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Pamela Rose: Just for a Thrill

A Rose by any other name would be just as recognizable: She’s the only singer who pronounces “thrill” so that it comes out wearing two syllables. No affectation; there isn’t a phony bone in this San Francisco singer. A funny bone, yes, but nothing phony. In person she’s capable of all kinds of humor, from sweet to suggestive. But on Just for a Thrill she plays it swingingly straight.

On her fourth album, Rose seems to be beside herself: a little more than blues on most tunes, particularly those she cowrote with her guitarist, Danny Caron; elsewhere, her jazz persona emerges. So pardon the bias, but the best tracks are “Lover Come Back to Me” and “I Hadn’t Anyone Till You,” with fine backing and solo work by tenorist Charles McNeal and organist Wayne De La Cruz and a typically humorous postscript from Rose. Other highlights are “Learnin’ the Blues” and the Steve Allen tune “Old Piano Plays the Blues.”

Originally Published