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Pierre L. Chambers - Shining Moments
Dash Hoffman Records, 2023
The apple does not fall far from the tree.
Pierre L. Chambers has been singing for 40 years and has yet to release a recording until Shining Moments. In addition to singing, Chambers is an accomplished poet, another talent that he indulges in this debut collection of thoughtfully selected standard and original compositions.
The first thing to notice about Shining Moments is that as an integrated project, it swings. Critic Martin Williams defined swing in his liner notes for Art Pepper Meets The Rhythm Section (Contemporary Records, 1957) as "...any two successive notes played by Paul Chambers." That is convenient here as Pierre Chambers is the son of Paul and Annie Chambers, Paul being the most important jazz bassist of the 1950s and '60s. Chambers includes poetic homages to both parents ("This Mother" and "My Father" with a full band Bossa beat for the former and quiet solo bass accompaniment for the latter) on this recording.
Chambers opens the recording with a killing performance of the Nat Adderley and Oscar Brown standard "Work Song" where he spars capably with guitarist Dori Amarillo. The song smacks of a Ramsey Lewis "The In Crowd" vibe that Chambers straightens out when he sings, turning in an impressive performance among the many that have preceded it. the singer shows his mettle by presenting a fresh and exciting reading of "My Favorite Things" one brimming with a slow-burn exuberance that heats up as the song progresses.
Chambers displays his breadth and depth in this curious mixture of well-worn standards repackaged giving these old songs a tart freshness presented in a variety of genres. The singer has confidence reflecting his many years in the business. It is about time Chambers stopped hiding his light beneath the bushel, showing it off to all.