Buster Williams Releases “Unalome”

Buster Williams: UnalomeLegendary jazz bassist Buster Williams is celebrating his 80th year on earth with a new album called Unalome, which takes its name from a “Buddhist symbol representing individual transcendence and the path to enlightenment over the course of one’s life.” Williams, a practicing Buddhist himself, follows the concept by continuing to grow every day.

“It seemed to express perfectly the mood or the collective spirit of the music on this particular project,” he explains. “I believe that your life should be a succession of steps, and that those steps should be along an ascending path.”

Williams is once again joined by longtime musical partners, including saxophonist Bruce Williams, pianist George Colligan, vibraphonist Stefon Harris, and drummer Lenny White. Singer Jean Baylor also figures heavily throughout the album, offering gorgeous vocals complemented perfectly by the instrumentalists’ sensitive playing.

The bassist and bandleader compiled several jazz and Latin standards for the album and a handful of new originals. One of the highlights is the new ballad “In The Middle of a Rainbow.” Williams had the melody floating in his head for some time before dreaming up the lyrics on the way to the studio to record it.

“I used to think that I couldn’t write lyrics,” he says. “I wouldn’t even try. But when I wrote the title track and ‘Air Dancing’ for [the 1989 album] Something More, lyrics started coming to me. I don’t put barriers up anymore to say, ‘I can’t do this.’ I’d rather say, ‘Up till now I haven’t.’ Rather than, you know, I can’t. That’s been part of my growth, and it’s very refreshing because it lets me know that doors are not locked. Doors are there to be opened.”

Unalome is available now on CD and as a digital download (iTunes and Amazon MP3).

Unalome Track List:

  1. Stairways
  2. Estate
  3. Tayamisha
  4. In the Middle of a Rainbow
  5. The Wisdom of Silence
  6. 42nd Street
  7. I’ve Got The World on a String
  8. Here’s to Life

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