Ben Williams -][- STATE OF ART -(MP3)- [Concord Jazz, 2011]
“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 was accounted for in Mr. Williams’s set, which also involved a pair of harmonically sound original compositions and a balance of tradition and novelty.” -Nate Chinen, New York Times
State Of Art is a result of Williams’ first prize in the 2009 Thelonious Monk International Competition for double-bass. The album 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. Continue reading