Reviewed by: Armando Canales November 1998
"Opening with "Wonder Why?" [N. Brodzsky & S. Cahn] (4:48) the band displays good playing but her (Adams) vocal is the reason for the album. Her unique vocal style and delivery is evident in "Come In From The Rain written by Melissa Manchester and Carole Bayer Sager (4:53). Vocals are rich, full, yet can vary their tone. On this one she scats and does a good jazz vocal performance of a more pop tune.
Next is a slow, thoughtful track "How Did He Look?" (5:11). Here low, slow notes abound as well as a dreamy tone. This is a nuanced winner. A song the way it was once done in classy, intimate nightclubs. Great stuff! "Where Do You Start" [Johnny Mandel] (4:44) comes next. The tone reminded me in places of BARBARA STREISAND. A lovely song done in a wonderful way with beautiful piano and mature vocals.
The standup bass opens "Don't Get Around Much Anymore/Do Nothing Til You Hear From Me" (3:52) [Duke Ellington & Bob Russell] and Adams' voice reaches and 'skips' to make the tune memorable. On "What Will I Tell My Heart" (5:43) she slows down for this melancholy number. Her voice goes into pensive/sad mode. Then she does "When You Remember Me" where the vocal urges positive memories. Good but not as strong as previous cuts.
"Blues In The Night" (2:54) [Arlen & Mercer] is a spicy, blues tune. The voice is stronger and clearer than the last song. The keyboard/organ sets a good foundation for her. Then "My Coloring Book" at 3:43 changes pace with this slower selection. Her vocal is soft, at times whispery and full of emotion. A classy sophisticated work. Next is a tune titled "I Fall In Love Too Easily" (7:51) [Styne & Cahn]. It is long track with much vocal work.
The Barry Manilow hit "Even Now" is performed. Also "But Beautiful" (7:36) [Jimmy Van Heusen] is interpreted. I thought this was clearly the best selection on the album. The playing is clean and lovely, her voice smooth as silk yet overflowing with emotion. Great! You'll get lost as you listen to this mesmerizing singing.
"Nice & Easy" (4:01) is a peppy hopeful cut. Another winner. The music and vocals are up-front and clean. Bravo to producer Hammer. Bass work is also a highlight here. The album closes with another Manilow song, "All The Time" [Manilow & Panzer] 3:44. The song is a somewhat sad number and it will stay with you after it ends.
Patricia Adams has talent and delivers a fine album. The music is classy, sophisticated, and slightly varied. Songs from another era along with hits make it accessible and user-friendly. A surprisingly good work. Fans of jazz and blues vocals should check it out. Her intimate cabaret style should be heard. An artist new to me, but well worth listening to."
Review reprinted from the ALL MUSIC GUIDE, an E-zine
Date of Release Jan 15, 1998
AMG Rating ***
With a play list of classic standards and venerable pop tunes along with rarely heard material, Patricia Adams' debut album Blue for You provides more than 66 minutes of mostly emotionally thick ballads. Adams came to jazz relatively late in her life. She started singing jazz as an avocation at age 50 while working as a human resources manager at Digital Equipment Corporation in Massachusetts. Making a commitment, Adams gave up her day job and devoted herself full time to what she really wanted to do. Going full bore to become a true jazz professional, she studied music theory, harmony, and improvisation at the New England Conservatory in Boston. She was also coached on vocal techniques by Dominique Eade and Semenya McCord. Adams has since performed at Boston's Scullers Jazz Club, Ryles Jazz Club, and several Manhattan jazz spots including Arci's Place and Danny's Skylight Room.
Adams, born and bred in Westchester County, NY, has a mature voice that is suited to the material on this album. Her unique style and delivery are shown to advantage on such tunes as "Come in From the Rain," where she displays an unusual staccato scatting, and on an authoritative, earthy "Blues in the Night." On the play list is "Where Do You Start?," perhaps the saddest, most heart-wrenching song ever composed (or at least one of them) and appropriate for inclusion on an album devoted to tales of woe. Not as mournful as Shirley Horn's seminal rendition, Adams' version is nonetheless not recommended as a cure for melancholia. But all's not gloom and doom here. There's a nice, slightly swinging "Nice and Easy" with good piano from Doug Hammer. The Duke Ellington medley of "Don't Get Around Much Anymore" and "Do Nothin' Til You Hear From Me" benefits from the bass intro and the bounce and lilt in Adams' voice. Tasteful string background is dubbed on several tracks, including an exceptionally poignant, questioning "How Did He Look?"
