By Sarah Bennett
By Adam Lovinus
By Jena Ardell
By Nate Jackson
By Gustavo Arellano
By Nick Keppler
By Nate Jackson
By Alex Distefano
Playing the little-celebrated local jazz circuit for years, singer Chris Williams isn’t going for anything new and innovative. And that’s just the way he should keep it. He understands that a classic sound is classic for a reason. An unarguably talented vocalist, Williams lets his fellow instrumentalists take center stage nearly as often as he does—everything from piano to trumpet to saxophone, each player providing their own complex, high-energy riffs. There are no simple tracks in this man’s set. Even on slow-tempo love songs such as “How Deep Is the Ocean”—wait, I think all Williams’ songs are chansons d’amour—he brings the hypnotic beauty of jazz at its finest, employing a bassist whose solo is like the frenetic bouncing of a Morse-code emergency.
Williams’ retro style and swinging, finger-snappin’ swagger flow in the same channel as Sinatra-esque crooner Michael Bublé (both do a smashing version of “Come Fly With Me”), but without the strangely successful playboy air. Williams is really just a local guy who’s found his niche—and is flourishing.
The Chris Williams Sextet plays at Steamers Jazz Club, 138 W. Commonwealth, Fullerton, (714) 871-8800; www.steamersjazz.com. Tues., 8 p.m.
Attention Orange County/Long Beach musicians and bands! Mail your music, along with your vital contact info and decent high-resolution photos (plus any impending performance dates) for possible review to: Locals Only, OC Weekly, 1666 N. Main St., Ste. 500, Santa Ana, CA 92701. Or just be lazy and e-mail your MySpace link to email@example.com.