Pam Tate

Die Happy

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Armed with a big voice and a soulful outlook, Pam Tate successfully tackles R&B, jazz and blues on her debut album, Die Happy. It's regrettable that this self-produced outing bombed commercially, for the singer shows a fair amount of promise. Tate is convincing as a sassy, bluesy R&B shouter on "A Woman Scorned," "Counting the Hours" and "Step in the Wrong Direction," and she's equally appealing when she turns around and takes a dusky, nocturnal, jazz-minded approach on the title song, "Shadow of a Doubt" and the lonely torch song "Once in a Blue Moon." Tate proves herself to be the type of singer who would have no problem tackling Bobby "Blue" Bland's songs one minute and paying tribute to Joe Williams or Count Basie the next, but on Die Happy, Tate does all of the writing herself -- and she isn't half bad as a composer. One hoped that eventually, Tate would become better known, because a singer this good shouldn't be so obscure.

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