Paula Lammers
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Paula Lammers

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Music

The best kept secret in music

Press


"A strong debut!"

Lammers' debut, A Blanket of Blue, digs into the Great American Songbook with style. “I Thought About You,” “Isn't it Romantic,” “Honeysuckle Rose,” “In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning,” and “Too Close for Comfort” will be familiar to any music fan worth his or her salt; and Lammers and her band—a crack quintet—give these tried and trues and new shine.


...Clarity of tone seems Lammers most distinguishing vocal characteristic, along with a seemingly effortless delivery. Her take on “Honeysuckle Rose” has a bouncy feeling, with pianist Peter Schimke opening up with a Waller-esque verve. Lammers' knowing take on this classic, especially her sly and sultry turn of phrase on “when I'm taking sips, from your tasty lips, seems the honey fairly drips,” highlights the song's playfully salacious mood and just might send you off for a cold shower.


Ten of the eleven tunes here are covers, and Lammers takes a turn at tunesmithing on ”Goodbye... Again,” a beautifully melancholy ballad that showcases her crystalline voice nicely.

A strong debut.
- All About Jazz-Dan McClenaghan


"Significant talent"

Based in Minnesota, Paula Lammers has a very warm voice that is particularly effective on ballads. Throughout this set of mostly standards (other than her original "Goodbye...Again"), she also sounds lightly swinging on the occasional medium-tempo piece. Accompanied by five excellent Minnesota-area musicians, including bassist Billy Peterson, who arranged most of the pieces, Paula Lammers shows that there is still significant talent to be found outside of the major metropolitan areas. Well worth searching for.
- All Music Guide-Scott Yanow


"Purely original in her presentation and performance"

A BLANKET OF BLUE: & that is what it IS, folks! Definitely laid-back, pleasant vocals that will wrap you up & make ya' warm (in your heart). Debut releases are always fun, 'coz th' energies are KICKIN', & that certainly holds true for Paula's "on" vocal style. What you'll notice right away is how clear the words she sings are... & not in a "high style", either... you know, some singers kind of "affect" their language & come across sounding really phony... that's not true with Ms. Lammers at all! She's purely original in her presentation & performance. Most of the tracks are covers... so, for her next outing, hope she'll include (at least) a few more originals... the one she does include - "Goodbye - Again" - is my favorite cut on the CD, in fact. She'll reach right out & touch your soul, to be sure... excellent singer, excellent music, excellent album. This one gets a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for any listener who wants to get "wrapped up" in Paula's beautiful "blanket of blue". I'm impressed, & you will be too! - Improvijazzation Nation-Rotcod Zzaj


"A surprise and delight!"

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.

- JazzNow-Dorothy L. Hill


"Grace and elegance...it works beautifully"

Clarity of tone and an understanding that enunciation is a key element
in vocal jazz sums it up for Paula Lammers. She has selected some gems
in this album which is a huge plus.

Lammers is backed by musicians who are sensitive to her modus operandi
and this further adds to this delightful recording.

"Isn't It Romantic" is thought of a tune that gains new life in
weddings, but this song has a great melody which makes it a true
classic. Paula Lammers sings the verse, not often heard which adds a
new twist. Lammers simply sings the song in tune with grace and elegance
and it works beautifully.

"Too Close For Comfort" Gently swinging in a bright tempo, Lammers'
kicks it up a notch with the cool tenor sax of Gary Berg adding a nice
element in the background and he also solos lucidly with fine ideation.
Peter Schimke at the keyboards ably comps and jazzes things up a bit in
his soliloquy.

Nice tunes, a fine vocalist with good musicians always makes for fine
listening and this record is no exception.
4 Stars
- eJazzNews-John Gilbert


"An intoxicating adventure lies ahead"

Crisp and charismatic tones often single out a select vocalist from any genre. The delivery and clarity of a melody is so vital to the feel of a tune. However, these qualities are so very often hidden in the world of independent artists yet exciting when unearthed. Such is the case with Paula Lammers with her new release A Blanket in Blue launched by Nightingale Jazz in 2005. This being her unveiling one can foresee an intoxicating adventure ahead in the industry for Ms. Lammers.

What works in this offering are not only the vocals of Ms. Lammers but also the arrangements that adorn the lyrics. The composition is befitting each cut and nicely presented for the listeners approved.

In the whole scope of the menu put forth by Ms. Lammers two cuts truly stand out, although all the presentations are worthy of numerous spins.

“In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning” a Mann classic is arranged in such a way that the music brings out the best of Ms. Lammers tones. Note on this piece the guitar expertise of Clay Moore so set back and serene but able to come to the forefront with precise sound quality.

I always like to bring attention to an original spin when a new talent arises and in this case “Goodbye…again” is under the spotlight. Arranged by Peter Schimke and Jeanne Arland Peterson it examines the angelic reference to lost romance. The Lammers tones are sweet and sensitive in nature with the keyboards of Schimke creating the solemn mood, a sensitive piece of jazz.

