THE SMOOTH JAZZ RIDE

Pamela Williams--Chameleon

Saxophonist Pamela Williams (aka The Saxtress, who also doubles on keys quite effectively, by the way) has been serenading the smooth jazz world for over 10 years as a solo artist.  Spinning off from Patti Labelle’s band in the mid-90s was a calculated move that has obviously paid off handsomely over the years.
 
Her latest project, Chameleon, is her first on her own indie label, Saxtress Entertainment.  It is an exciting look at the different sides of Williams, from a tribute to the funky days of George Clinton and his living-on-the-edge marvelous bands, Parliament and Funkadelic, to a nod to the fusion funk of Herbie Hancock’s "Chameleon," then to a return to her early sinfully sensuous offerings with “Eight Days Of Ecstasy” (from the album of the same name), to the bluesy “Breathless” and on to her trademark smoothness on tunes like “Summer Sun.”  Hard-charging funksters like “Ultraviolet” and “Camouflage” are done as only one such as Pamela Williams, who knows funk by its first name, can do them: forcefully rhythmic, funky, and emotional.  Her cover of Sylvia’s hit, “Pillow Talk” is both rousing and sexy…in both instances (the vocal and the instrumental versions).
 
In fact, Williams always coaxes notes and grooves from her sax in equally rousing and sexy measure. The woman obviously breathes her music and vice versa. They seem to thrive on each other in a co-dependent manner that is both pleasing and authentic. Her notes seem to slide into place so comfortably and effortlessly, like telling a story for the umpteenth time with all of the enthusiasm and mystique mustered when it was first told. The tell-tale thick bass and solidly telling percussion, topped with sure-footed sax work do their intended thing here and are notably effective.

If you like your smooth jazz spiced up with hefty helpings of feel-good funk and presence, grab a “plate,” of this,  as Pamela Williams is back to gladly serve it up. --  Ronald Jackson

Sorry, there are no Amazon MP3 clips available at this time for Pamela Williams.  However, her CD can be previewed at CDbaby.com.