Joanie Pallatto and King Fleming – The King and I

Joanie Pallatto and King Fleming Joanie Pallatto and King Fleming
The King and I
(Southport – 2000)
by Raymond Redmond

This is smooth. King Fleming tickles the ivories with a gentle touch that virtually flows from your speakers, then Joanie comes out riding that wave, all silky and sensuous. The CD starts out with the short-but-jumpin ‘You’re driving me crazy’, and segues into the aptly titled ‘Moody’. ‘Opportunity for love’ is a very girl-from-Ipanema-ish piece that features a nice interplay between Joanie and Rich Fadoli’s flute.

‘Overt’, an instrumental, is a throwback to the fifties that again features Rich Fadoli (on sax this time) as well as the King Fleming Trio. It reminds me of camels on the desert. Von Freeman, another Southport artist, joins them with his sax on the groovin’ ‘Oooo, Those Blues’. This is a Fleming / Pallatto original and is a great example of Chicago jazz / blues at it’s best.

On the whole, this is a great collaboration between pianist and vocalist, composer and lyricist, two gifted artists.