Latin Jazz Band Tackles Gershwin, Porter, Jobim, Sting And Eric Clapton
IRENE AND HER LATIN JAZZ BAND
A Song of You
Apparently Irene started out as a traditional jazz vocalist singing classic standards out of the Great American Songbook, but Latin music took over her repertoire a couple of years ago. She and the group debuted with the album Summer Samba. Now the band is back with their second CD, A Song of You, with special guest pianist Rique Pantoja from Brazil joining in this time around (if you Google him you will be amazed by his extensive credits). Music by Irene and Her Latin Jazz Band is available at irenesings.com, cdbaby.com and all the regular digital download locations from iTunes on down. Irene still dips into the Great White Way standards songbook because here she covers George & Ira Gershwin’s “S’Wonderful” and Cole Porter’s “It’s Too Darn Hot,” but they are arranged in a Latin jazz style. More predictable are covers of Antonio Carlos Jobim’s “Triste” and “Quite Nights of Quiet Stars,” and Joao Gilberto’s somewhat simplistic “Bim Bom.” Probably the most surprising aspects of this record are the covers of Eric Clapton’s “Change the World” and Sting’s “Fragililidad” (is that what that song was originally called?). Irene sings in English most of the time, but throws in a verse in Portuguese her, another in French there, a little Spanish over yonder. Very international and cosmopolitan. Irene’s voice is not powerful or overbearing, but fairly soft and sweet. An aura of happiness comes through as if there is nothing should rather be doing than singing these songs. The band is fairly subdued behind her, but they get little moments to shine, and when their turns come, you can tell they have talent. This is very pleasant stuff. I recommend it for anyone who likes smooth jazz vocals with a little international flavor mixed with it.