Joanne Tatham – Out of My Dreams

When a jazz vocalist digs into the vault of classic songs, the session can be a challenge. How to revisit popular songs without being cast aside as just another spin. The key is vocal style and solid arrangements. Joanne Tatham has both with Out of My Dreams (Café Pacific Records, 2014).

One song in the set, “Detour Ahead,” could describe Tatham’s path leading to this project. In 1993, she left a career as a New York musical-comedy performer. She married a television writer, moved to Los Angeles and began a family. Tatham says the lifestyle change was also an artistic change. She grew up loving the likes of Frank Sinatra, Peggy Lee and Sammy Davis Jr. and ultimately began to feel her way as a jazz singer in clubs and cabarets.

Sheppard’s alto flute of a voice scats in harmony with Sheppard’s sax to introduce “You Taught My Heart to Sing.” Tatham sings with verve that’s worthy of many jazz divas, including but not limited to Nancy Wilson, Sarah Vaughan, Cheryl Bentyne and Tierney Sutton. The song, composed by McCoy Tyner and Sammy Cahn, is a bright, delightful piece. This Tamir Hendelman arrangement features the pianist with support from bassist John Clayton and drummer Peter Erskine. Sheppard puts his instrument through some sunny rolls in response to Tatham’s lyrical calls.

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