Published in The Spectator
Click here for full article
Instead of watching Syracuse fall to Michigan in their Final Four game, a passionate crowd of Hamilton jazz fans gathered in Wellin Hall on Saturday night for an impressive display of contemporary jazz from phenom bassist Ben Williams and his group Sound Effect. Williams led the quintet through complex arrangements of his original tunes and some surprising covers, including songs by Stevie Wonder, the rap group N.E.R.D. and R&B songstress Goapele. Speaking candidly to the crowd between songs, Williams explained his philosophy of “new standards,” embracing these contemporary compositions in the same way that earlier Jazz artists like John Coltrane and Louis Armstrong adopted popular songs into their repertoires. Building on these new age attitudes, Williams and his band played an impressive, challenging set that clearly demonstrated the bright future of modern Jazz.