Jessica Williams Plays for Lovers - Jessica Williams, solo piano - This album continues to be a bestseller. Just beautiful - a Major Release on Red and Blue - THIS ALBUM IS AVAILABLE: BUY
1 Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered
2 Don't explain
3 That's All
4 I Loves You Porgy
7 Flamenco Sketches
8 When I Fall in Love
9 Love is Real
10 Blue Moon
Total time 65 minutes | This CD remains one of our bestsellers, and is now in it's fourth pressing
The CD will play for anyone, lover or not. All you need is a heart to appreciate the music. Recommended! -Jorg Knobloch, All About Jazz
Her Own Medicine; Jessica Williams Heals Herself at the Piano By Michael Henningsen
Although she's been considered a significant presence on the jazz scene for many decades, Jessica Williams doesn't enjoy the name recognition she deserves. Following years spent playing piano with the Philly Joe Jones Quartet and sharing stages with such luminaries as Bill Evans, Art Blakey, Dexter Gordon, Sarah Vaughn, and a host of others, not to mention her extensive discography, Williams remains largely under-recognized outside of critics and rabid fans of classic bop-influenced keyboard work.
With chops that invoke the playing of Thelonious Monk and an incredible command of the keyboard, Williams based herself in San Francisco in the late '70s, where she established herself as a powerful musical force. And while generally identified within the bop idiom, Williams' latest album, the demure, hauntingly lovely Plays for Lovers (Red and Blue Records), is a quiet tribute to relaxing at home either with a lover or with a lover on the mind.
Nine of the album's 11 tracks are jazz standards (the exceptions are John Lennon's Love is Real and Flamenco Sketches), and all of them feature Williams alone at her piano, performing the music as though she were at home.
'I just wanted to play and make myself feel warm and alive and whole,' she says.
Interestingly enough, those are three sensations you're guaranteed to have each time you listen to Plays for Lovers. Given her penchant for sprightly interpretations of everything from obscure Dave Brubeck numbers to the most serious and complex Monk compositions, Plays for Lovers is wonderfully understated testament to self-control and egolessness.
Indeed, says Williams, 'While technique is fundamental and is necessary for the execution of any music or art, it is not everything; it is not the ends, only the means. I wanted to let go of that great need to compete, to be thought of as a great player.'
Through her letting go, we're blessed with a record that's expressive and virtually flawless. -By Michael Henningsen
This CD remains one of our bestsellers, and is now in it's fourth pressing.All About Jazz Review:
'All pieces are played in a pensive and quiet way and have emotional warmth to them. Many players play too many notes that don't contribute to the musical substance. Not so Ms. Williams. Ms. Williams is a technical master, a fact she reminds us of by interspersing some sparkle where it doesn't disturb the simple beauty. The sound quality of the recordings is excellent and fully brings the mood across. One word about the title Jessica Williams Plays for Lovers. Don't believe it! The CD will play for anyone, lover or not. All you need is a heart to appreciate the music. Recommended!' Jorg Knobloch, All About Jazz
Subject: Lovers CD, Date: Nov 20, 2003 - Hi Jessica,- I LOVE this one... it's gorgeous music; peaceful, intense, passionate, far-away and close... it sounds as though you loved playing this music and making the cd. THANK YOU WITH ALL OF OUR HEARTS! You are Fabulous! Leslie ____, Seattle
Subject: Lovers CD, Date: Fri, 16 Jan 2004 - Jessica, I heard your show at EMP last night and it was truly wonderful! I bought the CD, got the autograph, the near total experience. I'm enjoying the CD now, and it's my fourth JW disc. It is excellent as promised (and now expected), though I am always pleasantly surprised! Bill___, Seattle
Subject: Lovers CD, Fri, 29 Oct 2004 Jessica, I think it is wonderful that you have made public your email address, as it gives me a chance to express to you how much joy your music gives me. I saw your performance last night in San Francisco, and exchanged a few words with you at intermission when you were selling and signing CDs. I added 3 more of your CDs to my collection, but I see I still have quite a few to go! I only have 14, and I would really like to have them all. I will be contacting you soon to make arrangements for that.
I am listening now to "Plays for Lovers", and wanted to comment on your liner notes. I am so pleased that you can ignore the competition and find ways to release albums like this one, and another favorite of mine, "Gratitude".
I recognize and enjoy the brilliance of your technique, but it is your mastery of expressiveness and emotion that has captured my heart. With much gratitude, Jim ___ San Francisco CA
Artist's Review of this CD: