You can hear it in Irene Atman’s voice, she was tutored by Petula Clark, Judy Garland and Peggy Lee. Well, maybe not literally because Atman is too young to have been trained by these ladies, but Atman learned to sing like these ladies when she was a little girl and exposed to her parents record recollection which included these artists and many other jazz vocalists like Tony Bennett and Frank Sinatra. Atman has that irresistible intonation ringing in her timbres which jazz vocalists have. She has a storybook perfect pitch able to touch the listener’s soul, understand the sorrows that burrow in their hearts, stroke their sensibilities with tender caresses and lick their wounds. She has a voice that can make the hardest soul melt in her lap, and the repertoire that she chose to showcase on her latest album, New York Rendezvous will have audiences doing just that.
Produced by Atman and her pianist Frank Kimbrough, New York Rendezvous is an easy listening jazz album made for today’s audience. And even though Atman’s vocal intonations are similar to the ladies of the ‘50s and ‘60s, she sounds more like she could be their grand-daughter rather than someone who sang alongside these jazz vocalists of another era. Atman’s own spin on the timeless beauty "Charade" is exquisite, she really nails it keeping the tune’s classic effects while also modernizing the piece to make it relatable for a contemporary audience. The song selection for the album consists of all ballads so audiences won’t be experiencing anything extremely festive here, although Atman does sing "Somos Novios" in its native Spanish with all of its softly spangled bossa nova effects. Atman winds the listener around her finger with sultry vocal curls along "The Glory Of Love" and the lengthy vocal extensions that she applies to such heart-felt mooning in "Why Did I Choose You." Kimbrough’s accompaniment on the piano is a perfect fit for Atman’s vocals and its especially noticeable on the opening number "Two For The Road." The saxophone twits of Joel Frahm and the tinsy bumps of bassist Jay Anderson in "Taking A Chance On Love" produce tingling sensations as drummer Matt Wilson holds the melodic rigs steady. Atman takes periodic time-outs, allowing the musicians to have center stage, which exhibits her endearing showmanship.
Irene Atman has the kind of voice that makes audience members say.... ‘If I could sing like her, I’d quit my day job and sing jazz for a living too.’ After hearing Atman’s latest offering New York Rendezvous, I have to wonder why her music is only reaching as far as hotel ballrooms and local clubs when it deserves so much wider exposure. Atman tells in her liner notes that "I wanted to record my second CD in New York and wanted a distinctly New York sound." New York Rendezvous has more than a New York sound, it has a worldly sound that music fans who are enthusiastic about soft moving melodies which can be easily absorbed into the skin, have been waiting for and her album delivers it.