Out of the gate, this young sound has the potential to really step out in front of the pack in the independent world. Ms. Lammer’s panache and versatility can catapult her far if she allows the force of her talent to take control. The audience will want to follow her path as she grows. As for her debut offering, A Blanket in Blue is a fine start and pleasant listen to that entire jazz populace who takes the time to experience fine young talent.
- eJazzNews-Karl Stober


"Quality is its own distinction"

So many name singers have been doing entire cover albums of standards that it becomes tired and annoying very quickly. A few, like Cyndi Lauper, have at least tried something different, while Linda Ronstadt proved this was viable over two decades ago. In most cases, it is admission of boredom, desperation and the like for artists who are not having hits anymore. Paula Lammers is an unknown and her "A Blanket Of Blue" is the opposite of most of those star projects. She loves the music, is a fresh name and voice, and what a nice voice it is. On this CD album, she gives us:

1) I Thought About You
2) Isn’t It Romantic?
3) The Moon & I
4) Honeysuckle Rose
5) Gentle Rain
6) In The Wee Hours Of The Morning
7) Too Close For Comfort
8) Mediation
9) Goodbye… again
10) More
11) Under A Blanket Of Blue

Like the few female vocalists who know how to make this work, part of anyone singing these songs is not to lean on them as if you are bored or act like you are above such work. We won’t name names (as that could go on for a while), but Miss Lammers could teach most of these big names a thing or two. The vocals are full, consistent and (especially important to work like this) warm. These songs are about classiness and a finer school of thought, emotional depth and wit. They are not just something to cover to cover up shortcomings or boredom. When done right, they are great entertainment and "A Blanket Of Blue" gets it.

The PCM 2.0 Stereo is as full and warm as the performances, from the vocalist to the musicians. As often is the case in the Jazz Vocal genre, recording fidelity still means something and you certainly get that here, arranged by Billy Peterson and producer by Darren Rust and Mr. Peterson. That makes the album a winner for those who like this kind of music. Quality is its own distinction.

- Fulvue Drive-in


"An up-and-coming songstress"

Paula Lammers started singing at a very young age by imitating songs on the radio. She studied music in college in Minnesota and also taught vocals in high school. After getting the performance bug, she decided to pursue her passion full-time. Her first CD is a mix of American Standards and Jazz Ballads that will satisfy the music lover. I enjoyed the tracks, "I Thought About You" and "Gentle Rain". She has a voice that I can describe as a cross between pop greats Karen Carpenter and Anita O'Day. Her sound is very light and lovely to listen to. If you're looking for a singer that won't overwhelm your senses, consider listening to this up and coming songstress. Highly recommended!
- Smooth Jazz and More-Michael James


Discography

A Blanket of Blue, Nightingale Jazz

playing on 100 radio stations in the U.S., Canada, Australia, and the Netherlands

July, 2005 release date

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

“Purely original in her presentation and performance..She’ll reach right out and touch your soul, to be sure…excellent singer, excellent music, excellent album.” Rotcod Zzaj—Improvijazzation Nation

When one listens to Paula Lammers sing, they cannot help but be drawn in by the beauty and clarity of her polished tone. It is sweet, warm, and inviting. Discovering Paula’s voice is like unearthing a hidden gem.

This gem has been somewhat hidden for many years. Paula has always been a singer, but it wasn’t until a few years ago that she found her muse. Her love for music and for singing began early in life. Her clarity of tone and accuracy of pitch are evident in early recordings made on the family tape recorder. She started writing songs when she was 9. Her family relocated several times during high school. Each time, music was the place she turned to establish her identity within the community. After majoring in music at Gustavus Adolphus College, she went to the University of Minnesota and got a Master’s degree in Vocal Performance. Ironically, it was at that point that she veered away from performing as a career and went into teaching. For years she taught and did very little performing. It was in 2001, through a serendipitous series of events, that she landed a gig singing on the Minnesota Zephyr, a dinner excursion train, and through her experiences there realized that singing for others had to be an essential and central part of her life from that point on.
In four short years, Paula has shown her versatility as a singer, working professionally in both the jazz and the classical communities. In the jazz scene, she has appeared at privately sponsored events as well as at the The Artists’ Quarter, Times, Terlizzo's, Nina's, and Old Man River Cafe. As the vocalist for River City Jazz Orchestra, she appears at O'Gara's and Parrish's Supper Club. She has also appeared in concerts with RCJO at Lake Harriet, the Como Pavilion, Centennial Lakes Ampitheater, and Staring Lake Park, to name a few. Paula has appeared as a guest artist with Century Jazz Ensemble and the Roseville Big Band. Paula continues to sing on the Minnesota Zephyr, appearing in nearly 100 shows in 2004 alone. On the classical scene, Paula has been involved as a chorus member over the past three seasons for Minnesota Opera's productions of Norma, The Flying Dutchman, Magic Flute, Madame Butterfly, Amahl and the Night Visitors, Maria Padilla, Carmen, and Nixon in China. She has sung as a contracted singer with the Minnesota Chorale, the symphonic chorus of the Minnesota Orchestra.
In July 2005, Paula, unveiled her first professional recording project, A Blanket of Blue, with a band that includes the top-notch talents of Billy Peterson, Peter Schimke, Clay Moore, Kenny Horst, and Gary Berg. The project is co-produced by Darren Rust and Billy Peterson. This debut recording shows off the sheer artistry with which Paula paints the words of her songs. She covers selections from the standard repertoire of the jazz song book with arrangements by Billy Peterson: “I Thought About You”, “Isn’t it Romantic?”, “Honeysuckle Rose”, “Under a Blanket of Blue”, “In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning”, “Gentle Rain”, and “Meditation”. Paula covers Michel Legrand’s “The Moon and I” with her own Latin treatment of the seldom-performed song. She sings “More” with its original Italian lyrics. Moreover, for good measure, she has included an original of her own: “Goodbye…again”. Perhaps this return to songwriting foreshadows what is to come for Paula, who has certainly set out to become a force within the jazz genre.