For slightly more than a decade, Bostonian Pamela Hines has been steadily establishing her chops and audiences. With Moon Germs she advances her mission and creed most admirably.
Hines’ vamps and solos are invigorating joyrides; whether playing the center on a spirited rendering of Harold Arlen’s ’30’s chestnut “Let’s Fall In Love,” or boldly exploring the margins on a high flying rendition of Bill Evans “Show Type Tune,” this girl has got it all. On the Monk-ish, “Variations on Invitation,” her creativity shines. Speaking of her own compositions, the genre twisting “Itchy” swings effortlessly from bebop to groove, giving her two guest horn men, trumpeter Darren Barrett and tenor-saxophonist Greg Dudzienski, ample room to weave, dodge and dance. Stalwart bassist John Lockwood and drummer Bob Gullotti are two locked-in-tight guys any girl can rely on, and their emphatic bedrock and interplay controls the energetic tunes.
Though some critics have dismissively labeled Hines as “mainstream,” Moon Germs, as well as 2007’s acclaimed Return, goes a very long way to prove that shrinking minority wrong.