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Edward Kennedy Ellington once opined that there existed only two types of music— Good and Bad. This writer tends to be a bit more forgiving in amending Mr. Ellington's classes to read "Good and Better." It is from this vantagepoint that I approach Pamela Williams' new release, Evolution.
First and foremost, this disc will appeal to any contemporary jazz/R&B enthusiast. It is chock full of dancing rhythms, aggressive and provocative beats, and tons of Ms. Williams' slippery alto and soprano saxophones. Hook-filled and expertly produced, Evolution is a contemporary jazz dream. The engineering and production are perfect...perhaps a bit too perfect. The music sounds superb, particularly on surround-sound.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with this music. It is safe and benignly infectious. Several of the cuts sport vocals, giving the pieces an almost adult contemporary feel. It is the perfect dinner music— unobtrusive and well behaved. Ms. Williams' entire package, from personal appearance to personal performance is well marketed and deserves whatever success it can muster.
Is this music good or better? You decide.
Track Listing: Lifetime; A Song For Pam; Placero; Evolution; Queen Of The Nile' The Dance; I Am Love; Smooth; Thinking About You; Cleopatra's Destiny' Poison; At The Concert; Vibrations 5ive Minutes; Lifeline (Pamela's Pulse) (Total Time: 68.54).
Personnel: Pamela Williams: Alto And Soprano Saxophones; And A Host Of Thousands.
Years ago now--in Rhodesia--listening to Voice of America with Willis Conover I heard Bunk Johnson play When The Saints Go Marching In, and Billie Holiday sing Don't Explain. I knew then there was no other life for me than jazz.