It was as an eleven year old schoolboy in the town of Richardson TX that Jamie WilliamS first picked up the saxophone. From that day on he began to plan his musical career and although initially anticipating a part in the kind of horn sections he had heard backing bands such as Earth, Wind, & Fire or Huey Lewis and the News he then discovered David Sanborn and knew the road to a solo career was the one that beckoned. While still at The University of Miami he played concerts with the Miami Sound Machine, Jon Secada, and Hiram Bullock. After graduating, Jamie spent time in both Memphis and Nashville where his musical horizons widened ever further but it was when he moved to Orlando, FL that things really started to happen. In late 2003, and with his band now gigging at some of the best clubs and festivals around, he was introduced to multi-platinum producer Veit Renn whose credits include work with Backstreet Boys and NSync. Veit was so impressed with Jamie that he took on the task of producing his debut CD, the independently published ‘After Hours’ that is out now.
The overwhelming impression that the album gives comes from the enormous power that WilliamS incorporates into his playing. In the main he blows the doors off with a succession of up tempo high octane tracks and even when, in relative terms, he uses the title cut to turn things down he still generates considerable clout. In the big and bold department ‘Calculated Risk’ is a particularly good track while ‘Tropica’ is refreshingly mellow and melodic yet still drives on to a potent climax. That said WilliamS produces some surprises too. He pulls off a real coup by having the Oscar winning (and Idol ‘also ran’) Jennifer Hudson on featured vocals for the faithful interpretation of Stevie Wonder’s ‘Overjoyed’. Hudson is every bit as good as her growing pedigree suggests she should be and when Jamie strays into urban waters for his own composition, the hugely funky ‘2 Cool’, we find him at his extremely edgy best. With Veit’s production nous all over it, and an understated hype track from Oddz N Endz, this one has all the street ‘cred’ you will ever need. Clearly a contender for best track on the album it’s maybe just shaded by the Musiq Soulchild tune ‘Love’. Originally from Musiq’s 2000 release ‘Aijuswanaseing’ this handsome ballad finds WilliamS at his most soulful and with an earthy vocal from Robert ‘RAab’ Stevenson that’s just right, together they deliver a timeless piece of emotional R & B.
Within a genre that is sometimes accused of being bland Jamie WilliamS is never that. ‘After Hours’ reverberates with the passion he has for his music and is available through CD Baby. For more go to www.jamiewilliamsmusic.com