Hear And Now
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
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
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
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