Born: December 1, 1968 Primary Instrument: Vocal
Irene Atman is a fast rising star on the jazz music scene. She's appeared on the same bill as Tony Bennett, played with the Stan Hiltz Orchestra, recorded with The Boss Brass, performed with Peter Appleyard and Guido Basso and is regularly featured on CBC Radio and Jazz 91.1 FM.
Born in Toronto, Irene is an accomplished pianist and seasoned jazz singer. Her love for classic jazz started early. “I always say, that my greatest inspiration came from my father’s fruit cellar,” she said.
As a child, she brought up a box of old records from the basement and asked her father to play them for her. “Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Frank Sinatra, Doris Day. All of the greats”, she recalled. “I just loved them”.
At 19, while studying history and religion at the University of Toronto, Atman credits that time as the official start of her professional career. “That’s when I started singing with the Stan Hiltz Orchestra”, she said. From there, Irene went to the US to perform with some the greats - Tony Bennett, Mel Torme, Luciano Pavarotti to name a few.
On returning to Toronto, Irene went into the studio to record her debut self-titled CD with some of the hottest session players in the country. Irene's recently released CD is receiving rave reviews from around the globe, getting worldwide airplay and recognition.
This album is a gem! Beautifully presented and suberbly crafted from a fine singer in complete control, the listener is totally tranfixed by the vocal treasures unearthed by Irene Atman from the Great American Songbook. Her version of 'Summer me Winter me is faultless and entices the listener to explore further this unearthed bijoux in the collection with her superb band of musicians. A tour de force! Why can't more vocalists create magic like this! I love it! Barry O'Sullivan, “A Jazz Hour”, BLU FM 89.1, Australia.
One incredible album. There isn't a single track that is less than excellent. A most wonderful and exciting jazz voice! I am listening to Summer Me, Winter Me, my third time through your wonderful album.And it continues to take my breath away. Ralph Bennett, KSRQ Radio, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Having just signed a distribution deal with the largest independent record label in Japan and Australia, Irene is now preparing to go on tour in April of this year to China, New Zealand, Australia and Japan.
Irene Atman, meanwhile, has been nominated for an Ontario Independent Music Award for the song “Shall We Dance?” from her recent self-titled CD and has been asked to perform at this year's Roger's Canadian Music Week on March 8th.
Awards:Nominated for 2007 for Ontario Independent Music Awards - "Shall We Dance"
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.
Tracks: Two For The Road, Taking A Chance On Love, Why Did I Choose You, Somos Novios, Time After Time, I’m A Fool To Want You, Charade, A Time For Love, Alfie, The Glory Of Love
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