MP3 Callie Cardamon - Easy Street
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11 MP3 Songs in this album (36:55) !
Related styles: Jazz: Jazz Vocals, Easy Listening: Crooners/Vocals, Type: Vocal
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Interview by Jeremy Wilson, Creator & Maintainer of www.jazzstandards.com
In creating an all standards CD, you need to choose from over a thousand standards. How did you choose the tracks?
I picked the songs I like to sing the most. I enjoy singing every line of âWhen Sunny Gets Blueâ because the melody is delightful and each phrase is a joy to sing. Lyrics are extremely important, of course, but if the melody isnât challenging or interesting or moving, Iâm not interested in singing the song. My favorite songsâthe ones I feel powerfully enough to want to coverâare songs which have a haunting quality. Even a fun song like âEasy Streetâ gives me a happy haunt, if you know what I mean. I feel moved when I feel haunted, and when I feel moved I want to sing.
Which of the tracks did you find the most challenging?
âMoon Riverâ was the most difficult to make my own. I kept recording it as a waltz, listening to it the next morning, and throwing it out by early afternoon. I was going to let it die an honorable death, deciding it was just too hard to cover in any interesting and new way. But one night I decided to just swing it and let go of the waltz, and it fell right into place. Some songs I feel I can cover almost exactly as I learned themâlike âWhen Sunny Gets Blueââbut certain songs demand reinterpretation or the question arises: âWhy bother doing that song again?â And if you donât have a good musical answer to that question, you probably shouldnât cover it. âLove Jazzâ was the most challenging in that it is an original, and I had the strange experience of attempting to perform a âstandardâ Iâd never heard before. Iâve always written songs, but theyâre of the singer-songwriter variety, whereas I intended âLove Jazzâ to have the feel of a song from the past, a song written FOR a singer, not BY a singer. I had to sing it a million times (OK, thatâs an exaggeration!) before I felt I owned it.
Which tune on your new CD is your favorite?
I have a lot of favorites! I canât commit an answer to a question like that. Today itâs âEasy Street,â but yesterday it was âI Remember Sky.â Songs are like friends, and you love each of them for a different reason. One day you feel like taking a walk with Alice, and the next you feel like talking about a movie with Bill. But you love them both dearly. Donât make me choose!
One of your tracks is not a standard by virtue of the relatively few covers it has had. That is Stephen Sondheimâs âI Remember (Sky)â from the 1966 TV musical Evening Primrose. Itâs a beautiful song with thought-provoking lyrics and your treatment of it is one of the best I have heard. How did you come upon âI Rememberâ and what were you thinking and feeling when you recorded it?
I first heard an awesome version of âI Remember Skyâ on Dianne Reevesâ âI Rememberâ album. I was haunted, and Iâve remained so. Itâs a very stately piece. You can hear rain falling quietly through the chords. I was also enchanted by the mysteriousness of the lyrics. My initial thought was that the song was about someone in prisonâall the references to memories of life âon the outsideâ made me think it was about someone who hadnât seen daylight for years, maybe someone in a major depression. It also seemed as though the âIâ might be a dead personâ¦thereâs such a sense of loss of what it means to be alive. I lived with the song for a long time before it occurred to me to investigate the musical and learn what it was actually about. I wonât give away the mystery hereâin case the reader wants to look it upâbut itâs a pretty fascinating thing. As powerful as the lyrics are, though, I never would have fallen in love with the song if it werenât for the melody. Iâm not sure what I was thinking about when I was recording. If itâs a good recording session Iâm not thinking about anything! Iâm flowing in a current of phrase and melody, just one part of the myriad parts which make up a musical moment. As for what I was feeling, no matter how sad or moving the song is and how much I feel the pain of the âIâ in the song, Iâm still happy because Iâm singing. Itâs what C.S. Lewis would call âa sorrowful joy.â Iâm very happy that you like my version! I hope Stephen Sondheim likes it, too.
Thank you very much, Jeremy, for taking the time to ask me these questions. Your website has been an invaluable resource to me, and your interest in my music has sustained me throughout this recording project. Copyright 2010 Primavera Records
Jeremy Wilson - jazzstandards.com (February 23, 2010)
© 2010 Callie Cardamon
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