William Woods  - The Hear And Now


William Woods who himself describes as a hip cross between Boney James and Bob James comes from a musical family (he is the son of violinist Lee Kanter). He attended Juillard, Princeton and then Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York. He is practicing as a radiation oncologist balancing his job with his jazz profession.

"A Doctor's Dilemma" (1998) was Dr. William Woods' well-received first album, followed by "Cobalt Blue" (2004) and "Every Part of Me" (2005). "The Hear And Now" is William's fourth album released in 2006. The album is featuring Denny Jiosa (guitar), Jeffry Scott Wills (sax), Chris Kent (electric bass), Alana Rocklin (acoustic bass), Derico Watson (drums) and Glen Caruba on percussion. William Woods is a confessing smooth jazz artist with the impetus to perform smooth jazz at it's best. The album is produced by Michael Moryc and Denny Jiosa, a well-established team which also pushed Williams' third album to success. Woods is donating 50 percent of the proceeds of his new album to benefit Habitat for Humanity.

"This was the easiest album to make because I had an amazing run of inspiration," Woods said. "In the span of a year, I wrote about 36 tunes of which I selected 12 for the CD. I just felt a lot freer expressing myself and the music flowed as it had never done before." 

The album starts with Listen To This, a title which can be taken literally. The song has a funky attitude sparkling Williams' joy in performing his piano. After some chords you will certainly share his energy.

Gettin' Back is more laid-back and relaxing. Featured artist is Jeffrey Scott Wills on sax. Wills performed with artists like Lisa Baker, Roy Vogt or Hattie Willcox. Will is an excellent sax player with a great dose of sensibility.

Pensacolada reveals William Woods composer talent. This melody is quickly settled down in my head and when William is starting his jazz improvisation with excursions to other musical motifs one is wondering that this tune is so soon finished.

Paradigm Shifted Again is another slow tempo tune with a hooking melody caressing one's ears. William Woods is a perfect piano player who masters mood and melody in a way we all know by great artists like Bob James.

The provoking title Not Suitable For Children announces a change in tempo and style. Call it bold sense of adventure or anything else, William Woods certainly prefers to change his styles to prevent the listener from falling asleep.

William Woods also mixed classic melodies with modern rhythm elements as to hear on Pangaea. 

Sweet Surrender remembers me at a expressionistic picture, Woods creates his melody with dotted key strokes and then his performance explodes into myriads of tons. Sounds easy but shows much experience and many hours of study.

Under My Skin is one of those dynamic pieces I really love and are the reason of my affinity for smooth jazz. Bob James, Alex Bugnon, Joe McBride, David Benoit, Rob Mullins, Marcus Johnson, you can count William Woods to these artists.

There is a certain tension between melody and rhythm on The Hear And Now. William performs his piano play on a constant programmed rhythm, I would prefer the dialog with a real jazz drummer.

You remark the difference listening to Lake Paranoid, on which William is supported by Caruba (percussion) and Watson (drums). This is vivid and infectious.

Inside Job receives its smoky noblesse by Denny Jiosa's guitar play. It was a wise decision to invite those musicians to this project. William states: "The musicians picked up on the energy in the studio and took it to a whole different level."

Sleep Tight is another example for this miracle. A perfect symbiosis of Williams sophistic musical arrangements and the input of the other artists.

William Wood's new album The Hear And Now takes effect to listeners and critics. Perhaps no flush of excitement but the certain feeling to listen to something valuable which deserves repeated play.




  • Bio


  • William Woods - Website

  • Interview on JazzMonthly


  • Buy the album at


  • Title: The Hear And Now
    Artist: William Woods
    Year: 2006
    Length: 0:49:14
    Genre: General Jazz
    Label: Quantar Music

    01 Listen To This [4:04]
    02 Gettin' Dirty [4:28]
    03 Pensacolada [3:56]
    04 Paradigm Shifted Again [4:27]
    05 Not Suitable For Children [4:06]
    06 Pangaea [3:42]
    07 Sweet Surrender [4:03]
    08 Under My Skin [4:17]
    09 The Hear And Now [3:39]
    10 Lake Paranoid [4:17]
    11 Inside Job [3:59]
    12 Sleep Tight [4:15]