3 Iraq 43
5 Iraq 41
6 Fire in the Blood
7 Silent Run
9 Funeral March
10 Snake Charmer
Running time 55 minutes. All new! Jessica Williams, her own original compositions, except for Escape from New York by John Carpenter, utilizing the newest digital technologies from Roland, Peavey, and Apple. A GENERAL RELEASE - NOT JAZZ - some beats are deep dance beats, some are African or World beat; the music is dense, modern and also includes classical interludes and orchestral passages. This is creative, Indie, 21st Century Music. Very exciting, groove-oriented, thought-provoking, emotionally powerful music.
Jessica Williams, composer, all instruments, 7-foot concert grand, Roland, Peavey, Apple technologies, all sequencing, mixing, mastering, cover painting and cover design. No shrink wrap. No corporate multinational support or affiliations.
NOTE: Jazz purists, you may not like this as it contains non-acoustic technologies and is not "pure" jazz, although much of it is improvised. It contains orchestral sections, guitar solos, piano solos, and contains no "standards" or swing tempos. It is not 20th Century music in any way. Also, it could be construed as an anti-war statement, although no lyrics are used.
Blood Music, Jessica Williams, Red and Blue Records (2008) By Dan McClenaghan, AllAboutJazz
This electronically rendered music thing got its start with Wendy (then Walter) Carlos back in 1968, with the Grammy-winning Switched-On Bach (CBS Records). Carlos played the then-new Moog Synthesizer, giving a serous electric glow to composition by Johann Sebastian Bach.
Now Jessica Williams - one of the finest acoustic jazz pianists alive - switches on for Blood Music.
NOT JAZZ, it says of the CD on Williams' website. The often dense, electrically orchestral and frequently groove-oriented sound gets tagged “creative, Indie, 21st century music,” which pretty well nails it.
Jessica Williams plays music. Okay, she's made her name as a jazz pianist on mostly trio and solo outings and, after forty-plus years and fifty plus albums/CDs in that endeavor, she's slipped into the lead of a talented pack playing that game. But Blood Music—and Virtual Miles, Volume 1 and Virtual Miles, Volumes 1 and 2 (Red and Blue Recordings, 2006 and 2007, respectively) showcases her considerable talent in stirring up an acoustic/electric brew, with sequences and synthesizers, bass and drums (played by Williams) and various technologies that guys like Coltane and Monk never had the chance to try.
Much of Blood Music features Williams on acoustic piano, playing in a pulse of electronic sounds. The result gets into modern grooves and sprawling atmospherics. Signals sounds Spanish/flamenco-ish ( there may be neo-cajon in there), while Iraq 43 (this is something of an anti-war record) throbs with foreboding alarms wavering over a dark dangerous rhythms mixed with crackling, indecipherable radio transmissions writhing in a dark bed of electronic forward momentum. Funeral March features majestically melancholy electro symphonic washes of sound, and Nyaho has a world beat flavor, with Williams' sharp and succinct acoustic piano playing over sub-continent percussion and a cool electric breeze.
And then there's Invention for Elaine, a characteristically lovely Williams ballad, played solo on acoustic piano.
Blood Music asks those familiar with Williams' always outstanding solo and trio acoustic recordings to suspend expectations in that direction and accept her in a plugged-in roll. Do that, and there are some excellent and compelling modern sounds to be found.
Track listing: Nyaho; Signals; Iraq 43; Invention for Elaine; Iraq 41; Fire in the Blood; Silent Run; Escape From New York; Funeral March; Snake Charmer. Personnel: Jessica Williams: piano; all instruments; Roland, Apple and Peavy technologies; sequencing.
Style: Electronica | Published: May 26, 2008
Artist's Review of this CD:
One so far | post
Buyer Review, Mar 15, 2008: Tim Merritt, author
Jessica: I've been waiting for this for years. Thanks, Jessica. It's anti-war, anti-establishment, anti-totalitarian, anti-everything evil. Pro art and pro love. Deep! Love, TM