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Drop 2

Pamela Hines

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Album Review

A very nice album of piano jazz, Drop 2 lets Pamela Hines stretch out over a series of sounds and show off some excellent ability and versatility at the same time. The album begins with a tender rendition of the Beatles' "I Will," then moves to a bop-heavy tour de force on the old standard "It Could Happen to You." This is where Hines really gets to show off her chops, almost invoking the spirit of Bud Powell for a bit. On the title track, drummer Bob Guilotti pulls out the brushes, and the sound takes a softer turn. On "Golden Romance," singer April Hall joins in for the first of her two appearances and adds a bit of a hotel jazz bar sound to the proceedings. "East of the Sun" takes a more modern approach to piano as Hines makes her Steinway ring a bit with a cleaner sound and hints of Latin jazz thrown in for good measure. The album finishes with a couple of additional standards and one more appearance from Hall, but the standout star throughout is always Hines and her piano. The standards chosen are, of course, excellent compositions, and Hines' original compositions are worthwhile. However, what they all provide is a canvas for Hines to let loose on, taking a basic form and renovating it to show off her abilities. She's an excellent player, with a fine rhythm section backing her up. The influences in her sound come from the great players more than experimental music or other genres, and they work well. The end result is a great listen for fans of straightforward jazz.

Drop 2, Pamela Hines
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