Album Review: Judy Whitmore Releases Spellbinding ‘Isn’t It Romantic?’

Album Review: Judy Whitmore Releases Spellbinding ‘Isn’t It Romantic?’

Singer, author, pilot, psychologist, and music theater producer Judy Whitmore releases her new jazz-laced album, Isn’t It Romantic, a 12-track collection of reimagined, admired songs.

Composer and musical director John Sawoski produced the album, which was recorded at Los Angeles’ Capitol Studios, where Whitmore began her career.

Unlike her previous, debut album, Can’t We Be Friends, which featured more conventional arrangements, on Isn’t It Romantic, Whitmore tosses conventions aside and enters the innovative realm of jazz, with all its flourishes, flair, and spontaneity.

Born in New York City and raised in Studio City, California, Judy is named after the legendary singer Judy Garland, a friend of her grandfather who played violin in the MGM Studio Orchestra. While in college, Whitmore sang backing vocals for Capitol Records, followed by marrying and moving to Beverly Hills, and then Aspen, Colorado, where she was friends with John Denver and his wife, Annie.

John Denver introduced Whitmore to flying, followed by Whitmore earning her commercial pilot’s license and flying search and rescue missions, which inspired her best-selling novel, Come Fly with Me. In 2014, she co-founded the cabaret group, ACT THREE, followed by going solo in 2018.

Entry points on Isn’t It Romantic include “I Remember You,” traveling on a sensuous, Latin-lite rhythm topped by Whitmore’s crystalline, nuanced voice. The feel and flow of the tune are highlighted by a warbling flute and sparkling piano.

The low-slung, shimmering intro of “You Go To My Head” showcases a smooth saxophone, followed by the tune taking on a dreamy, caressing motion. Whitmore puts her velvety, evocative vocals on display on this track, infusing the lyrics with plush, quixotic tones.

“You go to my head / With a smile that makes my temperature rise / Like a summer with a thousand Julys / You intoxicate my soul with your eyes.”

A delicious sax opens the title track, riding a soft, undulating rhythm full of the energy and thrill of blossoming love. Whitmore’s crème de la crème voice conveys the latent, swirling emotions with elegance.

The final track, “Hallelujah I Love Him So,” rolls out on a vibrant melody brimming with dazzling, alluring bounciness as Whitmore gives full sway to her luscious voice.

Isn’t It Romantic is at once scrumptious and superb, dripping with cool jazz savors, contagious rhythms, and the wonderful voice of Judy Whitmore.

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