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Contemporary Jazz - Released June 22, 2015 | nato

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Classical - Released June 12, 2015 | ECM New Series

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Jazz - Released June 8, 2015 | Jazz Village

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Alternative & Indie - Released May 11, 2015 | Signature - Radio France

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Jazz - Released April 27, 2015 | Concord Jazz

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Ben Williams' sophomore full-length album, 2015's Coming of Age, finds the adept bassist/composer delivering another sophisticated mix of post-bop, fusion, and contemporary R&B-infused jazz. The album follows up Williams' equally striking 2011 debut, State of Art, and showcases the winner of the 2009 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition's further development as a bandleader, composer, and improviser. Once again joining Williams is his longtime backing ensemble Sound Effect, featuring tenor and soprano saxophonist Marcus Strickland, guitarist Matthew Stevens, pianist and Fender Rhodes keyboardist Christian Sands, synth and Fender Rhodes keyboardist Masayuki "Big Yuki" Hirano, and drummer John Davis. The album also showcases several guest artists including singer Goapele, who adds her soulfully resonant voice to the midtempo, Afro-pop-infused "Voice of Freedom (For Mandela)." Also spotlighted here is acclaimed New Orleans-born trumpeter Christian Scott, whose muted trumpet lead on Williams' reworked cover of vocalist Lianne La Havas' sultry, introspective ballad "Lost & Found" brings to mind the melancholic sound of Miles Davis. A stylistically wide-ranging musician with roots in gospel, R&B, and pop as well as jazz, Williams has a gift for pulling his many influences together across an album. This is evident throughout Coming of Age, with cuts like the Latin-infused "Forecast" and "Half-Steppin'" bringing to mind bassist Jaco Pastorius and saxophonist Wayne Shorter's work with the '70s fusion outfit Weather Report. Similarly, Williams reinvents Nirvana's classic "Smells Like Teen Spirit" into a robust, virtuosic solo bass performance and even takes to the mike, rapping over a latter-album reprise of his militaristic ballad "Toy Soldiers." Ultimately, with Coming of Age, Williams continues to reveal his growth as one of the most open-minded and gifted millennial jazz artists. © Matt Collar /TiVo
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Jazz - Released April 27, 2015 | Concord Jazz

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Ben Williams' sophomore full-length album, 2015's Coming of Age, finds the adept bassist/composer delivering another sophisticated mix of post-bop, fusion, and contemporary R&B-infused jazz. The album follows up Williams' equally striking 2011 debut, State of Art, and showcases the winner of the 2009 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition's further development as a bandleader, composer, and improviser. Once again joining Williams is his longtime backing ensemble Sound Effect, featuring tenor and soprano saxophonist Marcus Strickland, guitarist Matthew Stevens, pianist and Fender Rhodes keyboardist Christian Sands, synth and Fender Rhodes keyboardist Masayuki "Big Yuki" Hirano, and drummer John Davis. The album also showcases several guest artists including singer Goapele, who adds her soulfully resonant voice to the midtempo, Afro-pop-infused "Voice of Freedom (For Mandela)." Also spotlighted here is acclaimed New Orleans-born trumpeter Christian Scott, whose muted trumpet lead on Williams' reworked cover of vocalist Lianne La Havas' sultry, introspective ballad "Lost & Found" brings to mind the melancholic sound of Miles Davis. A stylistically wide-ranging musician with roots in gospel, R&B, and pop as well as jazz, Williams has a gift for pulling his many influences together across an album. This is evident throughout Coming of Age, with cuts like the Latin-infused "Forecast" and "Half-Steppin'" bringing to mind bassist Jaco Pastorius and saxophonist Wayne Shorter's work with the '70s fusion outfit Weather Report. Similarly, Williams reinvents Nirvana's classic "Smells Like Teen Spirit" into a robust, virtuosic solo bass performance and even takes to the mike, rapping over a latter-album reprise of his militaristic ballad "Toy Soldiers." Ultimately, with Coming of Age, Williams continues to reveal his growth as one of the most open-minded and gifted millennial jazz artists. © Matt Collar /TiVo
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Jazz - Released March 31, 2015 | Intervalle Triton

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Jazz - Released April 6, 2015 | ECM

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Jazz - Released April 6, 2015 | ECM

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Alternative & Indie - Released March 9, 2015 | Tricatel

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Alternative & Indie - Released March 9, 2015 | Tricatel

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Jazz - Released March 5, 2015 | Clean Feed

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Jazz - Released March 3, 2015 | Sunnyside

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Jazz - Released February 27, 2015 | ACT Music

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Inspired by his love of the music of legendary jazz saxophonist Charlie "Bird" Parker, Rudresh Mahanthappa pays homage to the late bebop innovator on 2015's Bird Calls. It was purportedly while breaking down Parker's performance on "Donna Lee" to help a student learn the infamously difficult song that saxophonist Mahanthappa came up with the concept of a different way to interpret Parker's music. Taken in small, easily digestible bites, Mahanthappa began to hear Parker's architectural bop motifs less as swinging, blues-based jazz and more as modern classical or even avant-garde music. Combining his own creative approach to jazz with Indian raga, funk, post-bop, and other eclectic stylistic elements, Mahanthappa wrote pieces loosely based on Parker's songs or parts of solos. For example, "Both Hands" reworks Parker's "Dexterity" into a roiling, machine-gun stream of sound, and "Talin Is Thinking" turns Parker's classic bluesy ballad "Parker's Mood" into a frenetic spiritual jazz workout. Furthermore, just as Parker was often backed by a quintet featuring a trumpeter like the great Dizzy Gillespie, Mahanthappa takes the same approach, bringing with him 2014 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Trumpet Competition third-place winner Adam O'Farrill along with pianist Matt Mitchell, bassist François Moutin, and drummer Rudy Royston. Only 20 years old at the time of recording, O'Farrill (the son of pianist Arturo O'Farrill and the grandson of legendary Cuban percussionist, and Parker associate, Chico O'Farrill) is an immensely gifted trumpeter with a robust, rounded tone and lithe improvisational style. Joining with the other members of Mahanthappa's quintet, he brings an intensity and buoyant creativity to Bird Calls that effectively updates the classic Parker/Gillespie partnership. For his end, Mahanthappa, a brilliantly capable improviser blessed with a fluid, harmonically engaging approach to jazz, blazes his way through these songs, which are at once accessible yet boundlessly inventive. Ultimately, with Bird Calls, Mahanthappa has crafted an exuberant, expressive album that's as fresh and surprising as the music Parker originally recorded. © Matt Collar /TiVo
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Jazz - Released February 23, 2015 | ECM

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Jazz - Released January 16, 2015 | ECM

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Jazz - Released November 20, 2014 | Clean Feed

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Jazz - Released November 10, 2014 | Label Bleu

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Jazz - Released October 31, 2014 | ACT Music

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Alternative & Indie - Released October 6, 2014 | Warp Records

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