111

Patrice Williamson: My Shining Hour

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
Patrice Williamson: My Shining Hour
When one’s ears, on a vocal album, are constantly drawn toward the pianist as the primary source of interest, the singer is clearly in some trouble. While I’ve nothing against Patrice Williamson, the nominal centerpiece of this session, I was more impressed by her main accompanist, pianist Helen Sung. Like many other aspiring young vocalists, Williamson has some talent — but not nearly enough, in this observer’s estimation, to separate her from the herd. Williamson’s mellow, mid–range voice isn’t bad — albeit rather generic — she has passable respect for a lyric, and her breath control and phrasing are for the most part satisfactory (despite the occasional lapse at faster tempos). The principal stumbling block lies, as it does with so many others whose channel to success is their voice, in the realm of diction and enunciation. For example, if I were a singer who had a problem pronouncing “ing” — making it sound more like ”een” — I’d probably not choose to open and close an album with “My Shining Hour,” which amplifies that imperfection for all to hear. Nit–picking it may be, but some listeners find such flaws mildly disconcerting — especially when the singer also has trouble articulating the letter “s” (no, we don’t overlook anything). Williamson’s scatting (on “Shining Hour,” “Blue Skies,” Bud Powell’s “Wail”) is earnest but generally unconvincing (she fares best on “Wail”). On the affirmative side of the ledger, Williamson’s choice of material is admirable, as is her choice of teammates (Grenadier has several engaging solos, while Bausch and Savage carry out their duties with quiet efficiency). Patrice Williamson is the singer, but the true discovery here is Sung.

Track listing: 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; Our Love Is Here to Stay; My Shining Hour (64:20).

Personnel

Patrice Williamson, vocals; Phil Grenadier, trumpet; Helen Sung, piano; Christian F. Bausch, bass; Ron Savage, drums.

Contact: River Lily Records, 304 Newbury St., #234, Boston, MA 02115 (phone 617

Album information

Title: My Shining Hour | Year Released: 1999 | Record Label: River Lily

Post a comment about this album

Tags

Shop Amazon

More

Read 4K
4K
Modasaurus
Read Signals
Signals
Trio Linguae
Read History Gets Ahead of the Story
History Gets Ahead of the Story
Jeff Cosgrove / John Medeski / Jeff Lederer
Read Prism
Prism
Conference Call
Read Conspiracy
Conspiracy
Terje Rypdal
Read Freya
Freya
Tineke Postma
Read Unearth
Unearth
New Hermitage

All About Jazz needs your support

Donate
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, shelter in place and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary effort that will help musicians now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the bottom right video ad). Thank you.

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.