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It's Jessica's Time

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Album Review

Virtuosic pianist Jessica Williams is best heard as an unaccompanied soloist, where her imagination and wit can run wild, but she also fares quite well when playing with sympathetic musicians. This outing matches her with bassist Jeff Johnson, drummer Mel Brown and (on seven of the 11 numbers) Jay Thomas, who shows that he is equally skilled on tenor and trumpet. The emphasis is on the blues (other than "Baby, Won't You Please Come Home"), but by using different tempos, moods, and to a small extent styles, the musicians perform a surprisingly varied program. Thomas' swinging tenor solos (in the tradition of Gene Ammons) and fluent trumpet (check out the ancient sound he gets while muted on "St. Louis Blues") are major assets; he sometimes overdubbed a second horn for the ensembles. However, Jessica Williams easily emerges as the main star, whether ripping into the cooking "Raised Fourth" (a Thelonious Monk line), playing a boogaloo-ish "Sneak Preview," hinting at Red Garland and Bill Evans, or contributing a whistle to "Smoking Section" (which is dedicated to Rahsaan Roland Kirk). This date is highly recommended to straight-ahead jazz fans and is yet another strong addition to Jessica Williams' rapidly growing discography.

Biography

Born: 17 March 1948 in Baltimore, MD

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Due to her being based in northern California, Jessica Williams is a bit underrated, but (on evidence of her sets for Jazz Focus and Hep) she is one of the top jazz pianists of today. Williams is a powerful virtuoso whose complete control of the keyboard, wit, solid sense of swing, and the influence of Thelonious Monk have combined to make her a particularly notable player. She started taking piano lessons when she was four and was gigging as a teenager. Williams took extensive classical lessons...
Full bio
It's Jessica's Time, Jessica Williams
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  • 9,99 €
  • Genres: Jazz, Music, Bop
  • Released: 02 September 1997

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