Ben Williams – State of Art

October 14, 2011 / No Comments / Tags: Ben Williams, Christian Scott, gerald clayton, Jaleel Shaw, Jamire Williams, Marcus Strickland, Matthew Stevens

(Concord Records)

If all anyone knew was that Ben Williams was a heralded talent in music, the expectation might likely be that the music would be hip-hop, but the 26-year old from Washington, D.C. is one of the true revelations on the bass, who has worked with the likes of Wynton Marsalis, Terence Blanchard, Pat Metheny, and Roy Hargrove, among others. His first release, State of Art, reflects the diversity of his experiences and a broad spectrum of music from classical, R & B, and yes, hip-hop. The recording’s set is a mix of self-penned compostions and songs from Woody Shaw, Blackburn and Suessdorf, Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson. The covers are nicely re-harmonized to render them almost new and the original works include a rap-flavored tribute to Lee Morgan. You don’t hear that everyday! Joining Williams is an outstanding lists of talents that includes pianist Gerald Clayton, saxophonists Marcus Strickland and Jaleel Shaw, guitarist Matthew Stevens, drummer Jamire Williams and trumpet player Christian Scott, who guests on one track. Williams solos are as notable as any of the higher octave instruments on the project and this is a very ear-worthy debut for the quite-deserving Thelonious Monk Award winner.

Click here to listen to a clip of “Moontrane”.

Tracks: Home, Moontrane, The Lee Morgan Story, Dawn of A New Day, Little Susie, November, Part-time Lover, Things Don’t Exist, Mr. Dynamite, Moonlight in Vermont.