viernes, 24 de julio de 2009

Pat Bowie: Out of Sight (1964) / Feelin' Good! (1965)

Here's Pat Bowie's two mid-'60s dates for Prestige, the only albums she ever recorded. While the style and scope of Out of Sight! (1964) positions the singer as a jazz act, her vocals boast a soulful edge that plainly suggests the influence of R&B. If anything, the album fails to properly exploit the full extent of Bowie's talents, relying too much on familiar ballads and standards instead of more contemporary and complementary material. That being said, this is still a lovely record, with nuanced small-combo backing from guitarist Kenny Burrell, pianist Ray Bryant, and tenor saxophonist Seldon Powell buoying Bowie's lithe interpretations of songs like 'Moon and Sand', 'I've Got Your Number' or Cole Porter's ‘What Is This Thing Called Love?’ and ‘Get Out of Town.’ Like its predecessor, Feelin' Good! (1965) saddles Pat Bowie with a collection of predictable standards that compromise the singer's distinctly modern and hip approach. The session features contributions from altoist Charles McPherson, one of his few dates in support of a vocalist, and McPherson's rich solos ripple below the lyrics, caressing the contours of Bowie's voice. Pianist Tommy Flanagan, bassist Al Hall, and drummer Osie Johnson further underscore the set's moody, spacious approach, updating chestnuts like 'I Wanna Be Loved', ‘Summertime’, 'Baby, Won't You Please Come Home' and ‘They Can't Take That Away from Me’ with style and sophistication. After such a promising start, Bowie would never make another record, at least according to discographies. Even if these two albums never really became classics, with the superb musicians present and Bowie’s individual approach there is much for the jazz enthusiast to enjoy here.

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