Revered jazz bassist Buster Williams is entering his eighties with a new album that celebrates his decades-long commitment to personal growth.
Unalome is named after a Buddhist symbol representing individual transcendence and the path to enlightenment over the course of one’s life.
For Williams, a long-practising Buddhist himself, it has been a guiding concept throughout his life and career.
“It seemed to express perfectly the mood or the collective spirit of the music on this particular project,” Williams explains. “I believe that your life should be a succession of steps, and that those steps should be along an ascending path.
The ensemble that Williams assembled for Unalome features vocalist Jean Baylor, saxophonist Bruce Williams, vibraphonist Stefon Harris, pianist George Colligan and drummer Lenny White.
The album includes three original works that Williams’ wrote specifically for the session — “Stairways,” “In the Middle of a Rainbow” and “The Wisdom of Silence” — along with one from his back catalogue (“Tayamisha”) and several jazz standards.