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Pamela Hines: This Heart of Mine

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Pianist Pamela Hines exhibits an intuitive nature when it comes to punctuating her notes and making distinctive accents that intensify the mood of her music. Her new CD, This Heart Of Mine is a collection of original tunes and covers that demonstrate her ability to mold expressive vignettes and bridge her vamps and counterpoints into classic ballroom-style jazz forms. Her notations depict her emotions even as she covers compositions written by Cole Porter and Duke Ellington. At times, her sequences are embroiling, and at other moments they exhibit a serenity along the ruminations. Hines’ playing creates an imaginary world as she looms cascading falls and melodic swells in the piano keys producing settings which are conducive for deep contemplation and transition into unbridled fun around the corner. She travels through a gamut of musical ideas that honor the giants in jazz while infusing harmonious style changes in American standards.

Hines’ interpretation of Duke Ellington’s number “Reflections In D” shimmers with the glossy resonance of a harp as she merges the ambling riffs with fringes of moonlight-embossed strokes inspired by John Lennon’s “Across The Universe.” Her take on Bud Powell’s “Celia” displays classic piano jaunts with vaudeville-tweaked sprees as her keys twinkle with a sprightly edge on them. The luminous texture of Hines’ brushed sweeps in the title track are aurally pleasing while sustaining a mysterious shadow in her counterpoints that lurk beneath the surface.

The perky vamps that Hines injects into Cole Porter’s “Love For Sale” makes it seem like a new song as her meanderings roam in unscripted sentences. The reposing slopes of “Where Are You?” contrast the quick-step tempo of “Freight Train” as the bop-style of the rhythmic patterns make it sound like a period piece. The soft, lacy frills of “Eternal Flame” and “I’m In The Mood For Love” are seductive reeling a romantic aura which switches gears to a lively showtunes vibe in Cole Porter’s “What Is This Thing Called Love?” before closing the album with Ralph Towner’s “Icarus” giving the illusion that her piano keys are gently flying through the air.

Artists often say that they play with passion and it shows with Pamela Hines. She wears that passion on her sleeves as her notes depict what she is going through like an autobiography set to music. This Heart Of Mine bares pieces of Hines’ soul even as she covers other artists works making their material a reflection of herself.

Originally Published