[...taken from a double review of Nelda Swiggett's This Time and Debbie Poryes]
Where Nelda Swiggett performs smart jazz within angular if mainstream parameters, Debbie Poryes colors more outside the lines than Swiggett, her quartet's style bleeding into avant-garde and high-IQ adult contemporary. Expanding the trio to a quartet with the addition of a horn, Poryes bounces between the sharp post-bop of her composition "Catch Your Breath," and the moody, Lisztian, almost Baroque figures of her interpretation of Sammy Cahn's "I Should Care."
In Poryes, still waters run deep. While she does not clear room swinging her elbows, Poryes does carefully command her band's direction. On the Rodgers and Hart "My Heart Stood Still" she rhythmically mixes things up before stretching into a swinging rhythm behind saxophonist Bruce Williamson and then stretching further into her own romping solo. She brightly updates Sonny Clark's "Melody for C" and takes on the near-modern with the Beatles' "Here, There & Everywhere," turning it into a waltzing ballad.
This is incredibly refined lounge music and that is no bad thing. Poryes plays to challenge and compel, but never forgets to entertain. She closes the disc with her original "Lake Dream," a drowsy atonal reverie that extends from Monk to saxophonist Steve Lacy and beyond.