Often on first listen to a new CD, I’ll remark, “that’s nice…” and just file it away. I’m very glad that I gave “3.2.1” by pianist Pamela Hines a second chance. On the second pass, I heard the complexities that I missed in my first cursory review. We receive many piano-bass-drums CDs re-working standards at WEMU, so if your disc is to make it on the air it must have a “special something”. Pamela Hines has it.
“3.2.1” refers to the trios, duets and one solo piece comprising this new CD. Hines works with two of today’s best sidemen: bassist David Clark and drummer Yoron Israel. Clark’s tone is warm and deeply burnished while Israel has a brighter, lighter, colorist approach as a percussionist. Both are highly complementary to Hines’ fleet piano figures and joyfully jolting clusters. She works through well-known repertoire: songs penned by legendary pianist Bill Evans and pieces he covered as well. However, Hines does not “ape” Evans throughout the recording; rather her bright attack reveals an impish, playful side to many of these tunes. My second listen revealed a pianist and disc worthy of deeper investigation. We hope you enjoyed the premiere of “3.2.1” this morning and the rest of the variety on the playlist.