JazzTimes

A MAN’S WORLD IS GROWING

If the Hamilton isn’t sold out, it’s close.

It’s the night after Christmas in Washington, D.C., a city that famously empties for the holidays. Yet there are certainly enough people—of all ages, all genders, and all ethnicities, though a majority are African-American—to pack the 600-capacity basement venue a few blocks from the White House. No empty tables are in view, and the standing room area by the back bar is filling up fast.

The performer filling the seats at this ordinarily tough-booking time and place? Ben Williams, the jazz bassist and native Washingtonian who plays the Hamilton every year at this time. It’s a combined Christmas and birthday celebration (Williams will turn 35 two days after this concert), and family, friends, mentors, colleagues, and plain old fans have made it one of the District’s seasonal customs to turn out in droves.

This time out there’s yet another dimension to the performance. “I have a new album on the way,” he announced to cheers from the crowd. “I’m so excited to share this new music with you guys. The new album is titled I Am a Man, which of course comes from the 1968 Memphis sanitation workers’ strike … I wanted to address social issues in the world that was going on around me. It’s been somewhat of a journey, exploring a lot of new musical territory.”

Indeed it has. Williams brandishes not the upright wooden bass on which he made his reputation (though there is one

Vous lisez un aperçu, inscrivez-vous pour en lire plus.

Plus de JazzTimes

JazzTimes5 min de lecture
Phil Woods: April in Paris
Before his passing in September 2015, saxophonist/composer Phil Woods collaborated with regular JT contributor Ted Panken on a memoir, which was recently published by Cymbal Press as Life in E Flat: The Autobiography of Phil Woods. The following excl
JazzTimes2 min de lecture
Brandi Disterheft Trio With George Coleman
Surfboard Justin Time It’s probably no coincidence that Brandi Disterheft’s prowess as a bassist, on her fifth album as a leader, shines particularly bright on “The Pendulum at Falcon’s Lair” and “Del Sasser,” as both were penned by bass players: the
JazzTimes2 min de lecture
They Also Served
“Picture of Heath” Picture of Heath (Xanadu, 1975) Backed with one of the best rhythm sections of its era (or indeed any other), Heath gives unimpeachable evidence of his two greatest gifts: one for pithy, lyrical compositions, and another for refocu