PHOTOS/ REPORT: Ben Williams Group at Bayerischer Hof, Munich

Ben Williams Band. L-R Christian Sands, Ben Williams, John Davis,
Marcus Strickland, Matt Stevens Photo credit: Ralf Dombrowski

Ralf Dombrowski heard a band currently touring in Germany last night, led by bassist Ben Williams. Williams was Thelonious Monk Prizewinner (in 2011) and is a member of Pat Metheny's Unity Band. Ralf writes:

Photos from the sound-check and from the concert by the Ben Williams Group yesterday at the Bayerischer Hof in Munich. The band were Marcus Strickland (Sax), Chistian Sands (keys), Matt Stevens (guitar), John Davis (drums) and Ben Williams ( bass). On this occasion he was just playing electric bass, because the organizers hadn't supplied him with an upright bass - but on balance that led to the show having even more of the modern fusion sound, which is how Williams' music is conceived anyway.

Ben Williams. Photo credit: Ralf Dombrowski

What was fascinating is the ease with which this generation of musicians incorporates everything in their surroundings: Nirvana or Wayne Shorter, Jaco Pastorius, as well as standards.

Ben Williams,  Matt Stevens John Davis,
Photo credit: Ralf Dombrowski

 The quintet was acting symbiotically, like a jazz organism, groovy, but they were also focused on that kind of collegial fun that musicians have.

Christian Sands,  Photo credit: Ralf Dombrowski

We can expect to hear a lot more about keyboardist Christian Sands. Everything flows in the way he plays: melodic intuition, the joy of communication, a powerful harmonic conception. It's very American, this music, with real presence.

LINK: Extensive interview with Ben Williams in For Bass Players Only

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