Jessica Williams

(Copyright © 2006 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )
Krentz Ratings:
Portal of Antrim (1976), 6/10
Orgonomic Music (1979), 6/10
And Then There's This (1990), 6/10
Next Steps (1993), 7/10
Inventions (1995), 5/10
Joy (1996), 5/10
Songs for a New Century (2008), 5.5/10
The Art of the Piano (2009), 5.5/10
Songs of Earth (2012), 6/10

White San Francisco-based pianist Jessica Williams began to improvise in the vein of Thelonious Monk but in a rather shy manner, both as a solo performer, for example in the psychological vignettes of Portal of Antrim (1976), and as a member of a small ensemble, notably on Orgonomic Music (june 1979).

During the 1980s she recorded very little under her own name but her technique achieved supernatural status, a worthy disciple of Art Tatum although in an altogether different voice. By the time she resurfaced with And Then There's This (february 1990) in a trio, she had become one of the greatest living virtuosi of the piano. Unfortunately the consequence was that she devoted most of her recordings to interpretations of jazz standards, returning to creative terrain only with Inventions (january 1995) and Joy (january 1996).

Songs For A New Century (january 2008) and The Art Of The Piano (may 2009) marked her return to original compositions after a series of cover albums.

Songs Of Earth (2012) marked her return to original composition with seven extended piano solos. With Love (january 2014) contains nine more solos.

Jessica Williams died in 2022 at the age of 74.

(Copyright © 2006 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )
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