Thursday, March 12, 2015

REST IN TEMPO: Tom Williamson, 1937-2015

Tom Williamson was born on October 29, 1937 in Montgomery, Alabama. His family moved to Detroit in the early forties, where he was exposed to jazz music as a youngster and began playing the trumpet. Williamson attended an all-black high school but at sixteen left to enlist in the United States Air Force, and ended up stationed in Kansas. In 1958 his left the military, then moved to Los Angeles in 1961, where he took up the bass, studying with teachers Richard Taylor, John Dule and Ray Siegel. He began playing at the It Club and Adams West Theatre in Mid-City Los Angeles. During the seventies he studied business at Pasadena City College and later in 1992 obtained a B.S. in Marketing from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. His career includes working and recording with Los Angeles Jazz Quintet, the John Carter-Bobby Bradford Quartet (where he was the principal bassist), Horace Tapscott's Pan-Afrikan People's Arkestra and Curtis Peagler. He passed away on March 2, 2015.

Some examples of Tom's basswork:

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