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“New York Rendezvous is an exceptional addition to the vocal jazz contingency. Atman has much to say and she says it perfectly.” –C.Michael Bailey, All About Jazz
“Most definitely some of the best jazz vocals I’ve ever heard.” –Edward Blanco, ejazznews
About Irene Atman:
While most children want someone to sing them to sleep with a bedtime lullaby, the young Irene Atman was always far more ambitious. Every night she would sing herself to sleep, but there was nothing childish about these songs. By the age of seven, Irene had become entranced by the sophisticated nuances of the jazz singers in her father LP collection. From Tony Bennett to Frank Sinatra, Doris Day to Peggy Lee, Irene practiced the breathing, the phrasing, the dynamics of all the greats, singing along with them from her bedroom and performing encore after encore until her family finally insisted that she call it a night.
Soon Irene was studying piano at the Royal Conservatory of Music. But even more intently, she was studying the techniques and styles of singers as diverse as Judy Garland and Petula Clarke. And although she has never taken a formal voice lesson, it could be said her most influential teachers were Ella Fitzgerald and Rosemary Clooney.
At the age of 19, Irene had officially been invited to join one of the top big bands in Toronto, the Stan Hiltz Orchestra. Soon after, as word traveled quickly through the jazz community, she made her first recording with none other than The Boss Brass. Atman recalls that as “One of the biggest thrills of my life - imagine singing with Gene Amaro, Guido Basso, Sam Noto, Dave Woods and Marty Morell.” Irene eventually toured the U.S., settling in one of the world great music centers, New Orleans. There she performed with the historic Delta Queen Steamboat Company for over two years, continuing to grow and define her personal style.
Atman says “I began to emulate the sounds of the horns, their dynamics, their control. I thought if a horn player can do this with a piece of metal, I could do this with my voice. But subtlety is what jazz is all about.” Returning to Toronto, Irene performed regularly, including an appearance on the same bill as Tony Bennett and she was often featured on CBC Radio's After Hours with host Ross Porter.
Despite the comings and goings of musical trends, Irene remains passionately committed to finely crafted, sensitively rendered, classical jazz tunes. And that is exactly what she offers up in her new CD. Backed by some of the hottest session players in the business, recorded with respect for the human touch that is the heart of jazz, Irene Atman’s rich, warm voice takes you on a journey that is both timeless and intimate.