Davey Williams

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Davey Williams

Davey J. Williams (born 1952 in York; died April 2019 in Birmingham) was a free improvisation and avant-garde guitarist, founder of Transmuseq and co-founder of The Improvisor journal of experimental music.

Davey, the son of Ooleeta Bozone and Haynie Williams, began playing guitar at age 12, inspired by rock and blues musicians. He studied and played with Johnny Shines after high school and also performed with the Salt & Pepper Soul Band. At the University of Alabama he was a member of the B Jazz Ensemble and a frequent collaborator with Rev. Fred Lane's Debonairs and the Raudelunas' Pataphysical Revue. He also met violinist LaDonna Smith in Tuscaloosa. Together they founded Transmuseq in 1976, touring the United States and Europe in 1978.

Williams returned to blues in the 1980s, performing with Trains in Trouble, and later with George Cartwright's New York-based experimental group Curlew. He also appeared with Col. Bruce Hampton and in the bands OK, Nurse and Fuzzy Sons and founded a London, England-based improvisational trio which performed as Say What?

Williams and Smith began publishing The Improvisor in 1981. He also worked as a freelance music reviewer and as a critic for The Birmingham News from 1987 to 1989.

Williams died from complications from cancer in April 2019.


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