A sensational vocalist immediately sets him/herself apart from the status quo. Based on what I heard while reviewing Joanne Tatham’s album Out Of My Dreams, it’s safe to say that this vocal powerhouse is of the highest caliber. And to think she might not have become one of California’s foremost jazz cabaret singers! Yes folks, you read that correctly. This native New Yorker, now West Coast transplant, once pursued a career in musical theater before leaving it all behind to join her husband in the Golden State to raise a family. It was while adjusting to this new lifestyle that she underwent an artistic change, too, bringing us here today. Out Of My Dreams is Tatham’s third CD release. If this is the first you’re hearing of her, then you’ll definitely wonder what took so long. Backed by excellent musicians, this vivacious songstress delivers an eclectic mix of songs that aren’t commonly associated with the Great American Songbook. Ranging from Broadway show tunes to bossa nova and post bop jazz pieces, this album clearly showcases Tatham’s versatility and the band’s creative and engaging musical interpretations. The record as a whole is a testament to Tatham’s impeccable phrasing and timing. Her technical prowess, combined with her instincts for lyrical storytelling, makes her a force to be reckoned with. Memorable tracks include Harry Nilsson’s “Without Him (Without Her)” with its intoxicating Afro-Brazilian beat accentuated by Tatham’s sultry delivery; “Cool,” a dark, threatening rendition of the “West Side Story” number she blows us away with thanks to the edgy dynamics; “Too Long In LA,” Dave Frishberg’s comically cute song that will have you bursting out laughing, despite the sophisticated jazz strains; and “In A Lonely Place,” a captivating composition reminiscent of a film-noir atmosphere. Bottom line, Tatham is blessed with an exceptionally beautiful voice, not to mention the wherewithal to execute complex arrangements that would suffer in less capable hands. Speaking of which, once again, a tip of the hat to the stellar instrumentals which make Out Of My Dreams a swinging throwback to jazz of the late ‘50s and early ‘60s, but with a contemporary twist. For more information on Out Of My Dreams, please visit Joanne Tatham’s website or follow her on Facebook and Twitter.