Judy Whitmore: Isn’t It Romantic

Multi-talented LA singer interprets the Great American Songbook with style, recalling Jo Stafford, Dinah Shore and June Christy


I’ve had occasion to use the term “Renaissance Man” but never until now found it necessary to apply the concept to a female performer. However, faced with Judy Whitmore, Renaissance Woman is the only expression that comes anywhere near covering it.

Consider: bestselling novelist, theatre producer, licensed commercial jet pilot, family therapist with a master’s in clinical psychology and board member of Pacific Symphony. Now, arguably by way of an encore, she has released her third album, Isn’t It Romantic.

Apparently, she was moved to record an album of standards in the wake of a conversation she had with a young man who hadn’t a clue about The Great American Songbook, let alone the A-list songwriters who brought it into being. That’s a motive I applaud wholeheartedly in an era when the barbarians are at the gates.

This, then, is the perfect album for younger listeners who are totally ignorant of artists such as Jo Stafford, Dinah Shore, June Christy, etc – indeed, the young man in question had never heard of Sinatra. Ms. Whitmore’s pipes are out of the right bottle, as, on the whole, is her taste.

Ms Whitmore has opted to preserve some fine songs – I Remember You, You Go To My Head, Speak Low, But Beautiful etc, and enlisted some excellent musicians to aid and abet, blending the voices of flute, trumpet, tenor and alto saxes plus guitar.

If you’re between, say, 30 and 50 and prepared to open your mind, this could be the way into the GAS as interpreted by female singers. If you’re 60-plus you might be content with the originals.

It Could Happen To You; I Remember You; Sunday In New York; You Go To My Head; The Nearness Of You; The Birth Of The Blues; Speak Low; Isn’t It Romantic; In The Wee Small Hours Of The Morning; But Beautiful; Just A Little Love; Hallelujah I Love Him So (53.25)
Whitmore (v); Tamir Hendelman (p); Mike Rocha (t); Rickey Woodward (as, ts); Lori Bell (f); Mitchell Long (g); Larry Koonse (elg); Alex Frank (b); Dean Koba (d); Brian Kilgore (pc); plus Peisha McFee (guest vocal on Birth Of The Blues). Capitol Studios, Hollywood/The Village Studios, Los Angeles, September 2021 and February 2022.
Arden House Music JBW 202201