Pamela Hines and Manuel Kaufman at 169 Bar on January 27th


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Hines and Kaufman 169 bar
New York, NY
January 27, 2008

About Pamela Hines:

Jazz Pianist Pamela Hines has steadily built a following through recordings and performances with Bob Moses, Darren Barrett, Jerry Bergonzi, John Lockwood, Bob Gullotti, Bob Kaufman and many other jazz artists.

Hines has a new release, Return, with Lockwood and Gullotti and a special guest appearance by Jerry Bergonzi, who played on Hines' 2004 CD ,Twilight World.

Spice Rack Records also records such artists as Alan Holdsworth, Christian Fabian, Steve Hunt, David Hines, Isha, Lucas Pickford and Lewis Robinson. Drop 2, a trio CD and Hines second since joining Spice Rack Records, was released in December, 2006, with Lockwood and Gullotti. The CD has received great airplay nationally, with dozens of top ten rankings in the U.S. and Canada, including Jazz After Hours with Jim WIlke.

The trio's pensive version of I Will was included in a compilation series by ESC Records of Germany. Step Inside Love includes Beatles tunes by many of today's jazz artists.

Hines was part of a debut CD release by vocalist Becky Livas, For All We Know, in April of 2007 Adam Greenberg of All Music Guide, gave Drop 2 4 stars and says, Each of them gets a chance to excel on this session and they don't disappoint listeners. Solos are crisp and confident and they are also well coordinated as a unit. Pam plays piano with fierce dynamics and dexterity that is very energizing. Check her chops on It Could Happen To You. April Hall adds vocals on two tracks, most notably the jazzy Green Line. There are eight songs including three originals in this spirited session.

Jazz critic Dan McClenaghan says of Drop 2, (On I Will)...Hines and her trio...treat it with respect, applying delicate understatement to the original before they go jazz exploring, without losing sight of the original melodic path...And if the opener is a highlight, the Hines-penned title tune, a gorgeously dark-toned, inward-looking ballad, gives it some completion...'Golden Romance' and Green Line.' A superb melodist, Hines also pens a memorable lyric on these two tunes, which sound like American Songbook classics.

Curtis Davenport of JAZZ IMPROV MAGAZINE says, ...there are a couple of stops in 'standardsville' but they are bright and refreshing stops, with inventive takes that left me wanting to hear the tracks again, instead of saying 'where have I heard this before'...Hines leading her cohorts into an exhilarating bop-based exploration (It Could Happen to You). Her playing here is fresh and vibrant and it seems like she has ideas to spare...(I Will) in a beautiful, winning fashin...the title track is the best example here of Ms. Hines' burgeoning skills as a writer; it is a slow, pensive composition and performance, that never lost my interest...It is an inspired, enjoyable set that should help to bring Hines the wider recognition that she deserves.

April 28, 2007 edition of Midwest Record Recap: Straight ahead jazz isn't a dirty word, in the right hands it's wonderful thing that sounds good and feels nice... Whether delivering chestnuts or originals, Hines is right there, on point playing the clean, bold lines that make you take notice that let you concentrate on the fire with being distracted by false pyrotechnics. One of those dandy, winning dates you're glad to come across. Drop 2 is #4 on WICN's (Worcester, MA) top ten CDs in February '07.

Music For America says, Pamela Hines was influenced by George Russell, and after hearing her play, you can tell why. The album opens up with an 8-minute rendition of The Beatles' I Will. Beatles freaks might be scratching their head going wait a minute, that song is around two minutes, how does she stretch it to the 8 minute mark? Very well, thank you, and it's a song that shows how she adds her own perspective and vocabulary to the White Album track, by turning it into a rainy morning ballad. Bassist John Lockwood eventually walks in with a solo and one can almost imagine the two speaking to each other, musically, hoping the rain never ends as they say to each other if you want me to, I will. I'm not a Beatles purist by any means (at least not all the time), and this is one of the best Beatles covers I've ever heard, jazz or otherwise.

