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Album Review

The sax field becomes even more populous with another of the 1996's freshest new voices, ultra silky alto and soprano goddess Pamela Williams. On the aptly titled Saxtress, she carves her own niche in the rhythm and jazz annals with a rich mix of mellow and smokin', twisting her horn in the many directions that producer Martin Walters leads her. For a time, the surprisingly well done pop covers ("I Can Love You Like That," "The Secret Garden," "Natural Woman") may prompt you to think you've stumbled onto yet another John Tesh sax project. But soon, Williams slowly emerging vision takes over and originality wins out. While smooth and mid-tempo ultimately win out, the collections two real bass-soaked cookers "Ladies Night" and the title cut find her blowing damn the consequences. And those leave us begging for more of same. And finally, she has token vocals done right. The spiritual duet with Teena Marie and the texturing of Patti Labelle with Marie on "Garden" are top notch. This is one debut where commercial calculations are perfectly balanced by a true sense of artistry.


Born: Philadelphia, PA

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '90s, '00s

b. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. Williams began playing tenor saxophone while still very young and played in the Martin Luther King Jazz Ensemble at King High School in her home-town. In her teens she was already leading her own band, playing local clubs and building a wide-ranging repertoire that encompassed jazz, Latin, R&B and hip-hop. When she was 20 she began touring with Patti LaBelle, an engagement that lasted almost six years. In 1996 Williams’ recording of ‘Secret Garden’, a single from...
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Saxtress, Pamela Williams
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