Sunday, December 20, 2009

TAMMY MCCANN - Classic (2005)

"She has to be the greatest Chicago jazz singer you never heard of."

"Blessed with an unusually nimble voice that can produce throaty notes at the bottom of her range and ecstatic cries on top, she offered what amounted to a vocal tour de force. Better still, she proved capable of reimagining even the most familiar repertoire in ways listeners could not have anticipated. Considering the limited degree of talent that often passes for jazz singing these days, McCann’s show proved a revelation. "


Tammy McCann - Vocals, Producer, Executive Producer
Ari Brown ( and - Saxophones
Ernie Adams ( - Drums
Dan McNaughton ( - Bass
Tom Vaitsas ( - Piano
Kevin Beauchamp
entertainment) - Producer, Executive Producer
Engineer - Steve Wagner (Head sound engineer and producer at Delmark Records, see



01 Happy Talk
02 Candy
03 Boy From Ipanema
04 Nearness of You
05 Autumn Leaves
06 Ese Domani
07 Black is the Color of my True Loves Hair
08 Lush Life
09 Cherokee
10 When I Fall in Love
11 The Masquerade is Over

Link to download:

When asked to describe Tammy McCann's voice, saxophonist Von Freeman declared, "Everyone who hears her loves her. She's a natural talent".
A bold proclamation from a renowned musician, but McCann fulfills, even surpasses, claims of her vocal prowess. Following her performance at a recent Mahalia Jackson tribute, McCann obliged new found admirers with autographs and copies of her latest CD, aptly entitled "Classic". Packed with moving renditions of jazz masterpieces, "Classic" effectively reaffirms the admirable sentiment of Von Freeman and others.
According to Chicago pianist Ramsey Lewis, listeners are not left aching for traditional versions of the selections on "Classic." Instead, Mr. Lewis depicts McCann as a "performer who knows how to get the most out of" a chart, by breathing "new life into [the] evergreens" of the vocal jazz tradition.
The album commences with a Latin tinged version of the Rogers and Hammerstein favorite "Happy Talk", allowing Tammy to demonstrate clarity and precision at a challenging tempo. While the tempo may relax on subsequent ballads like Nina Simone's "Black is the Color" or Billy Strayhorn's "Lush Life", the emotional intensity remains.

"Power and Versatility - the vocals of Chicago native Tammy McCann provdie both qualities in a variety of musical settings. Studying with Kenwood Academy's Dr. Lena Mclin throughout her youth, McCann exposed her immense vocal talents with an opera recital at the tender age of fifteen. After receiving a classical voice scholarship to Virginia Union University, McCann's resume expanded rapidly. She graced Chicagoland hotspots including Park West, Green Dolphin, and Jazz Bulls before using her multi-lingual capabilities to spread her voice across the globe. Notable appearances include endeavors with the following artists: George Duke, Von and George Freeman, Ramsey Lewis, Voices of Glory, Five Blind Boys of Alabama, Wonderbrass, and Bernie Mac.
Tammy McCann's recent release entitled "Classic" continues to please listeners with insightful, innovative renditions of eleven jazz standards. Selections range from Latin versions of "Happy Talk" and "Autumn Leaves" to emotional, piano-driven ballads like "Lush Life" and "Black is the Color of My True Love's Hair." Ramsey Lewis veterans Ari Brown (saxophones) and Ernie Adams (drums) join Dan McNaughton (bass) and Tom Vaitsas (piano) to support McCann's vocals." (

"I'm sitting here typing at the computer while listening to Tammy sing "Candy" and remembering the first time I heard her in a small club in the south suburbs of Chicago. Today, just as I was on that day, I'm blown away by the power and intensity of her voice. She is an extremely talented vocalist who knows how to sing a ballad as sweetly as Sarah, then swing out like Ella, then switch it again and send chills up and down your spine with a rousing bluesy rendition of "At Last." Tammy is truly someone who needs to be heard! I love this CD."

"Nice blend of American Songbook tunes. This singer has excellent control of her instrument wheather singing a ballad or up tempo. The CD is a joy to the ears."

Power and Versatility - the vocals of Chicago native Tammy McCann provide both qualities in a variety of musical settings. At the tender age of fifteen, an opera recital under the tutelage of Kenwood Academy’s Dr. Lena McLin, exposed her immense vocal talents. This enabled her to receive a classical voice scholarship to Virginia Union University. Tammy went on to perform with the following renowned artists: Ray Charles, Von and George Freeman, Ramsey Lewis, Five Blind Boys of Alabama, and the Soul Stirrers. Singing in Italian, French, and German has brought McCann to stages around the world.

"She has to be the greatest Chicago jazz singer you never heard of.

But perhaps one of these days Tammy McCann will find her audience. Anyone with a voice as mighty, a technique as formidable and an imagination as irrepressible as hers has got to be discovered sometime, right?

Because she was based mostly in Europe from 1996 to 2003, McCann made scant impression back home in Chicago during the early chapters of her career. After she returned, it took her a while to get heard, though a thrilling performance in 2006 at the now-shuttered HotHouse told Chicagoans what they had been missing. The majesty of her low notes, the glory of her high ones and the palpable influence of the church on everything she sang evoked memories of a more historic Chicago vocal powerhouse: Dinah Washington.

Ever since McCann’s comeback show, she has been chasing gigs, studying, rehearsing, teaching and otherwise honing her art, though the jazz life has not been easy (never was).

“We musicians hang our worth on being able to work,” says McCann. “If nobody’s calling you for a gig, it’s like when a tree falls in a forest and no one hears it. You start to wonder, ‘Am I really any good?’ ”

But McCann now has reason to be optimistic: A flurry of engagements will put her back on the music map.

“I’m really trying to accept the ebbs and the flows and the cycles,” says McCann.

Starting now, there’s less ebb and more flow."


Tammy McCann and Wonderbrass - You Like (1996)
Tammy McCann and the Voices of Glory - Praise (1999)
Classic (2005)


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her voice is absolutely amazing, isn't she??? I heard her beautiful and powerful voice several years ago and she impressed me

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