[JPL] James Williams has died

Jae Sinnett jaejazz at yahoo.com
Tue Jul 20 12:32:15 EDT 2004


Wow. You're right Steve, another sad day indeed. James was a friend but we haven't spoken in a while. I never knew he was sick. I've had the pleasure of performing with him on many occasions and can tell you that he was one of the most kind people I've had the pleasure of knowing and working with. I've always thought James was underrated as a pianist and writer. This is common these days with the focus now being on the marquee flavor of the moment that seems to place such little emphasis on musical significance. James was a hard swinging, musical, soulful and technically proficient pianist that brought joy to many people.
 
The pianist in my trio Allen Farnham, just got his masters from William Paterson where James was teaching. Allen would tell me about the great job James was doing with the program. Locally here in my area there is a young phenom (just turned 17) pianist named Justin Kauflin. I've had the pleasure of teaching him for three years in the Governor's School gifted program. Justin is blind and simply an amazing pianist. Folk will hear of this kid at some point soon. In fact I started using him in my trio when Allen couldn't make the hits. He's truly a prodigy. When Justin started looking for schools to attend I recommended William Paterson because of the many great things Allen mentioned to me about the program and it's proximity to the city. He decided to attend William Paterson starting this fall. This will undoubtedly be a huge loss to the program and to jazz music in general. 
 
Jae Sinnett

Steve Schwartz <Steve_Schwartz at wgbh.org> wrote:
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Dear Radio Collegues

Another sad day in the Jazz Community.
Word came to us early this morning that pianist, composer, band leader and educator James Williams died last night at University Hospital in NYC from liver cancer. 
RIP Dear James


Steve Schwartz

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