert. The group toured the UK in 2012 and The Listener is a live recording from London's Vortex.
Jeff's UK Quintet (Finn Peters-alto saxophone and flute, Josh Arcoleo-tenor saxophone, Phil Robson-guitar, Sam Lasserson-bass) has appeared for three years in a row at the London Jazz Festival and recorded live at the Amazonas Jazz Festival in July 2013. The limited release CD, Concert In The Amazon, is available from this site and at live performances only.
More About this Artist
New York City Jazz Record“Jeff Williams has honed a sound that seamlessly blends a sinewy, propulsive rhythmic sense with a masterful appreciation of space and atmosphere. ”