Adams is joined by her regular working quartet. Their long-standing association is evident, as the members of the group fit like a snug but comfortable glove in support of the singer. This album is a memorable and auspicious start for a late blooming - but very good - vocalist. Recommended. - Dave Nathan
Adams' recordings are available through CDBaby.com and subscribers to music services offering digital distribution.
"The classy song stylist who interprets the music and makes each song her own, has a warm and dignified stage presence and a presentation that is quite joyous, though not extravagant."- T. Brooks Shepherd, Jazz Columnist
The CRITICAL REVIEW
2523 Montana, El Paso, TX 79903
Adams oozes out sophisticated vocals that percolate. The whole feel is a slow sizzle. The title track sets the mood, one that exudes class. It's a song by Arlen and Mercer. On "Don't Explain" [Billie Holiday], "Girl Talk" fills a spot for a light fun tune. And it is good jazz too.
A classic "The Nearness of You" adds solidity to the project. I really liked the playing with great ivories, bass, and that lively drumming. It was one of my favorites. Adams voice is silky smooth yet strong. A gem.
Cole Porter's "Ev'ry Time We Say Goodbye" is a change of pace. The mood slows and the sense is rich and thick, a quality work. On "I Had The Craziest Dream" [J Mercer] we get the unique Adams vocal touch. The fine bass work and percussion stand out. The number offers sophisticated artistry that impresses.
"Moonlight in Vermont" follows, with the long and upbeat "Corner of the Sky" coming after. Here funk and blues meld and the cut is an interesting turn in the album. A flute by guest artist Kenny Wenzel is an interesting touch. Then we come to the nuanced "Tell Me You'll Wait for Me" and "Can't We be Friends?" that harkens back to the days of ragtime-jazz.
One number that Adams sings smart on is "Come Rain or Shine" by Arlen and Mercer. The work is well-paced, lively, smart, and fun. Another guest artist on the CD is Jimmy Hill on sax. The longest track on the project is "All My Tomorrows" [Jimmy VanHeusen] (7:13) and the song proves to be a big winner. Here lush vocals meet great musical support and the results are impressive. It may be the best cut on the album as it has subtle nuances, slow yet thick movements, solid acoustics, and great production. [The production throughout the CD is top quality by Doug Hammer and Adams]
The 13th cut is an original by Adams, "Train Station Blues." It works well. The ending number is the title track but part II. This is an impressive effort. I highly recommend this album full of great jazz numbers covered perfectly by this singer and her group. There's a sense of intimacy and knowledge among the players and the result is wonderful listening. Highly recommended.
AMG EXPERT REVIEW
Date of Release Mar 6, 2001
AMG Rating **** Genre Jazz
"For her third album, New York and Boston-based jazz vocalist Patricia Adams continues the practice she started in previous releases by addressing a play list of mostly tried and true standards peppered with a few lesser-known tunes. But whatever category the song falls in, it gets the full Adams treatment with her husky voice, excellent phrasing, good diction, and lyrical sensitivity, all with various doses of the blues. An added fillip to this album is the presence of guest artists Jimmy Hill and Kenny Wenzel to augment her regular quartet. As on her previous endeavors, she keeps her sidemen happy by allowing them plenty of opportunity to express themselves. Wenzel takes full advantage of that chance with a fine solo on "Come Rain or Come Shine," which turns into a major production with the group sounding much larger than it is. Adams never allows herself or the program to fall into a rut. The gospel/R&B-like "Corner of the Sky," with Doug Hammer on keyboards and the fancy fluting of Wenzel, comes right on the heels of a heartfelt ballad rendition of "Moonlight in Vermont," which in turn is followed by a saloon treatment of "Can't We Be Friends." Her ability to put together a musical road atlas sets Adams apart from many of the jazz vocalists on the contemporary scene. One of the more inventive arrangements is the one for "Don't Explain," which is given a processional feel with Stanley Swann's drums thumping out the promenade rhythms underneath both Adams' solemn singing and Hammer's baroque-like piano. Each of Adams' recorded efforts is a happening because of its unusual arrangements of well-known material, and this one continues right on down that road. Recommended." - Dave Nathan
Adams' discography includes Live@Ryles Jazz Club, Sets 1, 2 & 3 (2005), With Our Compliments! (2004), Out Of This World (2001) which placed in four categories on the 2001 Grammy Awards ballot, Blue For You (1998), and Raw Silk (1996). Her recordings are available through CDBaby.com and subscribers to music services offering digital distribution.
