MP3 Lisa B (Lisa Bernstein) - Free Me for the Joy
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10 MP3 Songs
POP: 90's Pop, JAZZ: Jazz Vocals
Lisa B merges singing, songwriting, and poetry-rap like no one else in today's jazz and pop. Her growing audience includes fans of:
* great tunes and a swinging voice
* jazzy rap and spoken poetry
The 1999 FREE ME FOR THE JOY is Lisa B's first full-length release, on her own Piece of Pie Records. It's all originals -- except for one collaboration with Coltrane's heartrending ballad classic "Naima," to which Lisa B reads her poem "Trane's Ride," written in Coltrane's imagined voice. The CD includes such stellar players as John Santos (Machete) and Curtis Ohlson (Ray Charles' band). FREE ME FOR THE JOY was added to the playlists of more than 85 commercial and noncommercial radio stations across the country in 1999-2000, including charting and heavy rotation. It was played in jazz, smooth jazz, college, triple A, women's, new age, and other formats, with reporting by trade magazines R&R, Gavin, and CMJ.
Here's some of what the press said about it:
DR. HERB WONG, EDUCATOR, CRITIC, FORMER RECORD LABEL EXECUTIVE:
"â¦Marvelously resourceful treatment of ´Naima´âno one´s ever done that. Wonderful use of impressions and lyrics. Very broad appeal."
"â¦.bringing poetry and light rapping toâ¦this introspective effortâ¦.Lisa provides a very dreamy ode to the saxophone master [John Coltrane]. Other noteworthy songs on the album range from the lush "I Remember Paradise" and the haunting "Turning It Around" to the Joni Mitchell-ish "You´re Not A Girl Anymore," which laughs at the ridiculous images of womenâ¦"
REVIEW BY JOHNATHAN WIDRAN IN "JAZZIZ" MAGAZINE
"No doubt the smooth-jazz and adult-contemporary success of the likes of Sade, Anita Baker, and Marilyn Scott inspired Lisa Bernstein to give things a shot with a dramatic, drawn-out, emotional voice that is a dead ringer for that of Dianne Reeves. Reeves and the others, however, focus on their pipes and leave the songwriting to either classic songwriters or to today´s best tunesmiths; whereas, Bernstein writes her own material."
Bernstein should be commended for her finer songwriting efforts, which range lyrically from the melancholy "I Remember Paradise" to the buoyantly optimistic title track. Ironically, her lyrics contrast with the music; the sad words accompany a peppy groove and the happy words ease over a sweet but somber instrumental bed. And sometimes, like on "You´re Not a Girl Anymore" - a coming-of-age tune detail[s} the loss of childhood illusions from a feminist viewpoint...
The most clever track is also the one most likely to annoy those who like their adult-contemporary vocalists to play it down the middle. ´Trane´s Ride´ finds Bernstein affecting a talk/rap to detail John Coltrane...while strains of the legendary saxman´s "Naima" float underneath... Some may see that as a bit pretentious, but it´s a neat experimentâ¦."
REVIEW BY DREW WHEELER ON https://www.tradebit.com
"â¦.Bay Area singer-songwriter-poet Lisa B pulls all her talents together on her debut albumâ¦ "I Remember Paradise" has a studio-buffed sheen and a yearning chorus of lush, multitracked vocals, and the smoothly arranged "Whoever Loves Is Afraid" is memorable for its catchy refrainâ¦The tart chorus of the sharp, lyrical "God of Your Heart" is welcomeâ¦Her computer-themed tune "Virtual Kiss´ boasts an engaging synthetic horn chart and spacey effects, and Coltrane homage "Trane´s Ride" sets a pleasant undercurrent of his melodyâ¦In her more unusual experiments, Lisa B is certainly capable of bringing Joy."
REVIEW BY DAVE HUGHES ON https://www.tradebit.com
"In addition to established talent such as Diane Schuur, Diana Krall, and Dianne Reevesâ¦.worthy of your ears isâ¦Lisa B´s "Free Me for the Joy"â¦.The entire program consists of Lisa B originals, with the exception of "Trane´s Ride," which uses Trane´s "Naima" in the background. They´re devoid of cliché and formula, and most tunes have thoughtful, creative lyrics. Lisa B brings a fresh voice to today´s contemporary jazz."
