Momentum - Jessica Williams on piano, with Dick Berk, drums, and Jeff Johnson, bass - Contains the hit "Nommo" - four and a half stars in Downbeat
1 Stonewall Blues (J Williams)
2 Little Dog Blues (J Williams)
3 Nommo (J Merritt)
4 You Do Something To Me
5 We Kiss In A Shadow
6 Thembi's Tune (J Williams)
7 Shuffle Boil (T Monk)
8 Sherlock's Lament (J Williams)
9 It's Easy To Remember
10 Autumn Leaves
Total time- 70:05 | Photos by Elaine Arc
4 and 1/2 STARS - Downbeat Magazine
"Rush and buy! Totally recommended." -Pat Hawes, Jazz Journal
"Jessica Williams is one of the most important pianists in jazz today. Everything she plays is touched by her magical gifts." -The Jazz Report
"At the keyboard, she is a history of jazz piano, moving from basic blues to stride to boogie-woogie to bop with equal ease -as well as having exemplary control of the classical elements: a total interdependence of the hands, which is particularly evident in her dazzling contrapuntal work." -Angus James, Jazz On CD
"Jessica Williams shows of style and polish here that puts some of the 'Young Lions' to shame." -Jerome Wilson, Cadence Magazine.
'With the sensitive collaboration off Jeff Johnson on bass and Dick Berk on drums, MOMENTUM offers both standards and originals that keep getting better with repeated hearings.' -Elaine Guregian, DownBeat
Downbeat Magazine review by Ellen Gurregian:
It's rare to hear a pianist who puts the instrument to work with the freshness and finesse that Jessica Williams does. Classically trained at the Peabody Conservatory, Williams really knows her way around the keyboard. Wait, there she goes under the lid, tugging at the strings as if playing a giant bass harp. And there she is again, rippling high notes on the keyboard like windchimes as an accompan'ment to a Japanese folk song Williams explores the entire instrument, inside and out, top to bottom' for maximum expression.
With the sensitive collaboration of Jeff Johnson on bass and Dick Berk on drums. Momentum offers both standards and originals that keep getting better with repeated hearings. It's strange, but ultimately successful, the way Williams takes apart the melody of Cole Porter's "You Do Something To Me" and displaces it, note by note, into different registers so that at first you think some crazy Viennese composer from the 12-tone school has gotten hold of it When the melody finally blurts out in the bass, its equally shocking. Williams is a musician with some wit (check out those boof. boof attacks on "Little Dog Blues" and a quote from the Rocky And Bullwinkle theme elsewhere).
Her biggest influence is pianist/ composer Thelonious Monk, whose music she plays on both of these discs. Williams has Monk's thudding attacks and deadpan, stuttering rhythms down cold. To them, she adds a more refined technique that makes it possible to create a continuous dialogue with herself. On Arrival, listen to the intricate counterpoint on "I've Never Been In Love Before" - Williams has a fabulous independence of hands to match her imagination.
-Ellen Gurregian, Downbeat