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Alex Pangman: 33

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In the liner notes, Canadian chanteuse Alex Pangman concludes her commentary by saying, “What a joy to sing with these guys. What a joy to sing with these lungs.” The guys she’s referring to are her Alleycats, a top-drawer octet that has long been integral to her retro-cool sound. The lungs are a lot newer than the Alleycats, the result of double-transplant surgery three years ago. Pangman has since returned to full throttle, and the ensuing album is indeed reason for joy.

As salutes to Depression-era swing go, it’s hard to imagine a more authentic, or more delightful, evocation. The album’s title refers both to Pangman’s age and to the year when all but one of the 11 songs originally gained popularity. With a voice that is equal parts Lee Wiley and Helen Kane, Pangman fits this material as snugly and smartly as a Chanel cloche.

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