Festival International de Jazz de Montréal
Home > Artists > Buster Williams
Buster Williams

Buster Williams

1942 -

Origin: United States

Main instrument: Bass/double bass/cello

Genre: Jazz

A brilliant double bassist and sought-after accompanist who has played with several generations of jazzmen, Buster Williams ranks among the greats thanks to his refined technique on the acoustic bass, and his impeccable sense of harmony and rhythm. Charles Anthony Williams Jr., nicknamed Buster, was born in Camden, New Jersey in 1942 to a seamstress mother and bassist father, who would become his teacher and mentor. He began his musical studies in composition at Philadelphia's Combs College of Music. He then kicked off his career in his late teens in 1959, when he joined Jimmy Heath and his quartet, then Gene Ammons and Sonny Stitt. In the early ’60s, he accompanied renowned singers Dakota Staton, Carmen McRae, Betty Carter and Sarah Vaughan, who took him on his first European tour, as well as Nancy Wilson. The list of illustrious collaborators dotting his brilliant career offers ample testimony to his versatility and includes Art Blakey, Chet Baker, Chick Corea, Dexter Gordon, Branford Marsalis, Wynton Marsalis, McCoy Tyner, Miles Davis, Cedar Walton, Sonny Rollins, Ron Carter and Count Basie. He leaned into soul-jazz and funk as part of the Jazz Crusaders, and from 1969 to 1973, was part of Herbie Hancock’s Mwandishi Sextet, winning a Grammy with them in 1979. He was a member of a Sphere with Kenny Barron and Charlie Rouse, and the Timeless All Stars with Cedar Walton and Bobby Hutcherson. He also made his mark in film, composing music for original soundtracks for directors David Lynch and Spike Lee, and for TV and advertising. In 1975, he stepped into the solo realm and founded the Buster Williams Quintet. In the ’80s and ’90s, he won new attention as a composer: his discography as a bandleader includes Pinnacle (1975), Something More (1990), Somewhere Along the Way (1998), Houdini (2001), Griot Libertè (2004) and 65 Roses (2009).

2000 Sphere avec Kenny Barron, Buster Williams, Ben Riley and Gary Bartz Wednesday, July 5, 2000 at 9 p.m.
Spectrum de Montréal
2001 Wallace Roney presents "Miles and Miles: A Musical Journey" Saturday, July 7, 2001 at 6 p.m.
Théâtre Maisonneuve - PdA
2007 A Miles Davis Tribute : Four Generations of Miles - with George Coleman, Jimmy Cobb, Buster Williams and Mike Stern Friday, June 29, 2007 at 7:30 p.m.
Théâtre Jean-Duceppe - PdA
2015 Heads of State with Buster Williams, Gary Bartz, Al Foster and Larry Willis Monday, June 29, 2015 at 10:30 p.m.
Gesù — Centre de créativité

To comment on this profile or signal some inaccurate information, send your email to webmestre_jazz@equipespectra.ca.

Artists index

Name of the artist or group

Show artists who appeared in:

Show artists whose musical genre is:

Show artists whose musical instrument is:

Search for artists by country or province:

Link to this video