Pierre L Chambers debut album ‘Shining Moments’

Although vocalist and poet Pierre L. Chambers began performing nearly 40 years ago, he has never recorded a solo album. Chambers’ debut album, Shining Moments, is a collection of modern jazz classics in a range of styles, interspersed with a couple of his poems recited to improvised music.

Chambers’ love of jazz is in his DNA. His father, bassist Paul Chambers, was one of the most iconic jazz musicians of the 20th century, but it was his mother, Annie Chambers, who instilled in him his love of jazz. Chambers dedicates Shining Moments to his parents and the influence they had on his artistry.

A swinging version of ‘Work Song’ gets things underway with Chambers’ vocals contrasting nicely with the guitar of Dori Amarillo. Chambers has a relaxed singing style that draws you in and scats very well, he also leaves plenty of space for the musicians to add their own voice. ‘My Favorite Things’ is so well phrased and the piano accompaniment from Karen Hammack spot on – this might well become one of my favourite vocal versions of this song.

‘The Nearness of You’ shows Chambers’ ability singing ballads in which he manages to remain in the jazz idiom when it might have been very easy to sound like a 50s crooner. Again the piano lines are well played but it is bassist Henry Franklin who stood out for me on this track. ‘Dear Ann’ picks up the tempo with its Bossa beat played by drummer Clayton Cameron. The poetic delivery of ‘This Mother’ works very well and brings something different to the album – as does the bass accompanied poetry of ‘My Father’ on track ten.

The album continues with Pierre L Chambers’ take on well-know standards delivered in a mix of styles that works well across the eleven tracks. If I had heard this as a live set I would have left the venue content but not necessarily excited. Whether singing a ballad or a bebop or swing tune, or reciting his poetry, Chambers’ warm baritone voice renders a song with heartfelt honesty and that is all a listener can really ask of any vocalist.

Musicians: Pierre L. Chambers – vocals; Karen Hammack – piano; Henry Franklin – bass; Clayton Cameron – drums; Jeff Kaye – horns; Dori Amarilio – guitar; Cathy Segal-Garcia – backing vocals.

Tracklist: 1. Work Song. 2. My Favorite Things. 3. The Nearness of You. 4. Dear Ann. 5. This Mother. 6. Paper Moon. 7. Lonely Girl. 8. My Shining Hour. 9. The Way You Look Tonight. 10. My Father. 11. Afro Blue.

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