Stories. Songs. Songs that tell stories. It's a rapidly fading art. Panorama Isle, the debut release of singer-songwriter Curt Klinghoffer, is an uplifting and ambitious set of story-songs that reveal the artist's adventurous spirit and penchant for surprise. The songs are heavily seventies-influenced but run the gamut both musically and lyrically. There are jazz stylings and nods to New Age mixed in with the core of pop tunes that round out the 12 offerings. The refrain from "Great Karmic Tollbooth," a quizzical reflection on the price of justice, evokes the Bee Gees' "Staying Alive," while "California" smacks of Kenny G riffing on a sweetened version of the Grateful Dead's "Estimated Prophet." "One Good Reason," a youngster's take on segregation, has country overtones, while "Three More Days" is a poignant essay on separation with musical traces of Nirvana. My personal favorite is "Spanish Angels," a sort of immigration tale in reverse, about an American traveler who finds himself alone in the barrio, enticed by unfamiliar sights and sounds. This is an enjoyable a trip back in time, and I must say Klinghoffer's tuneful Panorama is all over the place....but these are places that definitely spark my curiosity. Francine Kramer.