307

Jessica Williams: The Art of the Piano

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
Jessica Williams: The Art of the Piano 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 track six, "Prophets," then vanishing again before applauding the finale, John Coltrane's "Lonnie's Lament."

Besides composing six of the album's eight numbers, Williams also wrote the liner notes, which are in part a perceptive treatise on pianos and how one should suitably play them. In the concert, she governs by example, using all of the Steinway D to engender and impart her musical vision. That point of view, it must be noted, not only transcends but engulfs improvised music as generally presented; in other words, even though this is a wonderful recital, melodically rich and sonically varied, Williams doesn't improvise in the manner of, say, an Oscar Peterson, McCoy Tyner, Bill Evans or even Keith Jarrett. The music is cerebral, the tempos moderate, the spontaneity intrinsic yet tempered.

Among Williams' compositions, "Triple Door Blues" leans perhaps closest to jazz as we know it. She also wrote "Love and Hate," "Elaine" and "Diane," the last two for close friends. Completing the program is Williams' perceptive restatement of Erik Satie's "First Gymnopedie." Everything is trim and lovely, and played with as much artistry and awareness as could be envisioned. It is what it is, and that may well be enough to please most palates. Bear in mind, though, that it is not the sort of free-wheeling, improvised session that some jazz enthusiasts may espouse. For those who simply love beautiful music, meticulously performed, The Art of the Piano is a luxurious banquet.


Track Listing: Triple Door Blues; Esperanza; Love and Hate; Elaine; First Gymnopedie; Prophets; Diane; Lonnie's Lament.

Personnel: Jessica Williams: piano.

Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Origin Records | Style: Fringes of Jazz


Shop

CD/LP/Track Review
Extended Analysis
Interviews
Extended Analysis
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles

More Articles

Read Northern Adventures CD/LP/Track Review Northern Adventures
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 28, 2017
Read Collider CD/LP/Track Review Collider
by John Sharpe
Published: February 28, 2017
Read Eos CD/LP/Track Review Eos
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 28, 2017
Read More Than This CD/LP/Track Review More Than This
by Henning Bolte
Published: February 28, 2017
Read Road to Forever CD/LP/Track Review Road to Forever
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Avenida Graham CD/LP/Track Review Avenida Graham
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 27, 2017
Read "The Only Way To Float Free" CD/LP/Track Review The Only Way To Float Free
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 12, 2016
Read "Harmonicus Rex" CD/LP/Track Review Harmonicus Rex
by Edward Blanco
Published: March 21, 2016
Read "Swivel" CD/LP/Track Review Swivel
by Mark Corroto
Published: October 16, 2016
Read "It's The Peace That Deafens" CD/LP/Track Review It's The Peace That Deafens
by James Nadal
Published: March 17, 2016
Read "When You Wish Upon a Star" CD/LP/Track Review When You Wish Upon a Star
by Ian Patterson
Published: April 19, 2016
Read "Intuit" CD/LP/Track Review Intuit
by Mark Corroto
Published: July 14, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!