In the straight-ahead tradition of acoustic jazz, Pamela Hines leads this lovely session of standards and originals with an appealing, refreshing charm. She takes a familiar melody, removes its standard interface, and comes up with a new approach.
Familiar themes are surrounded with an exciting fanfare that includes extensive soloing from bass and drums. Bassist John Lockwood and drummer Bob Guilotti add an expressive ambience that complements the pianist's persuasive flair. Her theme this time out places its focus on love and affairs of the heart. Hines and her two musical partners seem to be at peace with the worldand in that respect, the trio recalls the delicate nature of pianist Bill Evans' work, especially his tender ballads.
Originals such as "Drop 2 allow the pianist to place her own lyrical themes on board. She lets each phrase drift lovingly off into an eternal garden of delights. Close your eyes and you're there. Bassist Lockwood adds expressive, vocal-like solo arias, while drummer Guilotti seasons each selection with appropriate textures. He's effective at changing the mood from dreamy to highly spirited and back.
April Hall sings Hines' "Golden Romance and "Green Line with the same deeply rooted, emotional appeal that the trio espouses throughout the program. They dig in, find meaning in each selection, and pour their hearts out grandly. "Green Line leaves a lasting impression that stands out for its forceful qualities. The singer and the piano trio step into a groove that won't quit, and in the process the piece brings out the best from each artist through its dash and verve.
Drop 2 rests upon a romantic tradition for its theme, while introducing quite a bit of inner fire along the way. The album comes recommended for its broad-based, mainstream acoustic jazz foundation, which nearly everybody can appreciate.
Track Listing: I Will; It Could Happen to You; Drop 2; Golden Romance; East of the Sun; The Boy Next Door; Green Line; This Can
Personnel: Pamela Hines: piano; John Lockwood: bass; Bob Guilotti: drums; April Hall: vocals.
Year Released: 2006
| Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream