Pamela Williams – Evolution
(Fome Records – 2002)
by Carmen Miller
I first heard Pamela Williams on her 2nd CD Saxtress and I was impressed. Here was an unknown woman playing the saxophone with all the silk and honey of a Gerald Albright! Well honey, she’s at it again with her new release Evolution. Lifeline starts it off in a smooth-jazz vein. This and Queen of the Nile are leading candidates for smooth jazz radio along with the title tune. On Placero she ventures south coming back with a very Latin beat. Evolution is a solid tune with a nice melody, and it has some great accompaniment on guitar, as does The Dance. Queen of the Nile is more old-school with a discernible horn section and subtle organ runs behind Pamela’s strong sax lines. My favorite song is I am Love, probably due to the vocals of Teena Marie although Pamela’s sax sings along with sweetness and class.
Pamela covers two older R&B tunes on this CD and absolutely smokes them both…Michael Henderson’s At The Concert, and the Roy Ayers classic Vibrations. Both bring back memories of other times while helping solidify the impression that Pamela Williams can take that sax and carve into almost any song and make it hers. Although I found the small printing on the liner notes hard to read, the music was not hard to listen to at all. This 3rd release from the Pam the saxtress is aptly named as it shows her evolution as a performer and as a producer. Did I mention that she sings on the CD too….?