Jessica Williams at Kerrytown
Jessica Williams is a seldom-heard pianist in this part of the country these days, so we were very lucky to catch her for two sets at Kerrytown Concert House in Ann Arbor on May 19. I attended her second set and it was quite inspired.
Williams has a modern approach to the piano all of her own, but with plenty of references to those who came before her. Billy Taylor was celebrated in two of Williams' own pieces: "Taylor's Triumph" and "Billy's Theme" from her recent Taylor CD (Billy's Theme on Origin Records). The latter was a memorable ballad played with great precision and elegance. Her set started out with a thoughful version of "Everytime We Say Goodbye" (also on her Unity CD) and picked up with the bebop classic, "Good Bait." Another moving ballad was her last song for the set, Kurt Weill's "Summer Night." Her encore was a tribute to Monk she called "Monk's Hat." A wonderful evening of piano music.
photograph by Lars Bjorn