Jessica Williams coaxes such a luscious sound from her instrument on Live at Yoshi’s, Vol. 2 that you can happily wallow in her tone alone. With an acute sensitivity to melody aligned to that magnificent touch, her ballads become akin to personal gifts to her listeners. It takes guts to lead off an album with an eight-minute “Flamenco Sketches”-with Williams in perfect control of mood and dynamics, the classic becomes an enchanting prelude. But the perennially underrated pianist commands at all tempos, leavening formidable technique with a playful-make that joyous-rhythmic sense: “Why Do I Love You” and “Paul’s Pal” find room for trademark displays of agile and witty two-handed independence.
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