First, Jimmy Williams discovered Eddie Van Halen and played "Eruption" as a sophomore at his high school talent show. Then he heard Yngwie Malmsteen's neoclassical brand of shredding and found his calling. Today, after recording two albums with Steel Prophet (Book of the Dead and Unseen) and a stint training for the Ultimate Fighting Championships(!), Williams is making a go of it as a multi-instrumental solo artist. Guitar Concepts, which compiles 10 instrumental songs he made on a four-track recorder between 1999 and 2001, may be a boring title but it's not a boring album.
It's no surprise that Williams' résumé also includes time spent in big bands and jazz combos, as well as studying classical and flamenco guitar. These tracks encompass all of those influences and offer plenty of variety. Among the most noteworthy is "Temple of Artemis," which vaguely recalls some of Steve Hackett's quieter pieces. Thin and tinny production, along with a short running time (not even 33 minutes), mar an otherwise fine album — leaving listeners wondering how Williams would sound with the advantage of proper production.
Bonus points for Williams' liner notes on each song — "This tune is in 7/8 but uses swing 16th notes as subdivisions of the beat, so technically it could be considered 21/16 meter," for "Line of the Sight," for example — which will read like good porn to shred-aholics. The man even includes the transcription for "Terminal Velocity" in an enchanced CD section. Bless him.