Claude Williamson, American jazz pianist, Died at 89

Claude Berkeley Williamson was born on November 18, 1926, and died on July 16, 2016.

He was an American jazz pianist.

He studied at the New England Conservatory of Music before moving to jazz, influenced mainly by Teddy Wilson, then by Al Haig and Bud Powell.

During 1947, Claude Williamson relocated to California, working first with Teddy Edwards, then with Red Norvo in San Francisco, with Charlie Barnet in 1949, and with June Christy for two years.

Then, later on he got a job with Max Roach, Art Pepper and others. Williamson was a longtime member of the Lighthouse All-Stars (substituting for pianist Russ Freeman), performing with Bud Shank, Stan Levey, Bob Cooper, Conte Candoli and Howard Rumsey.

During 1956, Claude became the piano player in the Bud Shank quartet. In 1968 he started working as a pianist for NBC, first on The Andy Williams Show, then for Sonny and Cher.

During 1978, he went back to the jazz world and released many albums, mainly for Japanese labels, often accompanied by Sam Jones and Roy Haynes. In 1995 he made a trio recording for Fresh Sound Records at the Jazz Bakery in Los Angeles.

Claude’s younger brother was trumpeter Stu Williamson (1933-1991).

Claude Williamson passed away at 89 years old.