Band Site: www.mariawilliamsband.com
Maria Williams has been on the scene as a band leader and lead vocalist over 20 years and it shows. Her performance is stellar, she could literally do any style, her voice is present, emotive and heartfelt. She can conjure the spell of music and so can her band. "Hybrid" is what the title suggests - a walk through Maria and her band's varied repertoire. There are several styles covered on the CD - jazz, latin, pop, some country. I personally find Maria and her band to be at their best in the latin (bossa nova, Samba, etc.) and jazz genres. The performance of these songs is really moving - the grooves are perfect and the vocals are soaring. Songs that really stand out are "No Me Queda Mas" (#2), "Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars" (#3), "Mais Que Nada" (#4), "Color of Rain" (#7), and the bonus track "Corvocado" which is a duet with Alan Lett. Overall the CD is impressive but I felt that I would've preferred to hear a more streamlined effort in the latin of jazz genre where I feel Maria and her band shine the most. Overall this is a very tastefully done album, great musicianship all around with some especially outstanding percussion, lead guitar and brass work. The production is also world class.
Reviewed by A. Dorian