CD of the Month
December 2010 CD of the Month
Bill Easley is one those “musician’s musicians” who is not well known among casual jazz listeners, but is highly esteemed by his peers. On the scene since the early 1960s, Bill has played with prominent jazz names such as Jimmy McGriff, Charles Earland, Bobby Watson, Louie Bellson, Grady Tate, Dakota Staton, Benny Carter and others. Mr. Easley has also performed and recorded with RnB and blues standouts like Isaac Hayes, Al Green, Denise LaSalle, Ruth Brown and Rufus Thomas, just to name a few.
William Easley was born into a family of musicians in Olean, NY where he began his career as a member of his drummer father’s Bob Easley Combo, which included his mother Lois on piano. In 1964 Bill moved to New York City, attended Julliard and then was drafted in to the Army where he played in the Army band stationed out of Fairbanks, Alaska. Upon his departure from the military he joined the George Benson Quartet and began touring the world and has not stopped performing and recording ever since.
For his latest release, Love Stories, Bill Easley selected 13 romantic themes tunes usually played as ballads or waltzes and gave them new life with an upbeat, swingin’ style to match his traditional, fully rounded tenor saxophone sound reminiscent of the great saxists of jazz’s golden era. Accompanying Bill on this session recorded for the upstart American Showplace Music label are: Tommy James-piano, Hassan Shakur-bass, Willie Martínez-drums and Wilson “Chembo” Corniel on percussion for that extra added backbeat. After you listen to the sax storyteller Mr. Easley’s Love Stories, chances are you’ll have some new love stories of your own to share.