MP3 Lucia Newell & Departure Point - Steeped in Strayhorn
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13 MP3 Songs in this album (69:50) !
Related styles: JAZZ: Jazz Vocals, JAZZ: Traditional Jazz Combo
Lucia Newell - vocals
Pete Whitman - tenor sax
Dave Jensen - trumpet and flugel horn
Jeff Rinear - trombone
Laura Caviani - piano
Gordy Johnson - bass
Phil Hey - drums
Steve Wiese - Executive Producer, Recording, Mixing and Mastering
Is there room for another celebration of the man nicknamed "Sweet Pea"? Most definitely! And the great news is that STEEPED IN STRAYHORN is one of the best takes on Billy's beautiful songbook since Ellington's own deeply felt, AND HIS MOTHER CALLED HIM BILL. Lucia Newell glows on this program. The intense romance, the super-sophisticated swing, the playfulness, the intoxication, the morbid streak - she gets it! Giddy or glum, rollicking or making time stand still, Lucia wraps herself in these songs, wears them like a second skin. Her sound's warm as a French horn, her time's spot-on, she scats well, and you're impressed when a "Passion Flower" suddenly grows in Bahia. Beautiful!
Lucia certainly has help. Pete Whitman is Minnesota's craftiest chart writer/bandleader. The evidence was abundant on last year's super-audio release by Pete Whitman's X-Tet, WHERE'S WHEN? (Artegra Records). The X-Tet is a little big band, 10 pieces, that's an expanded version of his longer-running ensemble heard here, Departure Point. Both groups feature the crème-de-la-crème of Land O' Lakes jazz talent, and Ms. Newell felt so happy to be working with these guys that she features them on a pair of purely instrumental outings - "The Intimacy of the Blues," and "UMMG" (or, "Upper Manhattan Medical Group"), wryly dedicated to the often-ailing Strayhorn's hospital buddies. Plus she debuts Whitman's own, "MéMé's Love Song," which is surely "steeped in Strayhorn," like the album title says.
And let's not forget the key contribution of producer and engineer, Steve Wiese, the easygoing fella with great ears, the all-powerful Oz behind the Steeped In Strayhorn curtain, and the "You'd Be So Nice To Come Home To" co-star in Newell's life. Wiese knows how to let honest music breathe.
The material's timeless. The singer is skillful and soulful. The arrangements are fresh. The band's outstanding. Now the pleasure's all yours. Enjoy!
-Tom Surowicz, host of "Monday Evening Jazz" on KBEM-FM, and regular contributor to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.
"Twenty-three year jazz veteran Lucia Newell is one of the most powerful vocalists on the Twin Cities scene."
- Courtney Lewis, Minnesota Monthly, July 2004.
"Lucia Newell turns out to be one of those gifted vocalists whose conception and intelligence is transcendent. Add to that some well crafted and conceived arrangements played with snap, crackle, and the requisite pop, and you have over an hour of music that is alive with authentic Jazz affirmation. Strayhorn would be very happy and proud."
- Alan Bargebuhr, Cadence Magazine, March 2005
"Backed by Pete Whitman's all-star sextet Departure Point, singer Lucia Newell scaled new heights with her 2004 release STEEPED IN STRAYHORN..."
- Tom Surowicz, Star Tribune, February 2005
"...Newell sings in her low, burnished alto. And you believe her."
- Tim Ghiring, Senior Writer, Minnesota Monthly, November, 2004
Lucia Newell has sung in jazz clubs, concert halls and festivals around the world. She performed for two years at Clube 21 in Rio de Janeiro, six months at El Senorial in Mexico City, and in concert with the great Billy Eckstein, the Rio Jazz Orchestra, Oscar Castro Neves, Osmar Milito, Nilson Matta, Luiz Eça, Celia Vaz, Departure Point, and many others. Her appearance with the JazzMn Big Band in 2002 persuaded many audience members to suggest an early return engagement in 2003 with Paquito D'Rivera. Lucia spent years singing background vocals on recordings for Windham Hill, CBS, Warner Bros., MCA, GIA, Atlantic, A&M and Virgin Records, recording with Ben Sidran, Thelma Houston, Paula Abdul, Patty Austin, and others in London, New York, Los Angeles, Rio, and at home in Minneapolis. She can also be heard on local and national TV and radio jingles, and on a variety of children's and teaching recordings. Lucia has received special recognition from the Minnesota Jazz Awards and released the critically acclaimed CD Enter You, Enter Love with guitarist Joan Griffith, now in its third issue, and is featured on Laura Caviani's jazzy Christmas CD, Angels We Haven't Heard. Visit www.LuciaNewell.com
