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Darryl Williams: That Was Then

Is there room for another headlining smooth-jazz bass player to join the ranks of Wayman Tisdale, Brian Bromberg, Michael Manson and Gerald Veasley? In the case of Darryl Williams, the answer is an enthusiastic yes. He’s got the background: He’s Euge Groove’s touring bassist and has performed for a quarter-century with Hollis Gentry, Skip Martin, Chaka Khan, Celine Dion and Howard Hewitt, among others. In fact, the San Diego native now living in Las Vegas dedicates a song called “Time” on his debut CD to the late Gentry, a sax legend with the band Fattburger. It’s a slow groove that highlights Williams’ keyboard skills as well as current Fattburger members Evan Marks on guitar and Kevin Koch on drums.

Williams has a knack for leisurely midtempo, smooth grooves. Melody and hook are paramount in songs like “La Jolla Shores,” “Goodbye,” “Take It Slow” and the title track. Williams does, however, show off his best thumb-thumping skills on two tunes, “Costa Rica” and “The Truth.” But Williams is at his best with classic smooth jazz, his bass holding down and riding over memorable melodies and sax and guitar leads.

Originally Published