Matt Booth – bass
Brett Williams – piano
Ben Opie – sax
Tom Wendt – drums
A few weeks ago, Matt Booth put together a quartet to play at the weekly Space Exchange night at the T-Bird. The lineup was interesting and, to me, a bit unexpected, so I made sure to stop in for a drink. Pianist Brett Williams has been touring with Marcus Miller and tearing it up all over the world. I’m not sure how long this kid will stick around Pittsburgh before leaving for greener pastures, so I want to try to see him play as often as I can. I also really wanted to see him play with Ben Opie. As I’ve said on this blog before, too many Pittsburgh-based jazz musicians tend to dwell on the past and rehash the same thing again and again. Opie is not one of those musicians, so I wanted to see what direction he might push a talented young player like Williams and where they might end up.
I arrived during the first set and I couldn’t stay very long. The vibe in the room was a bit different and I couldn’t tell if it was by choice. The overhead lights were on, which made it a little uncomfortable and almost all of the quiet audience was sitting near the back of the room. The few tunes that I caught were a little on the traditional side. I always look at second sets as a time for musicians to get loose and see what can happen, but unfortunately for me, I didn’t get to see if that was the case here. I finished my beer and reluctantly went on my way. But I did manage to shoot a short video clip of a Ben Opie solo on a Booth original. Enjoy!