Vocalist and flutist Patrice Williamson's second CD, Free to Dream, exemplifies where she is in her musical life. Secure and happier since her 1998 debut, she sings with confidence, assurance, and sensitivity on 13 great songs plus one bonus selection. In addition to handling the lead vocal parts very well, Williamson plays the flute and is joined by Eric Byers, Jason Hunter, Keala Kaumeheiwa, Ron Savage, Mark Shilansky, and Kera Washington. Her warm vocals surround such great songs as "With a Song in My Heart," "Another Star," and a seldom-heard vocal jazz version of "Puttin' on the Ritz." On the title track, "Free to Dream," Williamson's cool, smoky, and supple alto voice envelops the mid-tempo song she co-wrote with pianist Mark Shilansky and gives you, the listener, a wonderful way to remember her soft, soothing voice. She handles the song's changes with ease and a wide range of vocal inflections and phrasings. Overall, Patrice Williamson excels on Free to Dream, an excellent song selection of originals and covers that spans a wide range of song forms -- bebop, ballads, blues, cool Brazilian, and Broadway show tunes. This effort definitely outshines her 1998 debut, My Shining Hour, and reveals a superb amount of musical growth and understanding.
AllMusic Review by Paula Edelstein