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Patty Cronheim: Days Like These

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Patty Cronheim’s is the sort of jazz conquest you can’t help but admire. Though she’s been singing since childhood and gained some professional experience with an a cappella group, Cronheim is actually a nutritionist and physiologist who dedicates her days to helping those afflicted with eating disorders. She has also raised two children on her own, yet has still found time to hone her music skills, paying her dues with an endless stream of wedding, bar mitzvah and corporate gigs.

At last, with the release of her debut CD, a wider audience can experience her estimable pluck. Her voice is like crushed velvet, enticingly scorched at the outer edges, and her laidback delivery echoes the earthy genuineness of two exemplary, second-generation stylists, Monica Mancini and Carolyn Leonhart. She fully captures the languid sensuality of “Summertime”; her “Bye Bye Blackbird” shimmers with familial warmth; and her soft-swinging reinterpretation of Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition” is a marvelous study in furtive craftiness.

The seven remaining songs are all Cronheim originals. Two-the cuddly “Stella by Sunlight” and the playful “Doggone Blues”-are literally pet projects, dedicated to her golden retriever. “Estando Aqui,” its lyric shaped with assistance from a Brazilian pal of her daughter’s, is a simple, lovely ode to gratitude. “Don’t Work Anymore” is gutsy and forthright, and “I Feel the Heat” drips with sinful desire. “Made for Love” explicates the intense splendor of hard-earned romantic contentment; then the title track inverts the sentiment with its wistful examination of profound love lost.

Originally Published