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Irene Atman: New York Rendezvous

For a change, Canada has sent a wave of WARM air south of its border in the person of Irene Atman, a comely blonde who occasionally hints at Barbra Streisand’s dramatic phrasing while aspiring to a career as jazz vocalist. Will she make it as a swinger? This is only her second recording, but it’s clear Ms Atman has the right tools for reaching her goal.

Backed intelligently and respectfully by the jazz-drenched quartet of pianist Frank Kimbrough, bassist Jay Anderson, drummer Matt Wilson and, on most tracks, tenorist-soprano saxophonist Joel Frahm, Atman displays good range (“A Time For Love;”) impeccable intonation, even when accompanied by bass only, like the open and close of “Taking A Chance On Love;” a good command of dynamic shadings (“Alfie” and “Two For the Road;”) and firm time control (“Charade,” against a backing of 3-against-4.) It all comes together on her best track: “Why Did I Choose?”

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