Kate Williams: Four Plus Three


Williams is the daughter of one of the world’s greatest guitarists, John Williams (a member of Sky for those with long memories), though given her own talent it would be appropriate to say that John is the father of pianist Kate.

This latest project of hers combines a jazz piano trio with a string quartet and has a local angle: the “four” includes John Garner, a noted violinist, whose family live in Congleton.

The album was born when Williams met Garner, and violinist Maria Schreer, in 2014, and it was that meeting that led to this collaboration.

Williams said she was interested in having two self-contained bands working together and, as drummer David Ingamells said in an interview, the problem is one of dynamic levels and sounds. Williams had to arrange the music so that one part of the band didn’t drown out the other.

This issue — of the loud jazz trio working round the unamplified strings — defines the album, both in its overall sound and the way the instruments work with each other.

It would be harsh to call it easy listening but it’s an album that’s easy to listen to. It varies from jazz — Williams is a superb pianist — to classical, probably most akin to modern composers such as Debussy, conveying a mood more than anything. If you want a criticism, it’s perhaps a little cold, more technical than from the heart, even with the improvising, but that’s a minor niggle.

The players are Williams on piano; Oli Hayhurst, double bass; Ingamells on drums; Garner and Schreer on violin; Miguel Angel Rodriguez, viola and Sergio Serra, cello.

Buy: a mere £4 + £3 (+ 99p)

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