Hines_span3
May 2008

Pamela Hines Trio
Return
Spice Rack

Pamela Hines is a capable and tasteful, if relatively undifferentiated, pianist. Her strengths and her limitations are revealed on “I’m Through With Love.” It is one of the great ballads, and when sung by someone like Diana Krall it can be rapt and mesmerizing. There have been surprisingly few instrumental jazz versions, though, and the world was ready for a revelatory piano-trio interpretation. Hines’ methodically chordal encounter with the song is honest and orderly but oddly neutral and objective, leaving no broken hearts in its wake.

Hines is better at brisk tempos and tunes whose challenges are structural rather than emotional. Cedar Walton’s “Ojos De Rojo” and Bill Evans’ “Comrade Conrad” and two cleverly contrasting takes of “My Heart Stood Still” are impressive in their dexterity and incisive articulation. Jerry Bergonzi, a special tenor saxophonist who can be subtle and voluble in the same solo, guests on two tunes. The title track, built on a single plaintive call, is a Hines original but sounds like something Bergonzi snatched from midair. He slips all around it, in those long, sliding, meaningful lines that only he plays.

Originally published in May 2008
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