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Pamela Hines Trio: Moon Germs

Edward Blanco By

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Recording the real first varied-style, high energy album of her career, pianist Pamela Hines unveils Moon Germs, titled after the Joe Farrell composition, with longtime band mates, bassist John Lockwood and drummer Bob Gullotti, on an eclectic blend of driving rhythms and freer interpretations of modern jazz. With this album, Hines attempts a different approach and a new twist to some familiar music. She wastes no time accepting the challenge, proceeding to play the opening "Let's Fall In Love" as an up-tempo piece in 5/4 time.

"Itchy" is the first of two pieces featuring trumpeter Darren Barrett and tenor saxophonist Greg Dudziensky as special guests, with an intricate melody that weaves between modern and a New Orleans groove. Hines' ballad "Lavender," is the only other quintet number, offering a warm melody and structure. Johnny Mercer's classic, "Fools Rush In," is the first tune taking the trio into cushy ballad territory, incorporating a series of sensitive piano lines behind Gullotti's delicate brush work.

Originally a funk-oriented blues, the title track is revamped and rearranged, leaving no trace of its funk origin and developing a more modern jazz texture, showcasing Gullotti 's rumbling drum solo. Speaking of revamping original compositions, the 1944 Bronislau Kaper jazz standard, "Invitation," is hardly recognizable in two versions called "Variations On Invitation," as Hines and crew recast the piece as a free jazz number, the album closer providing an alternate take.

Referred to as a trio in the Bill Evans tradition, Hines' group grinds out the piano legend's original, "Show Type Tune," in spectacularly high energy, bop-ish fashion, worthy of comparison. The brief "Zonegar" pays tribute to master saxophonist George Garzone, a founding member of the 1972 The Fringe trio, which also included Hines' band mates Lockwood and Gullotti.

An unconventional reading of modern jazz, Hines ventures into new and exciting territory, presenting a unique approach to a select number of jazz standards to accompany the vibrant originals included on Moon Germs—a truly entertaining, accessible and challenging piece of work.

Track Listing: Let's Fall In Love; Itchy; Fools Rush In; Moon Germs; Lavender; Complications; Variations On Invitation; Show Type Tune; Zonegar; Christopher Street; Variations On Invitation [ Alt. ].

Personnel: Pamela Hines: piano; John Lockwood: bass, Bob Gullotti: drums; Greg Dudziensky: tenor saxophone ( 2, 5 ); Darren Barrett: trumpet ( 2, 5 ).

Title: Moon Germs | Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Self Produced

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