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Pamela Hines Trio: Thrive!

Dan McClenaghan By

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Pianist Pamela Hines 2013 CD offering, 3.2.1 (Spice Rack Records), was an immersion in the standards, with a big nod to the iconic Bill Evans. It was, perhaps, a bit of a writing respite for Hines, who is a supremely talented tune-smith. She's back, song-writing talents intact, energized even, on this all originals set, Thrive!.

Opening with "Emma's Room," Hines and her backing trio— Dave Clark on bass and Les Harris holding down the drum chair—make a sound that is a is a bit agitated and off- kilter. Hines touch is superb, lovely, crisp. Her mates are responsive and supportive in the creation of a joyous momentum.

"While We Can" features the trio exploring the ballad format with aplomb. A wistful mood pervades. Drummer Clark makes magic with the brushes. Hines touch seems impossibly pretty, and the melody has quirks, as if the spirit of Thelonious Monk is hanging around the studio. "Armory" is the trio's opportunity to pour on the spicy sauce. Up-tempo and danceable, drummer Harris gets a chance to step out and snap and pop, rattle and roll in front of Clark's three note repeated riff.

"Across the Room" is wistful, a measured performance in which each note of Hines' piano can be savored, and then, later in the set, an bonus: Suzanne Cabot, her voice rich-toned and uniquely expressive, joins the trio for a vocal take on the tune—lyrics by Pamela Hines. It is a tale of unrequited longing, as beautiful as can be.

After a fine cover album, 3.2.1, Pamela Hines is back in the songwriting groove with the jubilantly distinctive, slightly quirky Thrive!.

Track Listing: Ella's Room,; While We Can; Armory; Good Change; Across The Room; Alteration; Philippe; There's More; Across the Room (featuring Suzanne Cabot); Groove Trip.

Personnel: Pamela Hines: piano; Dave Clark bass; Les Harris: drums; Suzanne Cabot vocal (9).

Title: Thrive! | Year Released: 2014 | Record Label: Spice Rack Records

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