Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
One of Williams' finest recordings
N. Dorward | Toronto, ON Canada | 08/20/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Jessica Williams only recently began to get much exposure on recordings, with the dedicated documentation of the Canadian label Jazz Focus (& more recently Candid). She has always been highly effective as a solo pianist (something well-documented on her Maybeck Recital Hall volume); though she got her start in a classical milieu, & was first turned on to jazz by Dave Brubeck, her most obvious influence is Thelonious Monk. Here tribute is paid in the form of two Monk tunes ("Ruby My Dear" & "Misterioso") & two Monk-associated tunes ("Japanese Folk Song" & "Lulu's Back in Town"). There's also a spectacular version of "Birks' Works", which begins with a little inside-the-piano special-effects & then moves to an extended boogie solo. That's probably the highlight of the disc; the last few tracks are perhaps not quite as good as the disc's first 8 tracks (Williams' two originals are good but not as characterful as the standards, oddly), but there's really nothing to complain about here--it's an impressive disc. Williams keeps her whimsical touches in check (in live performance she can sometimes drown tunes in quotations--here, the few quotations, such as Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue", are apposite & effective), & her mastery of the keyboard is on full display. An album that should be heard by anyone interested in good mainstream piano."