Paula Lammers, vocals; Peter Schimke, keyboards; Clay Moore, guitar; Billy Peterson, bass; Kenny Horst, drums; Gary Berg, sax and harmonica
This CD of standards features the soprano vocals of Paula Lammers, who exhibits a bell-like clarity to great effect. She knows her way around a song and deftly milks ballads with imagination.
On the covers of "I Thought about You," and "The Moon and I," Lammers negotiates the lyrics of these pop ballads with style. "Isn't It Romantic?" is distinctive for its sheer melodic beauty and the seductive piano styling of Schimke and sweet saxophone solo of Berg.
"Honeysuckle Rose" is a sultry take with Lammers breathing vitality into each phrase. Ballads "Gentle Rain" and "In he Wee Small Hours of the Morning" are exquisitely rendered.
Lammers delivers "Too Close for Comfort" with ease and assurance. On the one original, "Goodbyeagain," Lammers stretches out the phrases in a yearning that is winsome.
The rendition of "More" is outstanding; Lammers opens with the original Italian lyrics and concludes in English. The title cut of "Blanket of Blue" will have you swaying to the melody and the fetching vocal treatment by Lammers.
Every one of the eleven cuts on this CD is superb. The well-seasoned musicians are supportive without intruding on the vocals. Lammers is a surprise and delight, and this one is highly recommended. Wow! is all I can say for this effort which will be embraced by those who still enjoy vocals warm and tender with feeling.
By Dorothy L. Hill