Willem Paynter (New Music 2016)

This bassist grooves on jazz's endless scope to experiment.

Paul Vienneau

After playing bass as a hired gun with almost every gigging jazz musician in the Maritimes, St. FX jazz graduate Willem Paynter released City Grit, his debut record of original music (and one jazz standard), in December. "It can be considered hard-bop, a direct descendent of bebop, but there's a lot of funk, groove, blues through the record, too," he says. Grit also features skilled local guests on a variety of special instruments. While the album is a focused style, Paynter's live performances are always diverse. "That's the beauty of jazz, it's an endless combination of possibilities with an ambiguous scope," he says. "Like, if I'm playing with Silvio Pupo and Damien Moynihan, anything goes. Playing with those cats is magic. Hard-bop is more defined, but there's always the unpredictable element of the solos."

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