Joanie Pallatto | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Joanie Pallatto 

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Joanie Pallatto offers an armload of stylistic contradictions, then matches them up in unexpected and often successful ways. She'll produce a honeyed, almost cloying vocal timbre, which wouldn't seem to have anything to do with the ecstatic, barely controlled rhythms of her scat-singing; the clash sometimes sets off sparklers. She has a trained and versatile vocal instrument, but she frequently uses techniques that minimize or even disguise it; the resultant spectacle never lacks far texture or exuberance. This gig celebrates the release of her new CD, Who Wrote This Song?, on Southport Records (which Pallatto runs with her husband, pianist and recording engineer Bradley Parker-Sparrow). The album is a mixed bag but an accomplished one, tossing together classic jazz tunes, songs from Brazil, compositions by Parker-Sparrow, and bebop with dressings that range from a cappella vocal quartet to jazz trio to light rock. In a similar vein, Pallatto darts in and out of various personae from song to song, and sometimes even from phrase to phrase; you're guaranteed to hear some things you love and some that scratch your chalkboard. It all goes with the territory: Pallatto takes more chances onstage than most singers, and her music demands an appreciation of that fact as well as of the notes she sings. She'll be joined by many of the musicians who appear on the album, including pianist Willie Pickens, guitarist Fareed Haque, saxist Steve Eisen, drummer Mark Walker, and vocalist April Aloisio. Friday, 5 to 8 PM, Inta's, 308 W. Erie; 664-6880.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/B.P. Sparrow.


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