Buster Williams “Something More” Quartet

Buster Williams – bass

Mark Gross -  alt & soprano saxophone

Eric Reed – piano

Cindy Blackman-Santana - drums


Island of Sveti Nikola, June 28 at 10 p.m.

Without Buster Williams the modern history of jazz would not be what it is. He has been around for more than fifty years, working with such jazz giants as Art Blakey, Betty Carter, Chet Baker, Chick Corea, Dexter Gordon, Branford Marsalis, Wynton Marsalis, Herbie Hancock, Larry Coryell, Lee Konitz, McCoy Tyner, Elvin Jones, Ron Carter, Sarah Vaughan, Benny Golson, Mary Lou Williams, Hank Jones, Lee Morgan, Bobby Hutcherson, Sonny Rollins, Count Basie, Errol Garner, Kenny Barron, Charlie Rouse, and Freddie Hubbard. The list could go on and on.


He was born as Charles Anthony in Camden, New Jersey in 1942. His father taught him to play the bass and drums, but it was Oscar Pettiford's recordings that tipped the scales in favour of the bass. Buster studied the theory of music and composition at Philadelphia's Combs College of Music and started career in 1960 in Jimmy Heath's band. Soon he joined Gene Ammons/Sonny Stitt Quintet (1960-1961). From 1962 to 1968, he supported three great jazz vocals: Betty Carter (1962-1963), Sarah Vaughan (1963), and Nancy Wilson (1964-1968), and between 1967 and 1969 played and recorded with Jazz Crusaders and worked for a while with Miles Davis and Bobby Hutcherson/Harold Land Quintet. In 1969, Willliams moved to New York to work with Herbie Hancock, first until 1973 and then again in the second half of the 1980s. In these years he regularly played with such superbands as Timeless All Stars and Sphere.


In the early 1990s, Buster established "Something More" Quartet, whose members have changed over time, and now it boasts three exceptional musicians. One is saxophone player Mark Gross, who has recorded over 40 notable albums, two of which - with Dave Holland Big Band - received the Grammy Award. Gross also performed with Nat Aderlley, Mulgrew Miller, Wynton Marsalis, and others. Piano player Eric Reed was a regular member of Wynton Marsalis enesmble from 1990 to 1995, he worked with some of the jazz icons such as Freddie Hubbard, Joe Henderson, Wayne Shorter and Elvin Jones, and recorded some two dozens well-received albums as a leader. The third member, Cindy Blackman-Santana, is best known to the audience for her recording and touring with the pop star Lenny Kravitz and the guitar icon, now her husband, Carlos Santana. But the list of people she worked with could as easily be a "who is who in jazz", as it includes such names as Joe Henderson, Pharoah Sanders, Sam Rivers, Cassandra Wilson, Ron Carter, Kenny Garrett, and many others.

Buster Williams

Valamar Jazz Festival photopostcard