- Artist: P.J. Parker
- Format: CD
- Release Date:11/7/2006
What the Reviewers are Saying Andrea Canter, 'Jazz Police': '... an appealing debut from an artist deserving wider recognition.' 'The title Intimate refers not only to the small club ambience and interaction between vocalist and pianist, but to the gentle passion that PJ injects into each song, each track a personal statement that ensures a recording that goes far beyond the usual set of familiar standards.' 'Contrary to cabaret or 'lounge' singing, Intimate is a perfect example of 'jazz' singing -- without going outside the sensibilities of a mainstream audience, PJ makes every note and phrase a personal experiment.' '... PJ Parker rises above the sea of promising vocalists as a true jazz singer who warrants serious attention.' Scott Yanow, LA Jazz Scene, Los Angeles: 'All 16 of the standards are well known but, by sometimes performing the songs slightly slower, out-of-tempo or at a faster pace than expected, the warhorses (which include 'Just In Time,' 'How High The Moon,' 'All Of Me' and 'Am I Blue') are brought back to life, never sounding tired or overly predictable. PJ Parker has a sweet and very musical voice and her singing is full of honest emotions and subtle improvising. This is a difficult release to resist and is well worth acquiring ...' Larry Taylor, JazzReview.com: '... she sings with a touch of Jane Monheit-like sweetness in the ballads, while striving in the fast numbers for the naturally swinging quality of an Ella or Anita O'Day.' 'She is at her best on 'Blame It On My Youth.' With Bianculli's sensitive touch leading her, she brings a breathy sweetness to this contemplative paean to the lover we've all lost at one time. 'With 'All of Me,' she is in command, slowly drawing the listener in with an attitude of majestic surrender. These slow tempos are her forte.' Michel Bedin, Jazz Hot, Paris. (Translated from French): 'This is an 'exercise without a net,' from which she emerges with much skill and grace.' '... All these songs are brought back to us through this voice, rather soft, tender and reassuring, that PJ Parker treats us to.' 'This CD is a nice example of real jazz in the United States, the popular jazz that has never been avoided by people who know the music.' Jazz Hot also named 'Intimate' a 'Discovery' for the month of March, 2007! You could say PJ Parker's path was revealed at age three, when she made her first improvised recording, a rendition of Mel Torme's 'The Christmas Song.' The native New Yorker's first taste of performing in front of a live audience came a little later, around age five, in several Long Island restaurants. Much to the chagrin of her parents, she would frequently disappear, only to be discovered politely taking requests, her remuneration a fat green or black olive from the relish tray. Her love of olives continues to this day. PJ has taken her innate love of performing and combined it with the benefits of a lifelong exposure to jazz to produce "Intimate," a live recording of some of the most popular selections from the Great American Songbook. Accompanied simply by piano, PJ brings her unique perspective to classics such as "I've Grown Accustomed to His Face," "All of Me," "Sentimental Journey" and "Summertime." From producing neighborhood backyard traveling shows to church and school solo performances as a child and teenager, PJ went on to New York University to major in vocal music, studying the classics in five languages, and went on the road after graduation. Her touring with various show bands took her up and down the East Coast, Midwest and an extended stay in the Bahamas. Performing in concerts, dinner theater, summer stock and regional theater and musical reviews -- favorites including Jacques Brel Is Alive and Well and Living In Paris, 110 in the Shade, and Pippin -- PJ has also been the featured vocalist with orchestras and bands from Atlantic City to New York City. As a jazz vocalist, PJ has performed with such artists as Jerry Bruno, Roy Cumming, Steve Gilmore, Harry Leahy, Keith MacDonald, Gary Mazzaroppi, Geary Moore, Rich Reiter and Radam Schwartz. She has also been the featured vocalist for the opening act bands for John Pizzarelli and Harry Connick Jr., and appeared in the annual Philadelphia Variety Club Telethon with Ben Vereen and Maureen McGovern. She was also the featured female vocalist in the big band show, 'Your Seaside Ballroom,' which received rave reviews at the Trump Plaza Theater in Atlantic City. With her first live CD, 'Intimate,' PJ honors her father, jazz pianist Tom Parker, whose early influence led her to Frank Sinatra, the Hi-Lo's, Sarah Vaughan, Carmen McRae and Tony Bennett. The 'Intimate' collection is culled from months of live recordings at Rosse's, a quiet little restaurant that was nestled in the Watchung Mountains of New Jersey. Accompanied by the creative stylings of Vinnie Ruggieri and John Bianculli, the 'Intimate' songs are a microcosm of the many she learned hearing her father play or sing or embrace and a tribute to the simple magic of piano and voice. Writing in the Paris-based 'Jazz Hot' magazine, Michel Bedin said PJ's CD 'is an 'exercise without a net,' from which she emerges with much mastery and very gracefully.' Bedin continues: '... all these titles are returned to us, thanks to this voice, rather soft and tender, but assured.' And, he says, 'This CD is a nice example of real jazz in the United States.' Of the two pianists, Bedin says they are 'excellent, and really know how to swing.'
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