The tempo is turned up considerably for It Could Happen To You, the old standard from And The Angels Sing, where Hines, Lockwood, and drummer Guilotti play that thing until it can't be played, making it swing until the listener is in a deep sweat. East Of the Sun has a nice bossa nova groove that also suits Hines very well, going along the way in a Dave Brubeck-like manner while Lockwood and Guilotti become the motor of a powerful car. The narrative between Lockwood and Guilotti in the second half of East Of The Sun makes one wish they did this for another minute or so, as it sounds as if they know mama's out of the house, so they have some time to turn the house around. The song fades out eventually, but it would have worked if the recording ended naturally. What the fade does is re-creates the bossa nova vibe of the 1960's, when people were releasing single after single, hoping that their song would be the hit to move a generation. There's a nice feeling to it, where all three are aware of each other and their capabilities, and let things fall where they may.

There are also two Hines compositions featuring the vocals of April Hall, and while I tend to not like vocal tracks on an album of strong instrumentals, Hall is not an interruption. In a way she offers a temporary break from the dynamic of the music, with the shift in emphasis moving from them to her and the words. Traditional jazz never sounded any better, but can be enhanced among musicians of high caliber, of which Pamela Hines is one. (June, 2007) Her trio was the Pick-of-the Week in the Boston Globe in 2005 and a Globe Jazz-Pick in 2006. The Hall Sings Hines release was #5 in a Top-Ten of 2005 list by ejazz critic John Stevenson.

Hines' interesting compositions and harmonies earned her a guest appearance on the Peabody Award winning show, Piano Jazz with Marian McPartland on National Public Radio in 2000. 9-45 (Brownstone) was released on Brownstone Records in 1998 to critical acclaim.

Robert Iannapollo said in Cadence Magazine, Her piano style is melodically-based with full, rich chords, but there is also an angularity that keeps her improvisations unpredictable. (1998) With any luck, she should have an important career in jazz...- Scott Yanow, 1998 Boston Herald critic Harvey Pekar wrote of Hines, Hines also summons up thoughts of Debussy, Ravel and pianist Bill Evans.

Chicago jazz critic Paul Olson said of Hines' Jazz Meditations in April, 2005, Hines has a clean, brisk attack and a conservatory finish: in this austere solo context, she shines...one of the most winning looks at Bill Evans in some time...a very good CD.

Jim Santella of All About Jazz Magazine says of Twilight World (2004), with Lockwood, Bergonzi, Hall and Reed Dieffenbach, She includes spontaneity...fuses her ensemble with a seamless quality, and contributes dazzling displays of lively music. (2005)

In September, 2005, Hines wrote and arranged an entire album of vocal tunes for Hall. Hall Sings Hines (Spice Rack Records) got the following review from Gabriel Medina Arenas Feminine sensitivity, creativity...The dancing fingers of this pianist have a mixture of experience and freshness that is not common this days.

Bebop, Latin rhythms, ballads, and the blues mix harmonically in this work composed entirely by Hines. She is accompanied by vocalist April Hall, a Berklee College of Music graduate, who understands Hines melodies perfectly and interprets them with a strong spirit. Veteran bassist John Lockwood... makes sure the job is done right. The drums are played in a very elegant way by Reed Dieffenbach, a mature musician who also studied at Berklee and received a Buddy Rich Jazz Masters Scholarship...On the entire record, Hines shows who is the leader in a slight but definitive manner, guiding the other three members of the band magisterially... Even though Hines composed all the melodies and she borrows no pieces from anyone else, she makes a tribute to some great figures of jazz who influenced her... it seems impossible not to push play again and again to hear all the little details. Definitely an enjoyable work. She received her MM from New England Conservatory in 1998 with honors. Download individual songs on i tunes! Purchase CDs on Tower, Amazon, CD Baby, Borders (MA), Cadence and many other sites!

This story appears courtesy of Kari-On Productions.
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