London Jazz Festival Preview
(Kate Williams, The Forge Venue, Sunday 21 November 11am, preview by Lisa Gee)
Pianist and composer Kate Williams is hunting out charts for her septet gig at The Orange Tree in Richmond on October 27th. “There’s much less practical stuff to sort before a solo gig,” she remarks. She’s playing one at the Forge in Camden 11am, Sunday November 21st, as part of the London Jazz Festival. “I probably won’t decide on the programme until nearer the date, but I’ll do my own tunes, including some recent compositions – mostly music I play with my trio rather than the larger ensembles – and some standards.”
She’s looking forward to the gig. “I’ve tried the piano, it’s a very nice Steinway and there’s a good natural acoustic, so there’ll be plenty of scope to exploit the colour and texture of the instrument.” This rare solo outing offers her greater freedom to explore the piano’s dynamic range and pitch than within a group context. And, although Williams won’t deviate from her trademark precise and inventive style, she will “play slightly differently to how I play with other musicians. Instead of three or four people creating a palette of sounds and textures and so on, you’re doing it on your own. It gives you more space. I’m not afraid of leaving lots of space.”
Because she rarely plays solo, Kate hasn’t written anything specifically for solo piano. “I really enjoy writing for more instruments. And I quite often write for the musicians I work with, with their sound in mind. So, if I’m composing for the septet, I might do something where I particularly want Gareth Lockrane’s flute, and that will influence the way I write. Also, I’m finding myself drawn to the sound of several horns playing at the same time, the different textures that gives. But,” she pauses, “I might write something specially for this gig. I’ve still got a few weeks…”
This new tune may materialise, or it may not: Kate tends to develop her compositions from chord sequences or melodies that emerge organically when she sits down at the piano. Irrespective, the audience can expect an intelligently constructed, varied and absorbing programme that showcases the exceptional scope of both instrument and musician.
Kate Williams’ CDs are available from the JazzCDs website.