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ALBUM REVIEWS

Jessica Williams: With Love

Read "With Love" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

Successful musicians play “the truth." If you want to hear some truth there are certain artists you can seek out. Thelonious Monk couldn't play anything but the truth, right from the beginning. Pianist Jessica Williams came upon the truth--a purer form of it, at least--after experiencing “the fix of Illness" that she has discussed on her website and in interviews. Her first “fix" came about via her struggle with hypothyroidism, and resulted in a string of gorgeous recordings on Origin ...

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Jessica Williams: Songs of Earth

Read "Songs of Earth" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

Jessica Williams, with her last four CDs on Origin Records, is like a butterfly coming out of its cocoon. Earlier in her career, Williams--who once held the piano chair in drummer Philly Joe Jones band--wrapped her artistry in the Great American Song on Some Ballads Some Blues (Red and Blue, 1999), along with stellar tributes to departed star pianists Art Tatum and Thelonious Monk.Around the beginning of her teaming with Origin Records--in conjunction with the creation of her ...

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Jessica Williams Trio: Freedom Trane

Read "Freedom Trane" reviewed by Jeff Winbush

It is no coincidence that pianist Jessica Williams draws inspiration and energy from saxophonist John Coltrane, another iconoclast whose dogged pursuit of his individalistic muse stood in defiance of trends, customs, critics, and marketplace concerns. Like Coltrane, Williams prides herself in being relentlessly faithful to her own standards of how to play and how to market her music. While that enables her to be a fiercely independent talent, it has also made her an underrated one.On her solo ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Jessica Williams: Freedom Trane

Read "Jessica Williams: Freedom Trane" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

Jessica WilliamsFreedom TraneOrigin Records2011 Jessica Williams, one of our top jazz pianists, has evolved since she tossed the record company expectations and jazz games out the window into the thorny rose bushes, and sought out her own way, and found it, via the establishment of her own record label, Blue & Red Records, and with the work she has done for Seattle's Origin Records. Songs for a New Century (Origin Records, ...

INTERVIEWS

Jessica Williams: Musical Truths

Read "Jessica Williams: Musical Truths" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

Pianist Jessica Williams begins a free-wheeling and fascinating conversation with a fan by thanking him for the kind words he has spoken about her music. Then she adds: “But you don't always have to say kind words, you know, as long as you always say the truth."It's advice that is very much in character with the artist who has, in the past few years, been on a quest for musical truths, as well as for peace ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Jessica Williams: Touch

Read "Jessica Williams: Touch" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

Jessica WilliamsTouchOrigin Records2010 Pianist Jessica Williams continues to evolve, and what a pure music lover's joy it is to hear an artist entering her sixth decade on a roll, growing and expanding her vision. Classically trained at the Peabody Conservatory, jazz-trained in the bands of Philly Joe Jones, Tony Williams, Stan Getz and others, Williams furthered her education with her own--more than seventy--albums/CDs as a leader.Always a high level ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Jessica Williams: The Art of the Piano

Read "The Art of the Piano" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Jessica Williams has been playing piano since she was four years old, and realized early on that she wanted to continue doing so for the rest of her life. Her choice is our reward. The Art of the Piano, a solo piano set, was recorded in May 2009 at the Triple Door in Seattle, WA. The first two numbers, “Triple Door Blues" and “Esperanza," are followed by enthusiastic response, after which the audience inexplicably disappears, returning at the end of ...


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