Theresa Eaman - Melodies from the Scrapbook
Written by Dante Murphy   

Melodies from the ScrapbookRetro songbird Theresa Eaman carries 15 of your favorite vintage songs with style and ease. From the sultry to the soulful to the full-steam-ahead, Eaman leads a musical charge into yesteryear as evocative as it is enjoyable.

There's plenty to like about this collection, especially if a powerful and confident jazz diva is your cup o' tea. Her mellifluous take on "When You Wish Upon a Star" is a carriage ride to the Magic Kingdom, full of rich melody. But it's when the pace quickens that Eaman is at her best.

It's her turn on the track, and she's running with loose reins, leading her band through a who's who of classic composers. Irving Berlin's "Cheek to Cheek" and the Shearing/Weiss "Lullaby of Birdland" are full-stride favorites, setting a comfortable pace for a reminiscent jitterbug.

Eaman's "Lullaby" runs a little faster than the classic 1953 Chris Connor recording, and may not be suited for the onset of sleep, unless you’re in the habit of doing the lindy-hop between the sheets (and it's your business if you are). Just the same, it's equally bright and pleasant.

There are plenty of other mid-tempo gems, including a brassy take on the Gershwin's "Nice Work If You Can Get It" and Harold Arlen's "Stormy Weather", featuring more loungy jazz and Eaman's always effervescent tones. Slow ballads "Skylark" and "Misty" change the gait but not the joy of the music.

But the sprint to the finish are the album's final two tracks, "A-Tisket, A-Tasket" and "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy". Nobody can make us forget Ella or Patty, Laverne and Maxene, and Eaman has the good sense not to try. Her renditions of these classic tunes are infectiously energetic, and are always favorites when Eaman performs live.

Melodies from the Scrapbook is a treasure chest of classic compositions, as easy to enjoy and appreciate as any faded sepia snapshot. So if you don't get a chance to catch Theresa at the WWII Weekend in Reading, Pennsylvania, be sure to check out her CD.


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