Jessica Williams – Gratitude (Candid Records)

It is late at the night. I have just finalized a full listening session of this record. I don’t want to wait one or more days to write my impressions about it. It is fresh in my ears and this woman and this record deserves much more than the time I’ll spend here.
Jessica Williams is essentially a solo pianist. The reasons for that are explained in this album’s liner notes (by herself) and I suggest you to take a look on it. She is a true musician a has all my respect.
This record was in my wish list for some years and I confess that I didn’t expect so much. Someone told me in the past that J.William’s records plays very nice in our special stereo systems and I decided to try this one. What happened is that I knew a great musician that, for our luck, has many well recorded albums.
What impressed my here is the way Jessica explores the piano. From bass notes to treble, she keeps swinging. Very creative always doing new variations, new patterns and rhythms track by track. Each song has something new and you will be amazed with the dynamics she imposes to the keys. In music Justice she plays the harmony with the right hand and the solo with the left hand (she has inverted the conventional way, I was just wondering if she inverted the hands too).
This is a near-piano recording. It means that the piano seems to be near you and not far, like a big concert hall. The bass notes are in the left side (not at the left speaker) and goes to the right as the scales are increasing. It means that you have a complete piano keyboard in front of you, from left to right. You can follow each note, each harmonic in its own physical position. This recording is great to test how you stereo system manage the left hand piano, that should be extremely clear and separate, never mixing. The piano percussion dynamics are also great, mainly at the lower notes. Jessica uses a lot of harmony in the low register of the piano. It can lead to a lack of intelligibility, both live and at your home stereo, but that’s not the case here, absolutely.

Thank you
Leonardo

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