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Pamela Williams: The Look of Love

Everybody loves the songs of Burt Bacharach and Hal David. They’ve been favorites of contemporary jazz musicians for years, so it’s no surprise that saxophonist Pamela Williams digs her chops into a 10-song CD that celebrates the Bacharach/David hits popularized by Dionne Warwick. It would have been easy for Williams to phone this one in, but it’s clear she studied the tunes she grew up with and put enough of a spin on the outing to differentiate it from the pack.

Clean percussive drum programming is featured prominently in the mix, giving the CD an undeniably Latin vibe. But Williams’ playing varies. On “The Look of Love,” her sexy tenor doesn’t stray far from the familiar melody, but both her alto on “Alfie” and soprano on “I Say a Little Prayer” get ample chances to improvise and add much needed texture. “Don’t Make Me Over” and “I’ll Never Fall in Love” are given slight reggae riddims, and “A House Is Not a Home” plays as hauntingly as it was intended. The one vocal track is a goodie, as Williams’ partner Precious Iglesias displays her vocal range but is most impressive in the upper registers.

Originally Published