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Jessica Williams: Billy’s Theme: A Tribute to Billy Taylor

To “get” Jessica Williams, you must experience her in person. Her audience is fiercely loyal, and her deep connection with them comes partly from the tension between her demure shyness and her utterly dominating piano. She is, in her own way, a super saleswoman of the keyboard and never lets anyone out of the room without closing the deal.

Not surprisingly, Williams’ best albums until now have been recorded in front of live audiences (e.g., the two volumes of Live at Yoshi’s, on MaxJazz). But Billy’s Theme was recorded by Williams direct to two-track hard disc, in the privacy of her home studio, with reasonable sonic success. It rocks.

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