Columbus, Ohio-based jazz vocalist Eileen Howard presents her sophomoric album with the just released Street of Dreams containing a host of jazz standards and several new compositions including two Howard originals. She happens to be known as a talented theater actor/director and recipient of the Best Supporting Actress Award from the local Columbus Alive program. But it’s her talents as a singer that makes this album a wonderful addition to one’s jazz music collection.
Howard records 13 jazz, Latin and Funk flavored tunes with long time band mates Richard Lopez (piano), Roger Hines (bass), Matt Wagner (drums) and Michael Cox (saxophone, clarinet). Evident from the very beginning number, "Street of Dreams," is that this lady can definitely sing up a storm with a voice that allows her to reach and hit the high notes with effortless ease. Possessing a lush velvet voice, Howard voices a warm and gentle song on the Scott Sheppard original "Journey With Me," featuring the beautiful piano playing of Mr. Lopez.
Getting down right jazzy, Howard belts out a terrific version of the Dizzy Gillespie classic "A Night in Tunisia" accompanied by stylish piano and bass solos. The vocalist throws those notes high and mighty on her own original "Throwing Stones." She turns kind of bluesy on Mose Allison’s "Everybody Cryin’ Mercy."
Singing to a Latin groove, Howard leads the band on the sensational Chick Corea tune,
"Open Your Eyes You Can Fly." Continuing with more Latin jazz colors, Howard provides a moving performance on the romantic "Will You Dance," with the help of yet another delicious piano lead from Lopez.
Other notable tunes hear are fresh interpretations of Hoagie Carmichael’s "The Nearness of You," the percussive and funky Howard original "Rise Up and Shine," and the well known Van Heusen/Cahn standard "Come Fly With Me," sung a bit slower than originally arranged.
A very impressive vocal performance from Eileen Howard and stellar musical support make Street of Dreams a compelling album and musical treat for those who can appreciate light jazz vocals.