It has been a real pleasure to part of Mike Williams Sama Project over the last few weeks. The gig at the CBSO centre last friday 9th January went really well and it felt like a good glimpse of what may be to come if the project gets the support it deserves and takes off. For those of you not familiar with Mikes playing- he is an astonishing alto sax player and also a fantastic piano player and composer (as evidenced in this commision which was recorded- more on this later). For me Mike occupies a place in the UK jazz scene not unlike Dennis Sandole, Alan Dawson or maybe Bunky Green in the states; being a very generous, wise and inspiring teacher. Never overly concerned with being in the limelight Mike has helped a generation of UK jazz musicians (i am fortunate to count myself among these) on a musical, personal and spiritual level (his commitment to his Sufi practice itself is inspiring for its diligence and wholehearted surrender- as i likewise have found within my buddhist practice such disciplines lend a rigour to ones musical life also.)
Mike Williams being given a platform to showcase his musical talents to a wider audience is long overdue and its fantastic that there are organisations such as Jazzlines around now atleast in part filling the gulf left by jazz services’ untimely demise (not that there would have ever been a good time) to give exposure to musicians like Mike that have already made quite a contribution to the music but are largely unknown to the wider jazz audience a chance to get some due recognition.
I will possibly be able to share some on this site at some stage, more on this at a later date.