Featuring MC John Robinson and Trumpeter Christian Scott, with Covers of Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Goapele and The Jazz/Hip-Hop Mashup, “The Lee Morgan Story”
“By definition the bass player is a pivotal figure in jazz, a steward of tonality as well as tempo. Determining a good one can require close listening: that quality reveals itself in the cohesion of the band as well as in the handling of line and phrase. All of this [is] accounted for in Mr. Williams’…harmonically sound original compositions and a balance of tradition and novelty.”
– Nate Chinen, The New York Times
Concord Jazz proudly announces the release of Washington, DC-born, New York-based bassist Ben Williams’ debut album State of Art , available June 28, 2011. The album is a result of Williams’ first prize in the 2009 Thelonious Monk International Competition for double-bass. State of Art marks Williams’ first album as a leader, however it is not the bassist’s first time working with the Concord Jazz family.
For the past two years, Williams has been a working member of two Concord Jazz artists’ working bands: vibraphonist Stefon Harris & Blackout, a R&B and hip-hop-tinged group, which calls on Williams’ unique connection with go-go, from his native Washington, DC to inform its sound and pianist Jacky Terrasson’s Trio. Williams was featured on Harris’ 2009 Concord Jazz debut, Urbanus and Terrasson’s 2010 Concord Jazz debut, Push . So it is particularly fitting that he now joins the Concord Jazz roster as a leader in his own right.
The title of Williams’ debut stops modestly short of such a bold argument, but does sum up the young bassist’s of-the-moment approach. “I’m trying to interpret the times,” Williams says, “to represent what’s going on today.”