Kimiko Itoh: Sophisticated Lady

Vocalist Kimiko Itoh delivers with sultry sophistication, making the most of songs ranging from jazz standards to Jobim and hits of The Beatles, The Carpenters and even Elvis. A popular star in her native Japan, Itoh possesses a style reminiscent of a young Cleo Laine or Barbra Streisand, her warm sibilance most evident on Victor Young’s “When I Fall in Love” and the title track. She manages to lend new life to chestnuts like “Close to You” and “Love Me Tender,” backed by an octet that includes Michael Brecker, Ralph MacDonald, Eddie Gomez and Steve Gadd.