Patti Wicks

Room at the Top

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In the tradition of Jeri Southern, Blossom Dearie, Nina Simone and Shirley Horn, Patti Wick is equally adept at both piano and vocals. Her maiden album is a blend of these skills packaged in a very entertaining 70 minutes of jazz. No Dorothy Donegan-like pyrotechnics here. Just sophisticated jazz played in a very laidback, relaxing manner. Wicks directs greater attention to skills as a pianist than some of the aforementioned combination performers. "I Hear a Rhapsody," her own "Waltz for Rudy," bass player Don Payne's "Promise Me" and Clare Fischer's "Morning" are purely instrumentals. Her trio, while not a clone of the Bill Evans, Eddie Gomez and Scott LaFaro group, certainly takes its stylistic cue from that seminal ensemble. On occasion the resemblance is almost eerie. And like the Bill Evans Trio, the Wicks group works so well together that they sound like a single instrument. The development of this musical style was honed while playing together in small, intimate clubs in south Florida where native New Yorker Wicks resided during this recording. Bass player Don Payne, who also produced this album, is a veteran of sessions with such notables as Stan Getz and Art Pepper. While Wick's voice doesn't have great range, she takes full advantage of the tools she possesses. Each listener seems to get individual attention. It is like having her and her trio live in the same room with you. This is an impressive first album.

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