Pete Whitman, arranger, composer and saxophonist, has been an active member of the Minneapolis/St. Paul jazz scene for the past fifteen years. He has performed with such distinguished ensembles and musicians as the Minnesota Orchestra, Jack McDuff, the Woody Herman Orchestra, the JazzMn Big Band, and is the leader of the Minneapolis based jazz sextet Departure Point. Whitman has recorded extensively as a sideman and has three CDs out under his name: Departure Point on Igmod Records, The Sound of Water and Where's When, both on Artegra. His latest CD, Where's When, features the X-tet, a ten piece ensemble led by Whitman which was named among the top 20 best locally produced CDs by the Minneapolis Star and Tribune and received a four star rating by Downbeat Magazine. Whitman also teaches saxophone, improvisation and arranging at Musictech College in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Dave Jensen is a member of Hornheads, an award-winning a capella jazz group. They have released two solo albums, and as a horn section, have recorded hundreds of tracks for artists all over the world. The Hornheads recorded nine albums with Prince and the New Power Generation, and toured and performed with Prince throughout the US, Europe, and Asia. Dave also spent three years touring internationally with the Artie Shaw Orchestra. His trumpet and flugelhorn can be heard on the recordings of Chaka Khan, Larry Graham, Lenny Kravitz, Babyface, Mandy Moore, Mavis Staples, Ben Sidran, Pete Whitman, Dave Graf, Ricky Peterson, the Steeles, Bruce Henry, Connie Evingson, Debbie Duncan, the JazzMN Big Band, and others. He's a pit musician for musical shows and theatrical productions and is a first-call session player in the Twin Cities, where he has performed with touring artists such as Aretha Franklin, Tony Bennett, Billy Eckstine, Natalie Cole, and Rosemary Clooney. Dave is a faculty member of Musictech College. email@example.com
Jeff Rinear, after touring with the Artie Shaw Orchestra, settled in Minneapolis/St. Paul, where he performs extensively. He has backed up numerous national acts in a wide range of musical genres, from Burt Bacharach, Dionne Warwick, the Temptations, Natalie Cole, and Kenny Rogers, to working alongside jazz greats such as Jack McDuff, Dave Stryker, and Pepper Adams. He is one of the busiest trombonists in the Twin Cities, and his soloing has been hailed by critics in Cadence, Audiophile Audition, and in the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Jeff can be heard on Pete Whitman's Departure Point, The Sound of Water, the X-tet's Where's When, and the JazzMN Big Band's debut recording, and has played on many other recording projects and jingles. Increase Music, Inc. has published some of Rinear's compositions, and he has written and arranged pieces in a variety of musical genres. He is currently the jazz ensemble director at the University of St. Thomas, and is highly sought after as a guest artist at clinics, festivals, and camps.
Laura Caviani is revered as jazz pianist, composer and teacher. The Minneapolis Star Tribune hailed her debut recording, Dreamlife, as: "...in a word, outstanding". Marian McPartland found it "...sparkling and inventive". Her second release, As One, nominated for a 1999 Minnesota Music Award, was touted as "stunningly fresh" by Jazz Times. Her holiday album, Angels We Haven't Heard, featuring Lucia Newell, was considered "this season's finest new jazz CD of holiday music" by the St. Paul Pioneer Press. Caviani performs and records regularly with Pete Whitman's X-tet, and tours with Karrin Allyson. Her compositions and arrangements include numerous works for jazz ensembles and the sax quartet, JazzAx, as well as orchestral works for both the Central Wisconsin Symphony Orchestra and the Kansas City Symphony Orchestra. Caviani is a first call studio and live performance artist. www.lauracaviani.com
Gordon Johnson toured extensively with the Maynard Ferguson Orchestra, Chuck Mangione, Doc Severinsen, Roy Buchanan and the Paul Winter Consort. In the Twin Cities in recent years he has performed with many great jazz artists, including Joanne Brackeen, Rosemary Clooney, Herb Ellis, Scott Hamilton, Dewey Redman, Jim Rotondi, Diane Schuur, Ben Sidran, Marlena Shaw, Toots Thielemans, plus many local players. Gordy has produced two piano trio CDs which include a multitude of local and internationally known pianists and drummers: Gordon Johnson TRIOS & TRIOS V.2. His playing can also be heard on thousands of advertising jingle spots, films & CDs. Visit: www.tonalities.com
Phil Hey has performed with many great Jazz musicians, including Kenny Barron, Charlie Rouse, Benny Golson, Benny Carter, Jay McShann and Dewey Redman. He has appeared on more than 50 albums and CDs, including the award-winning Von Freeman Live, Pete Whitman's Departure Point, Gordy Johnson's Trios, Laura Caviani's Angels We Haven't Heard, and Chris Lomheim's The Bridge. He is one of the first-call live performance and studio session drummers in the Twin Cities, and can be heard almost every night of the week at the best jazz clubs throughout Minneapolis and St. Paul or touring around the U.S. Phil studied extensively with Ed Blackwell, and is now Adjunct at The University of Minnesota, and at Macalester College.
Steve Wiese has been producing, engineering and mastering records and cds for over 30 years at his studio, Creation Audio, in Minneapolis, and throughout the world. His credits include Platinum, Gold and other award winning recordings of many national, regional, local, and numerous international artists. Steve has worked in virtually all genres of music from pop to jazz to various ethnic forms. Steve also continues to be in demand as a live concert engineer and front of house mixer. firstname.lastname@example.org or creationaudio.com
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