Joanie Pallatto

Words & Music

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For her sixth CD, Pallatto uses a variety of different bands; pianist Lou Gregory's trio, the legendary Eldee Young (bass) and Redd Holt (drums), guitarist David Onderdonk, husband/pianist Bradley Parker-Sparrow, and percussionist Alejo Poveda are among the combos. Her voice remains clear, yet dusky as smoke, with cabaret notions and a slight vibrato at the end of phrases -- distinctly similar to Sheila Jordan in style, with inflection and Native American-flavored scatability. She really shines on the vocalese treatment of the Cannonball Adderley-Miles Davis classic "Somethin' Else" with rhythmic drive courtesy of Young-Holt, counterpoint vocals from Ron Cooper and great piano by Willie Pickens. The Gregory trio works the tender side on a slow "New Blues," the quirky stop-start arrangement of "I Got Rhythm," a traditional, beautifully rendered, extremely slow "Lil' Darlin'," and other standards such as "But Not for Me" and "Blue Bossa." Onderdonk adds a bossa feel during "The Lady Is a Tramp" and the child-like "Daisy," while Parker-Sparrow injects ultimate introspection for his original "So Fine" and the light jungle ballad "Antonio." Most like the aforementioned Jordan is the version of "Baltimore Oriole" with Poveda on bongos and Young's bass striding through the changes while Pallatto waits for her mate, patiently warbling in the midday sun. This Chicago singer is an alluring find, but an acquired taste. An artist who wears her heart on her sleeve and approaches several jazz and pop angles, Pallatto's sound continues to develop.

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