Kamaal Williams (also known as Henry Wu) is a British musician and record producer. Williams rose to prominence alongside drummer Yussef Dayes in 2016 as one half of the London-based jazz group Yussef Kamaal following the release of the duo's debut album, Black Focus, which earned them the 'Breakthrough Act' award at the 2017 Jazz FM awards. In addition to live instrumentation, Williams also releases electronic music under the name Henry Wu.
With the debut Kamaal Williams album The Return, the bandleader, AKA Henry Wu, decided to try to adopt a comfortable and free-flowing approach to their sound. The album was recorded on a Clarett 8Pre in my mum's front room," says Williams. The Return is a natural evolution from the Yussef Kamaal project, mining the influence of visionary jazz but blended with all kinds of texture, sounds and signals from the over-saturated London streets. Notable tracks for old and new listeners are Salaam, Situations and Medina. LDN Shuffle features Mansur Brown (of Mansur's Message), and for those diehard Yussef Kamaal fans – they should hear the interpolated roots of Strings of Light in the title track The Return. Signature Wu Funk can be heard on Broken Theme and High Roller.
Kamaal Williams: The Return by Chris May, published on April 16, 2018. Williams has resurfaced with the appropriately titled The Return on his fledgling Black Focus label, made with the ferocious rhythm section of drummer MckNasty and bassist Pete Martin. The fourth member of the group is engineer Richard Samuels, whose studio expertise is crucial to the music. Brownswood regular, guitarist Mansur Brown, guests on "LDN Shuffle," tearing off a solo which gives more than a nod to John McLaughlin's work with Mahavishnu Orchestra.
Kamaal Williams has described The Return, his debut solo album, as "a natural evolution from the Yussef Kamaal project". Yet while that was made in collaboration with drummer Yussef Kamaal and played around with jazz in its myriad forms, The Return sees the man sometimes known as Henry Wu stamp his own mark on proceedings. So while "visionary jazz" (as the press release puts it) is his aim, this manifests itself in a range of ways
If somebody were to surreptitiously start playing Kamaal Williams' solo debut album, 2018's The Return, and then assert that it was a vintage "library music" LP of '70s instrumental jazz-funk (the kind of stock commercial recording intended to evince a popular sound of the era, recorded by studio musicians for general licensing to radio, film, and TV, only to be. rediscovered decades later by hipster crate diggers and vinyl addicts), you'd have no reason to doubt the veracity of the claim.
The Return, keyboardist and producer Kamaal Williams' debut full-length as a bandleader, presents ideas about London's renewed flirtation with jazz and improvisation that are both illuminating and misleading. Yet this collection of instrumental miniatures also underlines what continues to make the city's music exciting, presenting another chapter in its decades-long rhythm-culture continuum, an inter-generational mix that pushes things forward.
08 10. Kamaal Williams The Return Black Focus. After years of listeners’ indifference, jazz is back at the forefront. There’s a revivified movement in London, thanks to artists such as Shabaka Hutchings, Nubya Garcia, Moses Boyd and Kamaal Williams. As part of his previous band Yussef Kamaal, Williams created lush 70s jazz-funk, part Lonnie Liston Smith, part Grover Washington Jr, subtly indebted to the broken beat and UK house he’d also made under the name Henry Wu. Solo or not, The Return is very much in the same ballpark as his Yussef Kamaal material.
Kamaal Williams Kamaal Williams aka Henry Wu Keys & good food. Owner of Black Focus Records. com New Heights, Snitches Brew, released 14 December 2018 1. New Heights (Visions of Aisha Malik) 2. Snitches Brew. Edward Kamaal Williams continues to cook up soulful hip-hop sounds with "New Heights" - it's got me nodding my head like a fiend, especially that piano riff. Snitches Brew" is a throwback to past jazz legends, with Mansur Brown on the guitar taking us to space. Building on the strength of his monstrous LP "The Return," and further cementing his visionary status here, Kamaal Williams is quite literally taking us back to the future. Johnny Lopez Straight goods right here! Kumar Thomas Junk. Kumar Thomas Junk Today the vinyl arrived