When I first heard the beginnings of a beautiful melody composed by the talented Barry J. Little, I immediately knew this was a Christmas song in waiting. With Barry’s blessings, I took the melody home to write the lyrics. I thought about my fondest Christmas memory from childhood. For me, it was the moment of the first evening snowfall on Christmas Eve. When I saw a blanket of white covering the ground, it was as if the entire world had gone silent - a truly magical and spiritual moment. Then my family would gather together for a joyful celebration of our traditions. I wrote about these memories and the gift we are all given during the Christmas season – the gift of love, when the world pauses for a brief time and comes together in the spirit of peace, caring, and sharing. The Gift of Christmas Love is a special gift for me because it’s the first of my own compositions, opening up a whole new world of songwriting to me. And it has also given me the opportunity to work with Glenn Morley, an amazing producer, arranger and orchestrator who made this song sound magical...exactly the way I envisioned it. I think the Christmas season is a unique and wonderful time. I wanted to write about what makes it so special...and to remember that believing in love really can bring you peace, joy and happiness. Merry Christmas! ~ Irene Atman ~
THE FABULOUS IRENE ATMAN
A quiet confidence exudes from up and coming Canadian superstar jazz/pop vocalist Irene Atman. Not only has she recently earned the respect of the toughest New York jazz critics and won the hearts of a legion of new fans worldwide including Asia, but she’s also thrilled to have just completed the final touches on her first ever Christmas single “The Gift of Christmas Love”.
“This will be the first song I’ve ever written and released commercially” she declares, “and I'm delighted that it turned out so beautifully – exactly the way I envisioned it” says Atman.
“The Gift of Christmas Love” is the first among a number of new compositions that Atman wrote over the summer. She took time off from her busy schedule to just focus on writing new material for her upcoming third CD.
Born in Toronto, Atman is also an accomplished pianist. Her love for good music and classic jazz started early. “I always say, that my greatest inspiration came from my father’s fruit cellar in the basement of our house,” 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, Tony Bennett, Doris Day. All of the greats”, she recalled. “I just loved them”.
At 19, while studying history at the University of Toronto, Atman credits that time as the official start of her professional career. During those years in Toronto, Atman sang, recorded and performed with many jazz and pop luminaries including the legendary Tony Bennett, Guido Basso, Terry Clarke, Peter Appleyard and Luciano Pavarotti.
In 2008, she promoted her self-titled debut release and toured Canada and the US and then Australia and Japan where she performed at the Canadian embassy in Tokyo for a Tribute to Oscar Peterson with Makoto Ozone and Holly Cole.
2009 started with Atman relocating to New York City from her hometown of Toronto to record more music for her second CD. She was backed by the finest jazz musicians on the New York scene today - Frank Kimbrough on piano, Jay Anderson on bass, Matt Wilson on drums and Joel Frahm on saxophone.
The collaboration is a reunion of Irene Atman and Frank Kimbrough after many years along different musical roads. Together in New York in 2009, with Frank acting as musical director and co-producer of the new tracks, Irene Atman is being hailed as “one of the finest singers around, gifted with a voice that allows her to reach high notes with ease, revealing a cool and enticing style that tenderizes the lyrics with a touch of class”. (All about Jazz)
Her triumphant return from her Asian tour of 2009/2010 put a big smile across her face as she left the audiences wanting more! The Asian press described her music as smooth, soulful and spectacular. No one was more surprised about the success in Asia than Ms. Atman herself, “this was my first trip to Asia – I had no idea they loved my music so much! I’m really looking forward to them hearing more, especially the original material I’ve been working on.”.”
While Atman is known for her renditions of some of the best jazz standards of our day, she is making the transition into the retro/pop market that’s currently occupied by a number of notable tenors but very few female vocalists. “I think my vocal style is really a great fit for this genre, so writing came easy for me and my original material really reflects this. I hope my fans will follow me on this journey of self-discovery and change” says Atman.
In a recent interview with Jazz Review, Susan Frances says,
“Atman has a voice that was divined to sing jazz just as assuredly as was Tony Bennett, Shirley Bassey, Vicki Carr, or any other vocalist born with the timeless elegance that Atman possesses. She enables audiences to feel the lyrics and become a part of the stories being told in the songs. 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 caress and lick their wounds. She has a voice that can make the hardest soul melt in her lap, and the repertoire that she chose to showcase on her latest album, will have audiences doing just that.”