Podcast with rising jazz bassist Ben Williams, who brings his band, Sound Effect, to Jefferson Center for two Friday night sets
There is a pantheon of living jazz bassists, and it includes Ron Carter, Charlie Haden, Christian McBride and Dave Holland. Impress any of those guys with your upright acumen, and you’re onto something.
Ben Williams — who with his band, Sound Effect, plays two sets at Jefferson Center on Friday — impressed them all.
Carter, Haden, McBride and Holland were among the judges at the 2009 Thelonius Monk International Jazz Competition in Washington, D.C. Williams, a D.C. native, won that competition. Accompanying the win was a contract with Concord Records.
Williams released his solo effort as a bandleader, “State Of Art,” in summer 2011. As a sideman, Williams had worked steadily with Stefon Harris & Blackout and performed with such jazz giants as Wynton Marsalis, Terence Blanchard and Pat Metheny, according to biographical information at the Concord website.
On this podcast, we discover the feelings one gets when playing upright bass for a bunch of upright bass giants, about the go-go influence that finds its way onto “State of Art,” and about U.S. Rep. John Conyers, the Michigan Democrat for whom Williams mother worked, and in whose office Williams first saw an upright bass.