“My greatest inspiration as a child came from my father's old record collection stored in a box in the fruit cellar. I listened to the music of Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Frank Sinatra, Peggy Lee and popular singers like Petula Clark and Dusty Springfield. All of the greats.
While attending the University of Toronto, Irene Atman began her career as a jazz singer as the lead vocalist with the Stan Hiltz Orchestra. One of the greatest things about singing with this big band was that some of the best musicians in the world would sub in - greats like Moe Koffman on flute and sax. I learned a lot from just listening to these guys.
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JAZZREVIEW - Susan Francis, 2009
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