Herbie Hancock (left), Buster Williams and Billy Hart during a recording session for the Mwandishi Sextet
Bassist Buster Williams was born on this day (April 17) in Camden, New Jersey, in 1942. He turns 77 today. One of the most prolific bassists in jazz, Williams was a seminal figure in the bebop movement and played a crucial role in developing the sound of the bass in modal jazz, cool jazz and other post-bop genres. In the ’70s, Williams was also an indispensable member of keyboardist Herbie Hancock’s early fusion projects, such as the Herbie Hancock Sextet and Mwandishi. He even appeared on Hancock’s 1977 double live album VSOP, which featured an all-star group of the same name. Today’s Song of the Day is a remastered take on the tune “Toys,” which, in addition to Williams and Hancock, featured Billy Hart on drums, Eddie Henderson on trumpet, Bennie Maupin on flute and Julian Priester on trombone.