...her vivid, theoretically unfettered imagination is naturally abetted by her conceptual command and technical brilliance...
Through decades of performances and recordings, pianist Jessica Williams has displayed a riveting personal voice full of virtuosity and surprise, building a legendary status among jazz piano aficionados. On "With Love," Williams felt the desire to simplify, presenting a series of pieces that were beautiful and without guile, simple and lovely and heartfelt in the extreme. While still rooted in jazz, she relies less on technique and improvisation and more on emotive depth, melodic purity and space, as she delivers time-honored classics, including "My Foolish Heart," "I Fall in Love Too Easily," and "Somewhere."
1 For All we Know 5:26
2 My Foolish Heart 9:36
3 I Fall in Love too Easily 6:06
4 Summertime 5:53
5 But Beautiful 6:33
6 When I Fall in Love 6:15
7 Paradise of love 9:29
8 It Might as Well be Spring 4:07
9 Somewhere 3:32
Jessica Williams - solo piano
Produced by Jessica Williams
Recorded by Jessica Williams
Dec. 10, 2013 - Jan. 16th, 2014
Piano is a Yamaha C-7 Grand
Mastered by Dan Dean at
Dan Dean Productions, Mercer Island, WA
Cover photography by Sergey Sokolov
Jessica photo by Jimmy Katz
Design & layout by John Bishop
All About Jazz (Dan McClenaghan)
Successful musicians play "the truth." If you want to hear some truth there are certain artists you can seek out. Thelonious Monk couldn't play anything but the truth, right from the beginning. Pianist Jessica Williams came upon the truth - a purer form of it, at least - after experiencing "the fix of Illness" that she has discussed on her web ...
Midwest Record (Chris Spector)
One of the magical things about Williams in performance is that she has the ability to take songs that countless piano bar players have beaten into the ground in various pummelings and make them sound fresh, new and distinct. With a set card here of almost all chestnuts that have been beaten to death in a million piano bars, Williams is playing ju ...
All About Jazz (C. Michael Bailey)
Pianist Jessica Williams produces for the piano in With Love that Rebecca Parris and Beat Kaestli do in jazz vocals...a perfect jazz ballads recording. Williams does so in a solo piano setting not unlike what she has used in the past most recently on Song of the Earth (Origin, 2012), Touch (Origin, 2010) and The Art of the Piano (Origin, 2009). Thi ...
Critical Jazz (Brent Black)
Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication and that is Jessica Williams! Jessica Williams is a critically acclaimed pianist that has the reputation and the ability to go deep. Thanks to the misfortune of two rather serious health battles which she has documented and spoken of in great detail, Williams has embraced the lost art of melody with a s ...
Rifftides (Doug Ramsey)
This masterpiece of quiet reflection is the pianist's first recording since surgery repaired spinal deterioration that kept her out of action for more than two years. With exquisite slowness, she explores eight standard ballads and her composition "Paradise of Love." In her notes, Williams writes, "I wanted to make an album that while still roo ...
Jazz Society of Oregon (George Fendel)
Williams is an uncompromising artist who consistently produces one stunning album after another. In recent years, she has primarily recorded her own brilliant compositions. So this album of standards played solo is a welcome detour. She elects to state these serene and glistening melodies with only minimal improvisation. This is wise, because these ...
Audiophile Audition (Pierre Giroux)
Margaret Singleton writes in her book The Box In The Closet: My Journey To Claim Who I Am: " I like to have quiet music in the background when I am writing. The keyboard skills of Jessica Williams playing solo piano help me to go beyond the mundane. Her tunes are creative, interpretive, mystical and sometimes haunting." This is a perfect descript ...
Cadence (Jerome Wilson)
According to Jessica Williams' liner notes, it's a bit of a miracle that this CD even exists. In the last couple of years she has had to deal with the collapse of her lumbar spine and extensive reconstructive surgery, leaving her in a state where she wasn't sure if she would even walk again much less play the piano. Given all that, the fact this ...
Louisville Music News (Martin Z. Kasdan Jr.)
Jessica Williams has produced an album of intimate solo piano pieces, rendered with elegance and emotion. There's a backstory here, that Ms. Williams suffered a lumbar spine collapse, followed by lengthy and extensive medical procedures. Her self-penned liner notes suggest that the nonpyrotechnical approach was a result of the spine issues, but ha ...
Jazz Weekly (George W. Harris)
The most vulnerable of recordings, the solo piano, is well represented here under the hands of Jessica Williams. She creates about an hour's worth of a mellow, reflective and ruminating mood on graceful readings of standards such as "It Might As Well Be Spring" and "For All We Know." Her touch on "My Foolish Heart" has an inquisitiveness abo ...