Of all the newcomers that have arrived on the jazz vocal scene of late, Patrice Williamson is the most pleasant surprise. On her CD My Shining Hour
, she demonstrates the difference between truly being a jazz singer, as opposed to a singer who sings jazz tunes. She possesses a full-bodied alto voice with impeccable pitch and enunciation. She brings a bit more breadth to her interpretations of the melodies, then dives fearlessly into her improvized solos. The repertoire is a bit more far-reaching than those often presented on vocalists' recordings. She scats confidently and adventurously on the title cut, which both opens and closes the program. Stevie Wonder's "Overjoyed" is presented in a mid-tempo jazz context with Latin colorings. And in addition to some standard Gershwin, Berlin, Mercer, and Arlen choices, she tackles Tad Dameron's "If You Could See Me Now" and Bud Powell's "Wail" with aplomb. This is the real thing.
Tracks: My Shining Hour; Blue Skies; Overjoyed; If You Could See Me Now; Fascinatin' Rhythm; Perfect Stranger; Good Enough; Sayang; Wail; p.s. I Love You; Love is Here to Stay; My Shining Hour. (64:27)
Patrice Williamson - vocals; Christian F. Bausch - bass; Phil Grenadier - trumpet; Ron Savage - drums; Helen Sung - piano.