JazzMonthly.com Artist Spotlight

Paula Atherton

paula_atherton.jpgMulti/instrumentalist/vocalist Paula Athertonhas released another fine CD on Dot Time Records called "Enjoy The Ride." Since her premier CD about nine years ago ("Let Me Inside Your Love"), Paula's energy and craftsmanship has grown to even a higher level as you'll hear on this new CD. "Enjoy The Ride" is a musical buffet with something for just about every listener. These ten songs are great vehicles for Ms. Atherton's imaginative and articulate solo flights; but it's not just a showcase for Paula's prodigious musical talent as a musician and singer. Her "supporting cast" so to speak, are all impressive in their own right, and crucial to the success of this project; and I bet that Paula would be the first one to say that.  Paula has never had any problem sharing her spotlight. She lets everybody shine in their own way on this latest album, just as she does at her live performances.

Guesting on "Enjoy The Ride" are Cindy Bradley contributing her flowing trumpet and trombone, and Nick Colionne with his fiery, expressive guitar on one of the cuts which he also penned--- "Sassy Strut." All of the other cuts were written by Atherton. It might be noted here that playing guitar on all of the other cuts is Lou Gimenez who always has a solid and impeccable sense of form, style, and taste.

The first cut on this new release, "Herbie" kicks butt right out of the gate! Paula's singable solos on flute are backed by a tight foundation--- her crisp, excellent rhythm section. Paula's sultry voice on "Can't Get You Out Of My Mind" and "Let It Be" arouse desire and longing but in a very sophisticated and classy way. Her singing trembles with controlled emotion.  By the way, "Let It Be" is not the Beatles song but a new composition by Atherton. There are two versions of "Can't Get You Out Of My Mind" on this album... one vocal and the other instrumental. Each one is different in its own way, but each satisfyingly so.

"Rice and Beans" is an apt title for this funky, fast Jazzy-Salsa type tune. The rhythms here are joyous, merry, and danceable and bring to mind an outside music feast or festival! "Turn  It Up" has an earthy groove and a sexy "tension" that I think is sure to please. Great percussion, background vocals, and Paula's well articulated sax flurries make for a hand clappin' time on this one!

"Enjoy The Ride" is Paula Atherton's latest "bringing together" of the various styles which she has mastered since emerging as an important player in contemporary Jazz and Pop. She offers a spicy "cauldron" of grooves, styles and sentiments with her latest release. Never to rest on her past substantial achievements, Paula is back again on record with "Enjoy The Ride."  We think that you will.

Joe Caroselli