Jessica Williams

Freedom Trane

origin 82589

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MUSIC REVIEW BY Jerome Wilson, Cadence

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Pianist Jessica Williams explores the music of John Coltrane, playing compositions from various parts of his career as well as original pieces that strongly show his influence. All the familiar Coltrane characeristics are here: heavy chords, grand swirling introductions, and slowly unwinding melodies. But there are not a lot of direct takes from his most familiar pianist, McCoy Tyner. Williams' playing is based more on the rich melodic sweep of Coltrane's own tenor sound. The translation is especially strong on pieces that suggest Coltrane's Spiritual side, like "The Seeker," "Prayer and Meditation," and "Welcome," Williams' playing sounding harp-like on the last named. "Freedom Trane" is a kicking Gospel Clues with a rolling soul I hadn't heard in Williams before along with crackling drum support from Mel Brown. "Lonnie's Lament" is played with a lovely meditative slowness. And "Paul's Pal," an early Coltrane collaboration with Summy Rollins, is done at a playful bright tempo that lets Williams frolic all over the keyboard while her slow treatment of "Naima" suggests of Bill Evans in some of its transitions. The rhythm section work from Brown and Dave Captein is consistently strong. Not overwhelming but enough to accent Williams' playing, especially in Brown's subdued beats on "Naima." Jessica Williams is great about eery time she records but sounds particularly inspired on this disc.








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