Earning BS and MBA degrees in the 1960's, Adams studied music theory, harmony, and improvisation at the New England Conservatory in Boston and at the Performing Arts School of Worcester in the 1990's. She has studied with Semenya McCord, Dominique Eade and Frank Wilkins in Boston and with Jeannie Lovetri of Voice Workshop and Jim Carson, Sheila Jordan and Kirk Nurock in Manhattan.
"10/1 brunch at Ryles . . . It is like throwing a certain rabbit into a briar patch when Joe Hunt meets up with Greg Loughman and Ray Santisi. Greg knows where one is, so Joe has the space to reveal all the interior material that most drummers miss. And then there's Ray, perhaps buoyed by the happy connection between bass and drums, dancing even more beautifully than usual (yes, it is possible). No wonder Patricia Adams sounded so upbeat throughout the last two sets that I caught. She had plenty to be happy about, not the least of which is the fact that more and more listeners are showing up. It's food for the ears." Stu Vandermark, CADENCE Magazine, December 2006
"STANDARD ISSUE This ficklest of holiday weekends can go one of two ways, leaving us with either a blockbuster hangover or a Blockbuster free DVD rental. But we can always count on Harold Arlen, Johnny Mercer, and the Duke, among others. Of course, we mean jazz standards, which Patricia Adams sings as if she's been entertaining audiences all her life. In fact, she didn't get started until 1992, when she took the Scullers stage for a few minutes, got hooked, and left a 35-year career in human resources. How can a woman with this many years in middle management sound so warm and personable, and even a bit like Lena Horne? Go! doesn't know, but she's got it . . . . , so we predict a knockout of a show." Amy Graves, Weekend Arts. Go!, The Boston Globe
"An old school recording, where you could hear Joey and Pete discussing their business while Rebecca and Tom were cooing in the corner, Henry the bartender swapping a joke with a couple regulars at the bar.....and I think we've got a modern version of that. It's brunch, and more exciting, it's New Years Day brunch. Hang-overs and the excitement of a new year. What could be better!!!!! Imagine the liner notes alone, what inspirational concepts there could be!!!!!" Nick Joyce, Producer
"How can a woman with this many years in middle management sound so warm and personable, and even a bit like Lena Horne? . . . Go! doesn't know, but she's got it."
Amy Graves, Boston Globe, Arts & Nightlife, Go! column, December 31, 2004
"Ms. Adams brings to the stage a level of excitement, which she gives to her audiences freely and unselfishly. Her band members are versatile and extraordinary players, who have performed with many of the jazz legends. Patricia's personable demeanor is a part of her show. She goes into her own zone and feels the groove of each instrument and pours it all out in song.”
– Barbara Jonson, Unity First - Direct
"I went to Ryles 2/5 to check out the jazz brunch featuring the music of Patricia Adams, Ray Santisi and friends. It was one of the coldest days of the year; I figured I'd have an easy time getting a good seat. Much to my surprise people were lined up outside the club waiting to get in. I'm a coward. I abandoned the idea of getting a table and carried out an end run by having my meal at the bar. I was able to hear most of what was happening within the quartet above the din. It's easy to say that people show up Sunday mornings to get some food and chat; there is a lot of talking that goes on. But the audience seems to get bigger each time I show up. There has been no change to the menu. Some local convention may account for an occasional increase now and then,. But it would not account for the gradual increase in audience size over time. I doubt that the conversations are improving. Maybe it's the music. Maybe the audience is hearing it better and wants to hear more. I suppose that it's possible really good music could draw a crowd. Maybe that's what's going on . . ." CADENCE Magazine, April 2007
"Patricia Adams sings as if she's been entertaining audiences all her life. In fact, she didn't get started until 1992, when she took the Scullers stage for a few minutes, got hooked, and left a 35-year career in human resources. How can a woman with this many years in middle management sound so warm and personable, and even a bit like Lena Horne? Go! doesn't know, but she's got it. She brings her quartet for brunch gigs at Ryles today and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Adams and band will use the brunch gigs as live recording sessions, so we predict a knockout of a show." Amy Graves, BOSTON GLOBE, December 2004.