JOANNA PASCALE isn't the sort of jazz vocalist who draws attention to herself at the expense of a lyric. As "Through My Eyes" illustrates, she also doesn't settle for songs whose words don't deserve the attention.
Based in Philadelphia, Pascale specializes in quietly alluring interpretations of vintage pop and jazz tunes that sometimes bring to mind one of her vocal role models: Shirley Horn. Unhurried, unfussy and frequently blues-tinted, Pascale's style also suggests the influence of horn players, especially when she prolongs a phrase for telling effect. But her real gift is storytelling, not improvisation, and she puts that talent to splendid use, beginning with a delightfully lazy and fresh take on "Wouldn't It Be Loverly."
Some of the album's standout tracks are lesser-known ballads, such as "Blue Gardenia" and "When I Grow Too Old to Dream." The former benefits from the soulful pairing of pianist Andrew Adair and saxophonist Tim Warfield, while the latter evolves into a bright, strutting album coda. Even so, none of the quartet arrangements that prominently feature Pascale and Warfield is more enjoyable than a hushed and ruminative interpretation of Johnny Mercer's "P.S. I Love You."
-- Mike Joyce
Washington Post Review 5.23.08
JOANNA PASCALE/Through My Eyes: A simply amazing 24 year old jazz vocalist with a sensitivity for the classics that she delivers out of nowhere. A working musician in Philly, the rest of us are deprived of this local light unfairly. The songs she picks are oldies, but there are ones by top writers that havenâ€™t been done to death by the rest of the diva pack. This is must hear date for jazz vocal fans and anyone in sore need of some classy pop by a set of vocal chops that will just blow you away. A winner throughout.
Volume 31/Number 205
May 23, 2008
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