Following in the footsteps of Drop 2 (Spice Rack Records, 2006), pianist Pamela Hines and her trio returns for an even better example of the jazz piano trio, augmented by guest saxophonist Jerry Bergonzi. Her rhythm section of bassist John Lockwood and drummer Bob Gullotti remain intact.
Commentary on Hines' previous albums has underscored a similarity to Bill Evans, a sentiment not to be taken lightly. On tunes like Rodgers & Hart's "My Heart Stood Still" (including an alternate take), the use of dynamics and lyricism show a strong Evans influence, and Gullotti's tasty brushwork draws the comparison even closer. Not surprisingly, two Evans originals"Comrad Conrad" and "Displacement"are also well-played in the style of the late pianist.
Bergonzi only appears two tracks. They are both Hines originals and, while the first one, the title tune, is a ballad and well-rendered, "Very" is a great opportunity to hear the tenor saxophonist turn up the heat. Bergonzi is slowly but surely edging into the territory of Houston Person as a guest tenor saxophonist man who succeeds in raising the musical bar for his employer. Both of Hines' originals are solid and attractive jazz compositions.
As a bandleader, composer and pianist, Pamela Hines is a prime example of fine jazz recording artist.
Track Listing: Ojos de Rojo; My Heart Stood Still; Return; I'm Through With Love; Displacement; Very; Comrad Conrad; My Heart Stood Still (Alternate); Ward One.
Personnel: Pamela Hines: piano; John Lockwood: bass; Bob Gullotti: drums; Jery Bergonzi: tenor saxophone (3, 6).