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State of Art

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iTunes Review

Ben Williams won first prize in the 2009 Thelonious Monk Competition for double-bass and has played with Wynton Marsalis, Pat Metheny, Roy Hargrove, and Stefon Harris’ Blackout. Like Harris, Williams incorporates R&B and hip-hop into his work. Here, he leads a fine group composed of saxophonist Marcus Strickland, guitarist Matthew Stevens, pianist Gerald Clayton, drummer Jamire Williams, and percussionist Etienne Charles. Williams might draw on contemporary pop elements but the core of his sound is clearly rooted in pre-free jazz styles. “Dawn of the New Day” swings in a pleasingly mellow way, while “The Lee Morgan Story” features guest MC John Robinson providing a rhymed biography of the great trumpeter. The group operates in a fiery Latin mode on “November,” a track that finds Jaleel Shaw on alto sax. Williams nods to his Washington D. C. roots by adding a go-go groove to Woody Shaw’s “Moontrane.” “Mr. Dynamite” pays homage to James Brown with a piece that looks to classic 1960s funky jazz for inspiration. State of Art closes strongly with a far from standard take on the standard “Moonlight in Vermont,” on which Williams plays some sweet electric bass.

Customer Reviews


Refreshing ! Much needed...

Good Stuff

The reason I rated this 4 is bc I really don't like the "Susie" songs and I'm not sure I like the slowed down version of Stevie Wonder's "Part Time Lover." Really feel the 1st 4 cuts (esp. the Lee Morgan Story) and track 10. Me thinks I'll have to purchase the CD

JAZZ Lives in the minds and Hearts of people like Ben Williams!

Come take a ride on this Journey! State of the Art is a brilliant piece of work by Bassist extraordinaire Ben Williams! Definitely Check out "The Lee Morgan Story" as they paint the picture so crystal clear about the life and times of Prodigy Trumpeter "LEE MORGAN" and his tragic death! This album is full of some of the TOP musicians of this day and time and is the Debut of Ben Williams who I am sure we will HEAR A LOT more from! DON'T Sleep on this one KIDS :-)


Genre: Jazz

Years Active:

Jazz bassist Ben Williams is a forward-thinking musician who crosses easily between straight-ahead, funk, and gospel-influenced jazz. A native of Washington, D.C., Williams graduated from the Duke Ellington School of Music before studying with renowned bassist Rodney Whitaker while earning a B.A. in jazz studies at Michigan State University. He is an in-demand sideman and has performed with a veritable who's who of jazz, including Wynton Marsalis, Roy Hargrove, Mulgrew Miller, Terence Blanchard,...
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State of Art, Ben Williams
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Customer Ratings