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Billy's Theme

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Album Review

Jessica Williams is at the forefront of jazz in the nontraditional setting: leaving the nightclubs in favor of concert halls. Billy Taylor was one of the first to go in that direction well before her, however. Here, she pays tribute to the fine pianist with a series of original compositions. The sound is incredible, recorded in a home studio but cleverly given a proper concert sheen. This is jazz on the way to third stream. The playing is impeccable, and the compositions both evocative and well crafted. At times contemplative, at times cheerful, at times bluesy, it's all covered in here. For modern piano jazz, this is quite possibly one of the best releases of the last few years.


Born: March 17, 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
Billy's Theme, Jessica Williams
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  • $9.99
  • Genres: Jazz, Music
  • Released: Apr 16, 2006

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