Mar 20, 2013
Spring arrived this morning in Western Massachusetts, but you could have fooled me. We’re coated with a new blanket of slushy snow and ice from a sudden storm.
Which is the not too subtle lead-in for a posting of the standard “Spring Can You Really Hang You Up the Most” by pianist Pamela Hines. She falls squarely in that category of jazz musicians who should get wider exposure, based on her strong compositions and performances in a variety of group configurations.
3.2.1 is her latest CD, and she is matched with two equally strong musicians for the recording – bass player David Clark (Cyrus Chestnut, Danilo Perez) and drummer Yoron Israel (a leader in his own right). All have Boston area connections, either as students at New England Conservatory or as instructors at Berklee School of Music. The song selection suggests a moody, Bill Evans-inspired sound would be in order, but the group plays with a spark that prevents the recording from becoming formulaic. Clark in particular is given some room for solos and well-placed runs, and Israel always seems to know when to add a key brush stroke or fill.
As for Ms. Hines, she continues to show her interpretive skills, taking on well-known material but leaving her own stamp on the result. I’m particularly fond of her playing on the ballad “If You Could See Me Now”, bringing a warm sound to the Tadd Dameron composition, and setting up a wonderful Clark solo.