Critically acclaimed guitarist, songwriter and former New York Yankee superstar Bernie Williams has signed a recording deal with Reform Records. A native of Puerto Rico, Williams developed his love for playing guitar alongside baseball at a young age, while listening to the sounds of salsa and meringue as well as 80's rock. This new album, yet untitled and due for release in April 2009, embraces those influences while reflecting Williams' own style and unique mixture of classical and jazz guitar drenched with a Latin flavor.
The album will feature a variety of original instrumentals written and performed by Williams alongside renowned musicians Dave Weckl (drums), Mike Stern (guitar), Scott Henderson (guitar), Dave Koz (sax), and Giovanni Hidalgo (percussion), just to name a few. The record will also feature a special collaboration with singer Jon Secada.
"I'm thrilled to be back in the recording studio and especially happy to be part of the Reform Records family. They share my vision for this album and my music," says Williams. "Recording that first album was a great experience for me although my primary focus at the time was baseball. Obviously, I miss the game, but I have welcomed being able to explore and develop my music on a full-time basis."
This will be the second release for Williams who made his music debut in 2003 with the album The Journey Within.That album and subsequent tour dates received an enormous amount of critical acclaim. Loren Harriet, who produced The Journey Within,is also producing this follow up with Williams.
The Boston Herald has compared Williams' playing style "to George Benson and Earl Klugh" (8/29/2003) while The New York Times says his playing "hits the perfect chord" (7/14/2003) and the LA Times called his music debut "impressive" (9/04/2003).
Chris Hower, A&R and Head of Label Operations for Reform, states on behalf of all at Reform Records, "We are thrilled to have signed Bernie and proud to be part of such a talented musicians career. His sophomore effort exemplifies Bernie's growth as a musician and songwriter. We look forward to launching this album in a big way."
Williams played his entire 16 year baseball career with the New York Yankees (1991-2006) where he was a four-time World Series Champion and five-time All-Star. He is among the Yankees all-time leaders in every major batting category and also earned four Gold Gloves for his excellence in centerfield.
He recently performed at the 2008 Songwriters Hall of Fame Awards in NYC in June and the 2008 MLB All Star Gala in July. He was a featured guest at the final home game played at the historic Yankee Stadium on September 21st.
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