Patrice Williamson

My Shining Hour

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Though she's currently known primarily to audiences in the Boston area, Patrice Williamson is poised to make a national name for herself with this stunning debut album. Possessed of a smooth, honey-colored voice and intonation as flawless as Ella Fitzgerald's, Williamson delivers a program composed mainly of standards, with a couple of surprises (very nice arrangements of Anita Baker's "Good Enough" and Stevie Wonder's "Overjoyed") thrown in to keep things interesting. Not that unusual song choices were necessary for that purpose. From the first track, a joyful romp through the album's title song, she has our complete attention, and she holds it through versions of "Blue Skies" (if you thought you'd already heard all the renditions of that one you could stand, you were mistaken) and "Fascinatin' Rhythm" (ditto) and even the Bud Powell composition, "Wail." Her backing trio plays with understated virtuosity, wisely keeping out of her way. There really isn't a single weak track here; this album is a joy from beginning to end.