INVENTIONS - Jessica Williams, piano; Jeff Johnson, bass; Dick Berk, drums - Another record of the year, Jazz Journal International
1 Nightwatch (J Williams)
2 Little Bird Song (J Williams)
3 Clear Blue Lou (J Williams)
4 Toshiko (J Williams)
5 Last Trane (J Williams)
6 Blues R Us (J Williams)
7 Espana (J Williams)
8 Sputnik (J Williams)
All tunes by Jessica Williams, JJW Music, ASCAP
Total time- 68:26 min. Jessica Williams Trio - Cover art by Elaine Arc
'A wonderful album -yet another record of the year from the phenomenal Jessica Williams. The digital stereo matches the brilliance of the music.' -Pat Hawes, Jazz Journal International
'Jessica Williams Inventions captures the daring pianist's superb trio and always surprising improvisations in a repertoire of adventurous originals.' -Joseph Blake, Victoria Times-Colonist
'Where her own tunes shine most is at the edges of phrases, where she returns to begin anew or simply heads elsewhere. Here and elsewhere, Williams conveys a delightful sense of where she's situated, at a nexus of piano traditions that suits her wonderfully.' -Andrew Barltett, Earshot Jazz, November 1995
'The rapport between Jessica and her partners in the trio is astonishing! I use the word partners advisedly, for this is no mere piano-accompanied-by-bass-an drum album. (I would refer you to the interview I did with Jessica published in JJI August 1995 for her own assessment of how this rapport has come about.) This really is extraordinary music which frequently defies descriptions buy, listen and savor.' -Pat Hawes, Jazz Journal International
Review by PAT HAWES, Jazz Journal International
Jessica Williams (p). Jeff Johnson (b} Dick Berk (d). White Horse Studios, Portland OR, January 10, 1995.
The word 'Best' is one I hesitate to use in critical assessment but in her own notes to this album Jessica Williams says 'I think it's my most colorful release to date and it sets up challenges for the future. I feel the winds of growth and renewal here'. Perhaps this is because Inventions has Jessica and her trio interpreting a program of her own compositions, with the exception of T42.
The rapport between Jessica and her partners in the trio is astonishing! I use the word partners advisedly, for this is no mere piano-accompanied- by- bass- and drum album. (I would refer you to the interview I did with Jessica published in JJI August 1995 for her own assessment of how this rapport has come about.) This really is extraordinary music which frequently defies descriptions buy, listen and savor.
As to the tunes, Night Watch is for Ellington and could have been written by the Duke himself. Sputnik is drummer Dick Berk's nickname and is in kind of 14-bar blues (we think>. It features Berk and an outrageous time-defying piano episode.
Last Trane and Toshiko are dedicated to fellow jazz players whom Jessica admires. Espana is a choice piece, musically evocative of the Spanish musical spirit. Little Bird Song features the vocal debut of Windell. Jessica's pet cockatiel (limited but nice!) in a catchy, swinging Latino piece.
Clear Blue LOU and Blues R US have the trio digging deep into the blues. The former has a long passage solo from the piano player with some splendid lopsided stride a la Monk. T42 is a wicked and funny working over of a tune Jessica has called 'as old as mud and twice as easy to sink into'.
A wonderful album - yet another record of the year from the phenomenal Jessica Williams. - Pat Hawes