Joanie Pallatto: My Original Plan

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Joanie Pallatto

My Original Plan: Joanie Pallatto

Featuring Fareed Haque

(Southport Records)

July 25, 2021

Reviewed by Jerry Osterberg

Having toured with the Glenn Miller Orchestra in the 1970s, singer/songwriter Joanie Pallatto made her debut album in 1986. The latest, My Original Plan, features the renowned jazz and classical guitarist Fareed Haque. This is the second of her 15 records to spotlight only her original songs. Born to parents who were professional musicians, there’s ample evidence that Pallatto was a prodigy. Beginning her musical journey at the age of four, she soon mastered a number of instruments, and her taste in music gradually grew to include everything from Bacharach and Rodgers to Chick Corea and Miles Davis.

The current collection reflects Pallatto’s diversity and demonstrates her solid confidence in what she does.

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It seems to be a biographical retrospective of her life as told through her music, starting with the title song “My Original Plan.
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” Here she decides to make a timely analysis of what’s been accomplished before “it’s too late,” admitting that she wanted to “do everything” and “go everywhere.
” Essentially, the lyrics suggest that the narrator has not been disappointed and has arrived in a good space.

“Open Your Eyes,” the first of the 14 songs, evokes an exotic Latin charm that underscores a sincere invitation not only to open ones’ eyes, but to “open your heart.” There’s a warmth in this song that is evident in the others, which makes it not only easy to listen to, but brings a strong connection to the singer. “The Photograph” evokes a favorite memory that is from so long ago that it may or may not be true, but is still vivid enough nonetheless to provoke an intense feeling to stay, when a “million things will make me run away.”

Those who find themselves unable to ignore the unavoidable markers of age will know precisely what “Almost 65” is about. The protagonist admits that “as the days were passing by, life ahead is beginning to unwind.” Coincidentally, the year 1965 was an important landmark for the narrator; it was the time of the “British Invasion,” when the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, “changed my life.”

The final song, “Lucky to Be Loving You,” is the most personal of all. It is nothing less than an homage to Pallatto’s mother Charlotte, who lived to the age of 97 and who showed her “how to live each day with happiness.” This could well be a loving anthem for every adult child who truly appreciates why they are who they are and gives credit for the joy: “I’ll find a way to do the very best for you.”

Finally, beginning with Fareed Haque on guitar, credit must be given to an extraordinary band of musicians: John Devlin (six-string electric bass), Luiz Ewerling (drums), Juan Pastor (bongos), Kurt Schweitz (acoustic bass), Howard Levy (piano and harmonica), Bobby Lewis (trumpet), Bradley Parker-Sparrow (piano), Bill Nolte (vocal), and Steve Eisen (flute).

Jerry Osterberg

After decades in the banking field, singing in a chorale, and writing on just about every subject under the sun, Jerry left finance and decided to devote himself to the American Songbook. Countless workshops in singing and writing later, he began contributing articles to the New York Sheet Music Society and to write reviews and feature stories for Cabaret Scenes. Jerry is now the Contributing Editor for the monthly newsletter of the NYSMS, continues to perform in chorus, and is currently researching a biography of the late American pop singer Jo Stafford.