Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced, All
THE BOOKER T. QUINTET. The billing for this concert is "Jazz Meets the Hora," so it is clear
that this will not be a routine event, since one does not ordinarily think of Jewish music in the
jazz context. Booker T., however, is no ordinary musician.
The saxophonist and flutist, who hails from Seattle, spent a number of years toiling in New York
without gaining much attention. That changed to a degree in 1988, when he recorded "Go Tell It
on the Mountain" for Silkheart Records. More recently, Booker T. was featured on Freestyle
(DIW Records) by the Haitian-American group Ayibobo.
The musician has been greatly influenced by the gospel music he was raised with, and later by the
Jewish music he heard playing on weddings and other events when he was scuffling for a living.
For those seeking a different slant on jazz, this concert should prove interesting.”
Quote from Jazz critic Frances Davis: (Referring to Booker’s style)
"The obsessive soul-searching that prods his work suggests affinities with John Coltrane and Albert Ayler.
But unlike too many of the tenor saxophonists who have caught Coltane's and Ayler's fervor, Booker T.
has an earthy sense of humor[...]"
Quote from Robert Christgau from Village Voice (Referring to the a performance):
"Booker T. Williams sent everybody home happy by shrieking, honking and funking to a showboat climax. Stubblefield was so happy that he sashayed and twitched his hips as the rest of the band filed off."
Taken from a quote by New York TImes writer Jon Pareles:
"Booker T by contrast, played broad, weighty notes against the beat, building tension by fighting the flow."
Liner notes by Valerie Wilmer. (Referring to the Dennis Charles Triangle session 4/26/89-4/27/89):
"Named in honor of a revolutionary Black woman from St. Croix, Charles along with his
brother Huss Charles on conga, a sturdy and outstanding Wilber Morris on bass, and a
stalwartly strong but woefully under-recorded Booker T. on tenor sax offer up a program
which manages to emphasize solos without at the same time de-emphasizing the compositions.
The balance is extraordinary and the music invigorating, especially because its rhythmic appeal
is so strong that one quickly drops any prejudices that one has about the lack of swing in avant-
Born on March 3, 1949 in Seattle, Washington, Booker T. Williams, Jr. displayed his artistic talent at
a very early age…. sketching and drawing virtually anything and everything. However at around age 13,
Booker became smitten with the saxophone bug and his artwork became a secondary consideration.
After attending Washington State University and the University of Washington for several years, he set
out for NYC in 1974 to further “chase the music”, with a passion for art still reverberating in his being.
Booker travelled extensively through-out Europe and Japan, honing his sax chops and gigged considerably in and around New York. In addition, Booker has recorded, gigged, and jammed substantially with such notables as Andrew Cyrille, Sonny Stitt, Reggie Workman, Denis Charles, Charles Mingus, Archie Shepp, McCoy Tyner and Sonny Rollins to name a few.
Society Situation Dance Band
Booker T. has also over the years been a permanent member
of Henry Threadgill's "Society Situation Dance Band", a
20 piece orchestra, at these occasions:
Saalfelden, Austria. August 27, 1988
Fabrik Altona, Hamburg, Germany. October 23, 1988
Verona, Italy. June 25, 1996
North Sea Jazz Festival, den Haag, The Netherlands. July 12, 1997
Hudson Tent, Texaco NYC Jazz Festival, USA. June 12, 1998.
SSDB plays Threadgill's arrangements of his familiar tunes, partly from the Sextet albums.
Unfortunately none of these concerts have been commercially issued.
Jazz Meets Hora
Two sets were performed at the University of Arts, Philadelphia, in 1994 and all music was recorded.
This concert was preceded by a work shop with students earlier the same day and a radio interview by
Ludwig Van Trikt.