On Free to Dream, Williamson?s cool, smoky, and supple alto envelops each song in a sensuous embrace. There?s a remarkable play of darkness and light and a wide range of inflections in her voice that bring out shades of meaning in the words. Her unerring feel for time is marked by a playfulness with the beat that let?s her drag a word or phrase behind the beat one instant then spring ahead of it the next. Even when she?s taking liberties with a song, she never loses track of the words or melody; she?s seems to be guided by an innate feeling for the lyrical. . Throughout the album, she is able to make personal statements that also address universal feelings. Her originals, such as "In the Loop" and "Free to Dream" are statements of self-hood, independence, and hopefulness. She conveys the sweet sadness of love with great compassion and understanding on Bonfa?s "Gentle Rain" and Stevie Wonder?s "Another Star." There?s just a hint of laughter in "But not for Me" and tenderness in "With a Song in My Heart." But Williamson has plenty of emotional range and there?s sass and self-assurance in the down and dirty blues, "You Don?t Know What You?re Missing" and the headlong euphoria of bebop in Bud Powell?s "Celia." Her medley of songs from The Sound of Music, a loving daughter?s playful and affectionate "thank-you" to her late father, is heartwarming and creatively insightful. This is not merely an album by a singer with a back up band, but a real jazz singer?s album. Williamson scats with authority on "Alone Together" and her pure, melodious flute playing graces "Gentle Rain" and "Puttin? on the Ritz."