Williams, Sandy (1906-1991)

Born in Summerville, SC; trombonist; moved to Washington, D.C. as a child and played his first gig with the Miller Brothers in D.C. and with small bands led by Sidney Bechet, where Williams is said to have done some of his finest work; his first recording with Bechet was in 1940, and in 1945 he played with Bechet’s band at a Town Hall concert celebrating the Blue Note record label; he also played in the pit band in D.C. at the Lincoln Theater; he later joined Claude Hopkins (1927-1930), Horace and Fletcher Henderson (1929-33), and then Chick Webb until 1940 after Webb’s death and under the leadership of Ella Fitzgerald; in 1943, he played with the Duke Ellington Orchestra, and with Coleman Hawkins, Lucky Millinder, Benny Carter, Cootie Williams, “Hot Lips” Page, Don Redman, and Roy Eldridge, periodically; Williams toured with Rex Stewart in Europe (1947-48) and later played with Dixieland groups; a fine trombonist of the Jimmy Harrison school who never got the chance to break through and become the prominent figure he could have been partly because of persistent health problems during the 1950s and subsequent dental problems during the 1960s; Williams died in 1991 in New York City.

Image Gallery

Selected Albums


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