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The Art of the Piano

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Album Review

In spite of an extensive discography, veteran pianist Jessica Williams seems to elude the world-wide attention that she deserves. This live solo recording at the Triple Door in Seattle in the spring of 2009 is one of her most impressive outings, beginning with her humorous, wide-ranging, improvised "Triple Door Blues," in which develops an infectious theme with many variations, while also working in hand-muting and strumming of the piano strings. The lush "Esperanza" sounds as if it could have been written for classical guitar, while the romantic ballad "Diane" merits lyrics to go along with it. Williams is equally adept interpreting familiar works. Her gently striding take of Impressionist Erik Satie's "First Gymnopedie" expands into a kaleidoscope of colors in her many variations, while her dramatic setting of John Coltrane's "Lonnie's Lament" detours into a series of insistent bass vamps that serve as the heartbeat of this masterful improvisation. It is little wonder that the audience that night at the Triple Door sat silently as Williams wowed them with her inventive improvising and formidable chops. Highly recommended!

Customer Reviews


Ms. Williams as outdone herself with this album. Her mastery of the piano is exquisite. She combines a mastery of jazz with a classical approach to music that literally brings tears to my eyes. Not since Glenn Glould has there been a pianist with her skills and range. Do yourself a favor and buy this album and her others. They are all good.

The Art of the Piano

This album is a meditation, with reflections on music, life, love, and the art that makes Ms Williams’s mastery so personal and intimate. It is more like a brilliant interview that presents her take on her instrument, her vocation, and her experience of life and music.


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
The Art of the Piano, Jessica Williams
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  • $9.99
  • Genres: Jazz, Music
  • Released: Aug 18, 2009

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