REVIEW BY PAULA EDELSTEIN ON https://www.tradebit.com
"Award-winning singer-songwriter-poet Lisa B blends experimental poetry, pop, soul and jazz on her first full-length recording, ´Free Me for the Joy´ on Piece of Pie Records. She sings memorable originals including one collaboration with John Coltrane´s ´Naima,´ to which she has given vocals, a new chorus, and a midtempo jazz-hiphop flavor. The track, ´Trane´s Ride,´ is an expressive study in symbolism and depicts Lisa´s poetic skills that have evolved into personal appearances and now vocalese. The 10-song CD features Jim Gardiner, Curtis Ohlson and John Santos. The title track, co-written by Barbara Higbie of Windham Hill fame, is a grooving pop/R&B-flavored songs about seeing past the shadows of old heartbreak to the joy of new love. Lisa B is creative, versatile and offers an enjoyable set on her debut release. Rating: ****"
REVIEW BY REBECCA ROSEN LUM IN "JEWISH BULLETIN OF NORTHERN CALIFORNIA," "WASHINGTON D.C. JEWISH WEEK," AND OTHER PUBLICATIONS ACROSS THE U.S.
"Singer Blends Rhapsodic Poetry - Feminism". Long before Lisa B began rocking audiences on the alternative club circuit, she was crafting lyrics in what she calls ´the Song of Songs tradition,´ where imagery of religious ardor matches romantic ecstasy.
Lisa B - that´s B for Bernstein - has since built up a following in the urban cultural phenomenon that has seen a blend of rap, poetry and spoken-word performance enjoy a fever-pitch popularity.
The Oakland resident, who is also a serious poet with several books and awards to her credit, has just released her first full-length CD, ´Free Me for the Joy.´
The CD reveals Lisa B´s talent for writing a powerful lyric.
´Trane´s Ride,´ written by Lisa B in honor of jazz great John Coltrane, is a rumbling plea to the ´Old Testament God´ for help with a hard journeyâ¦
â¦[She has a] rich, throaty voice and lively command of the languageâ¦
â¦As for her next move, Lisa B is up for the challenges of a performing career that can function within existing parameters-and cut new ones.
From Reviews by Steve Stolder, BAM Magazine:
"[In] Lisa B´s debut EP, ´Be the Word,´ the East Oakland vocalist/poetess´ four-man Swingin´ Word put a bit of sheen on their acid jazz concoctionâ¦Lisa B finds a unique niche that fuses John Coltrane, a breathy rap delivery, hip-hop beats, and a pronounced eroticism."
From Poetry Flash:
"...red-hot performance poet and musician Lisa B (a.k.a. Lisa Bernstein) is a jazz/club singer as well as an accomplished poet..."
Raised in New York and Northern California, Lisa B was lucky to know, through her parents, many well-known jazz musicians, whose music and lives influenced Lisa since she was a small child. She studied piano since elementary school and wrote songs and stories. She wrote and studied poetry since her teens, going on to earn bachelor's and master's degrees in creative writing at UC Santa Cruz and San Francisco State University. Two books of her poetry have been published, "Anorexia" (Five Fingers Poetry) and "The Transparent Body" (Wesleyan University Press). Her poems have appeared in more than 50 literary magazines and anthologies. She has received grants and residencies from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Headlands Center for the Arts, the Ucross Foundation, and Money for Women.
Lisa B's many public poetry readings in the San Francisco Bay Area evolved into performances. One was a two-night, sold-out piece at the leading experimental theatre The Lab that included dancers and live music. Lisa B then began to focus on songwriting, singing, and music, studying first at the Blue Bear School of Music, then with renowned Bay Area vocal coach Jane Sharp. Lisa was soon gigging frequently, performing jazz and selected pop standards along with her own compositions. She has performed at more than 70 clubs, performance spaces, colleges, bookstores, and radio stations in the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles, and New York.
While often composing lyrics and music on her own, Lisa B also enjoys co-writing with musicians, including singer-pianist Barbara Higbie (Windham Hill, women's music), Latin jazz trombonist-arranger Wayne Wallace (Spirit Nectar Records), and pianist and former UC Berkeley jazz director Bevan Manson (A Records). A frequent collaborator is her longtime producer/engineer, the composer Jim Gardiner (Pharoah Sanders, Rickie Lee Jones, David Grisman, Seattle Symphony, and numerous Bay Area rap and soul artists).
Lisa B's spirit of inventive collaboration also yields new versions of existing compositions. Her 2nd CD CENTER OF THE RHYME contains two such transformations: her poetic homage "Joe Williams Died Walking" performed with "Every Day I Have the Blues" and Bobby Caldwell's "What You Won't Do for Love" with new poem-raps composed by Lisa.
Lisa B's previous EP BE THE WORD (which included some of the tracks on the later FREE ME FOR THE JOY, was played on more than 120 noncommercial and commercial radio stations nationwide in jazz, triple A, alternative, and new adult contemporary formats, charting or in heavy or medium rotation on a third of them.
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