MP3 Shea Breaux Wells - A Blind Date
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JAZZ: Jazz Vocals, JAZZ: West Coast Jazz
There is a noticeable shift in the room when Shea begins to sing. Whether it is her rich voice, her compelling presence or her obvious devotion to the music, it is crystal clear that you are in for something special.
Shea's love of jazz was born many years ago, while listening to her father's albums - Chris Conner, Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughn, Ray Charles and others. She also became deeply enamored of the Motown sound - particularly the harmony groups. While in school, Shea appeared in musicals, sang in the a capella groups, and studied music, eventually joining an alternative rock band in college in Los Angeles. After they split, she began singing solo jazz gigs in the area, as well as performing swing and jazz hits as a member of the ten-piece Little Big Band.
Shea was also involved in studio vocal work - singing on commercial specs, trance and trip hop projects, as well as children's albums. These varying influences of rock, jazz, swing, and more coalesced into a versatile quality in Shea's voice, presentation and also her songwriting skills.
Shea relocated to the Bay Area to record an EP of original songs with Grammy Award winning producer, Michael Rosen. These songs went on to be featured on MTV's Road Rules - creating a soft spot in Shea's heart for the beloved royalty check!
Then, with a move up to Sonoma County, Shea appeared in the Healdsburg Jazz Festival, and via her friendship with its artistic director, Jessica Felix, forged some deep connections in the jazz community, both locally and nationally. Ms. Felix introduced Shea to pianist Noam Lemish, which inspired Shea to record her 2006 release, âPiece of the Lightâ, an album that blends the realms of singer/songwriter and jazz together with original pieces and a few interesting cover versions thrown in.
Featuring a song, âSoothe Meâ that won Honorable Mention in the 2007 West Coast Songwriting Contest, âPiece of the Lightâ is outfitted with some remarkable musicians such as the aforementioned Noam Lemish, as well as Robben Ford, David Ewell, Bill Ortiz, Gautam Tejas and Alex Aspinall. "Piece of the Light" was arranged by Shea and co-produced with Oz Fritz, known for his work on Tom Waits' Grammy Award winning "Mule Variations".
The Healdsburg Jazz Festival again exerted its influence with a great idea posed by Jessica Felix: How's about a jazz recording with some internationally renowned musicians who would be in town for their performance at the Festival? "A Blind Date", Sheaâs appropriately titled new release, highlights her embrace of the straight ahead jazz genre. Recorded in just two days during the Healdsburg Jazz Festival, âA Blind Dateâ features the mighty work of George Cables on piano, Cecil McBee on bass, Billy Hart on drums, Craig Handy on sax and flute, and David Weiss on trumpet. This is a raw, diverse romp through standards and then some. Shea contributed an original piece called, "Dark Matters" which lends a haunting, middle-eastern feel to the album. Produced by David Weiss and engineered by Oz Fritz, "A Blind Date" is packed to the gills with electrifying performance from all the musicians. A true jazz lover's gem, this work goes beyond that of the typical jazz singer.
Working with such fine musicians has whetted Shea's appetite for even deeper musical exploration. "To jazz or not to jazz, there is no question!" - Louis Armstrong.
People who are interested in Diana Krall Dianne Reeves Dee Dee Bridgewater should consider this download.
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