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Pamela Means | Jazz Project, Vol. 1

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Jazz: Traditional Jazz Combo Jazz: Jazz Vocals Moods: Solo Female Artist
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Jazz Project, Vol. 1

by Pamela Means

"Folk-Politico-Rocktress" Pamela Means presents new jazz project and new jazz CD. Fronting her own jazz trio, Pamela Means Jazz Project.
Genre: Jazz: Traditional Jazz Combo
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. All of Me
3:12 $0.99
2. Fly Me to the Moon
2:39 $0.99
3. Four Women
6:02 $0.99
4. My Funny Valentine
4:58 $0.99
5. La La La
3:26 $0.99
6. Sunny Side of the Street
2:43 $0.99
7. My Love
4:13 $0.99
8. I Got It Bad
2:47 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
"Folk-Politico-Rocktress" Pamela Means presents new (side) jazz project and new jazz cd. Fronting her own jazz trio, Pamela Means Jazz Project.


Produced by Pamela Means

Pamela Means, vocal & guitar
Anand Nayak, upright bass
Sturgis Cunningham, drums

All tracks recorded live in the studio. No overdubs. No edits. (Just like they used to make 'em!)


"Means is, quite simply, superb...Her guitar playing is tasty indeed, her voice...tender, and her version of Billie Holiday's "Strange Fruit" is heart-rending"
- HiFi Magazine, London UK

"...Pamela Means...heir to Nina Simone's legacy?"
- Goldenrod Distribution

"...combination of Michael Franti and Chet Baker."
- Northeast Performer Magazine


Thursday, March 01, 2007

Pamela Means: Jazz Project Vol. 1

Pamela Means's Jazz Project Vol. 1 is a pleasantly surprising collection of revamped jazz standards. Surprising to me because I came to know of her through her work with poet Alix Olson, [where Pamela's music adds to the] fierce folk-punk tone of Olson's spoken word. The Pamela Means Jazz Project goes in an entirely different direction with smoky vocals and deep jazz rhythms. The band consists of Means on vocal and guitar, Anand Nayak on bass, and Sturgis Cunningham on drums. The trio recorded the album live in studio with no overdubs or edits, and released it on Means's independent label Wirl Records.

Billie Holiday and Nina Simone are two of my favourite singers of all time, and I think most people would agree that those ladies were in a class of their own. So it takes a lot of courage and an even larger amount of talent for a modern singer to successfully cover songs that Billie and Nina made famous. Pamela Means tackles both Billie's upbeat "All of Me" and Nina's deeper "Four Women" on this album, and amazingly she does both well. And while I never much cared for Sinatra's "Fly Me to the Moon" before, Pamela's sultry velvet voice transforms the classic into a torch song.

I was also surprised and impressed by her cover "My Funny Valentine". Though the song holds special significance to me for personal reasons, I rarely like contemporary covers of it. Give me Chet Baker or Etta James, but the song usually sounds unimaginative and monotonous when sung by anyone else. Means, however, manages to refresh this old ode to unconditional love by giving it a deep new bass heart.

"My Love" is the only original song by Pamela Means on the disc. The smooth blend of Pamela's jazzy vocals and funky bass rhythm enable the track to stand out as the modern work that it is while at the same time fitting right in with the classic covers that make up the rest of the album. A low key cover of Duke Ellington's "I Got It Bad" gently closes the album.





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