Happy Talk

Pamela Hart

Happy Talk, available May 1, 2021, is a collection of songs Pamela Hart’s favorite songs most of which she heard growing up in Los Angeles, usually song by her mother Christine Whitehead. From the smooth style of “Tenderly” to the brassy swing of “Wonder Why,” the album has many textures. One thing consistent is the almost live and personal feel the album has with the vocals and musicians interchanging organically in the studio between the intros and outros arranged by Dr. James Polk. The musicians were told “I want to hear you.” That is what you get with this wonderful album. Ryan D. Howard gets carried away on “Wonder Why” giving the song that extra swing! You can visualize the flirtation of the flute of Althea Renè and trombone of Andre Hayward in “Go Away Little Boy.” The Latin spin Dr. James Polk puts on the arrangement gives it a light and playful touch. Mike Malone’s saxophone licks add sass to “Don’t Go to Strangers” from the start of the song through his tell-it-like-it-is solo. Brannen Temple’s drumming adds strong intention on every tune from the smooth delivery of “So Many Stars” to the strong swinging hits in “Wonder Why” and back beat in “Don’t Go to Strangers.” Sometimes you hear John Fremgen on bass lead the band into a different vibe and all immediately trust and follow. Tommy Howard attacks every song like a gentle giant. He sets the laid back tone of “Wild Is the Wind” and gives a great solo performance. “Tenderly” is just that – very tender. Pamela Hart’s approach and Althea Renè’s flute fills and solo makes this song light as a feather. You can hear the influences of Nancy Wilson and Billie Holiday in Pamela’s renditions of “Happy Talk,” “The Grass is Greener” and “We’ll Be Together Again.” It’s Pamela’s smooth vocals and personal approach to each song that grabs you and keeps you listening. This album was Pamela taking us back to her good old days. Have a good time!

Read more… close