Weaver of Dreams
Not long ago, gorgeous Angela Hagenbach struggled with a rather enviable decision: stick with a successful modeling career or follow her dream of becoming a jazz singer. Fortunately for us, she chose the latter. On Weaver of Dreams (Amazon ARCD-3344; 63:23), the Kansas City native lives up to her hometown's rich jazz tradition. Hagenbach's full-bodied voice, enriched with just a hint of gravel, is eerily reminiscent of Anita O'Day in her heyday. She shows it off to full advantage on a solid assortment of standards, slinking through a sumptuous "Sometimes I'm Happy," enlivening "Angel Eyes" with a note of cautious hope, and delivering "You Do Something to Me" like someone who is being tickled in all the right places. Four other tracks, including a soaring "Caravan" and a gossamer "Street of Dreams," are enriched by the presence of her long-time compadres, the Musa Nova Latin Jazz Ensemble. Together, Angela and the boys pull out all the stops on "It Had Better Be Tonight," Henry Mancini's galloping homage to pent-up hormones, hammering home a treatment so smoldering that it surpasses even Lena Horne's.