The tracks on this album were cut for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's Jazz Beat program over a period of four years. If this were a recording of classical music, it would appropriately be categorized as a recital. That sense of dignity is found in this Nancy King/Steve Christofferson performance, minus the stuffiness sometimes found in a recital hall.
On Dream Lands, King continues her journey through American popular music, exploring not only classic standards, but other bits and pieces found in the nooks and crannies of the caverns of jazz vocal music. On previous excursions she has been accompanied by guitar player Glen Moore. This time her traveling companion is pianist Steve Christofferson, who is no stranger to King, having worked with her for more than 20 years at jazz venues and concerts in the Pacific Northwest. In addition to the piano, Christofferson employs the Melodica on several cuts creating an atmosphere to fit with the picture King is painting with her singing. A prime example is the classic "Lazy Afternoon" where King's voice and Christofferson's Melodica beget that languorous, lethargic, but often sensuous, after lunch feeling that comes on a warm, hazy afternoon. A similar setting is fashioned with "Talk to Me," where the vocalist caresses the lyrics with her rich, enticing contralto. Showing their versatility, the blues are visited with a bit of funk on "Blue Station" as King engages in some relaxed scatting. Her intelligent wordless scatting skills are also put on display to make her vocal point on "From Me to You." The "Picnic"/"Moonglow" medley recaptures perhaps one of the most mouth-watering scenes in motion picture history, the sight of the beautiful Kim Novak slowly sauntering down the steps of the raised dance floor to "Moonglow." Adding variety to the play list, the duo happily revives the 1943 Harold Adamson/Jimmy McHugh song written for the film Higher and Higher, "A Lovely Way to Spend an Evening." The rest of the session is equally as attractive. This album represents the pinnacle of vocal art and is highly recommended.