by Dan Bilawsky
Centennial celebrations abound in 2017. In this year of years we fête many jazz greats delivered unto us one century ago--Dizzy Gillespie, Buddy Rich, Mongo Santamaria, Thelonious Monk, and Tadd Dameron, to cite just a handful. That list of giants forever changed the face of this music, but it's a list that's noticeably incomplete without the inclusion of one Ella Fitzgerald. The First Lady of Song," as she came to be known, raised the bar considerably and redefined the very ...read more
by Jack Bowers
You want to hear beautiful music? Go directly to Track 4 on Patrice Williamson’s latest album, Free to Dream, and listen to Rodgers and Hart’s “With a Song in My Heart” — irresistibly melodic and outspokenly tender, the way a love song should be written (and sung). I’d never before heard the introduction to this masterpiece (one of many on which R&H collaborated), which is as beguiling as the verse, if not more so. Handsomely performed by Williamson, pianist Mark ...read more
by Jerry D'Souza
Williamson continues to build on the promise she showed on her first album, My Shining Hour as her smoky alto makes its way through a song filling it with warmth and a smooth flowing jazz sensibility. Add her compact sense of time, the ability to swing sweetly and this turns out to be a neat album.
Williamson rows down two streams; jazz and pop. She gives The Sound Of Music Suite a sweet pop disposition and then scurries ...read more
by Dave Nathan
Boston singer , by way of Memphis, TN, Patrice Williamson has come out with her second release on her River Lily label. Given the critical acclaim her first release received, it's surprising and disappointing that it has taken three years for this one to get on the streets. But such are the vagaries and narrow vision of the recording industry. Unlike her first CD, My Shining Hour, she has included three of her own compositions. There's also a heavy reliance ...read more
by C. Michael Bailey
Free to Dream is the second recording by vocalist Patrice Williamson. The thirtysomething Memphis native follows up her 1998 debut, My Shining Hour with a contemporary collection of originals and standards accented with intelligence and pathos, both in choice and performance. Her originals are epistles of spirituality and self-actualization...and they swing, albeit with a humid momentum.
Ms. Williamson has a beautiful low alto voice that could be likened to a smooth single-malt scotch with the hint of a breathless ...read more
by Dave Hughes
Of all the newcomers that have arrived on the jazz vocal scene of late, Patrice Williamson is the most pleasant surprise. On her CD My Shining Hour , she demonstrates the difference between truly being a jazz singer, as opposed to a singer who sings jazz tunes. She possesses a full-bodied alto voice with impeccable pitch and enunciation. She brings a bit more breadth to her interpretations of the melodies, then dives fearlessly into her improvized solos. The repertoire is ...read more
by Jack Bowers
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 ...read more