Before & After: Bobby Watson

Larry & Bobby_9792Saxophonist Bobby Watson may be best known for his four years with Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers, but his distinguished career also includes work with Max Roach, Wynton Marsalis, Betty Carter, Carlos Santana, Horizon and the 29th Street Saxophone Quartet. He is currently Director of Jazz Studies at the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music.

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Before & After: Ben Williams

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASince winning the Thelonious Monk International Bass Competition, Ben Williams has recorded his 2011 debut as leader, the critically acclaimed  State of Art (Concord), formed his own group Sound Effect, and continued recording and working with top stars, like Pat Metheny’s Unity Band. The 29 year-old acoustic and electric bassist placed 2nd in the JazzTimes critic’s poll for best new artist, and he appears most recently on the newly released NEXT Collective CD. Though he’s been in New York since his Juilliard days, I managed to catch up with Williams the day after Christmas in his hometown of Washington D.C.

1. Wayne Shorter

“Orbits” (from  Without a Net, Blue Note). Shorter, soprano saxophone; Danilo Perez, piano; John Patitucci, bass; Brian Blade, drums. Recorded in 2011. Continue reading