Jessica Williams

Billy's Theme: A Tribute to Dr. Billy Taylor

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Jessica Williams is at the forefront of jazz in the nontraditional setting: leaving the nightclubs in favor of concert halls. Billy Taylor was one of the first to go in that direction well before her, however. Here, she pays tribute to the fine pianist with a series of original compositions. The sound is incredible, recorded in a home studio but cleverly given a proper concert sheen. This is jazz on the way to third stream. The playing is impeccable, and the compositions both evocative and well crafted. At times contemplative, at times cheerful, at times bluesy, it's all covered in here. For modern piano jazz, this is quite possibly one of the best releases of the last few years.

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