MP3 Leata Galloway - Tenderly
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11 MP3 Songs in this album (43:39) !
Related styles: Jazz: Jazz Vocals, Solo Female Artist
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Leata Galloway â Tenderly
Leata Galloway is the kind of powerfully persuasive singer that tastemakers in music proudly proclaim âa natural.â The Brooklyn-born beauty has wrapped the full spectrum of her vocal chops around every style of music under the sun and around the globe - in top flight musical theatre productions, scintillating headliner concert engagements and mood-drenched movie scores. However, she has always been, first and foremost, a Jazz Singer. An engagement at the Gardenia Cabaret in West Hollywood so moved renowned Jazz critic Leonard Feather that he waxed poetic in a Sunday Los Angeles Times review, âWith well over three octaves at her command, Galloway is given to unpredictable switches of range, mood and idiom. Her act offers a chance to observe, in unrestricted splendor, every facet of this dynamic artist. She isâ¦beyond category.â
Across her illustrious career, Ms. Galloway appeared in the Duke Ellington-inspired musical âSophisticated Ladies,â followed by her own Japanese import jazz CD Sophisticated Lady (recorded with the trio of pianist Mark Gray, drummer Billy Hart and bassist Tom Barney). That earned her a nomination in Japanâs Swing Journal for Best Female Vocalist. Sitting in for the great Betty Carter, Leata sang three songs on the album Live from The Hamburg Jazz Gala with Germanyâs The Peter Herbolzheimer All-Stars, an international 18-piece aggregation that featured saxophonist Don Menza, trumpeter Chuck Findley, bassist Niels-Henning Orsted Pedersen and drummer Grady Tate. From a year-long tour in the late 70s singing behind the legendary pop traditionalist Peggy Lee to embarking upon a 17 country European Tour in the 90s with Austrian contemporary keyboard wizard Joe Zawinulâs pan-cultural ensemble The Zawinul Syndicate, Leataâs journey proves her vocal gifts clearly have no bounds.
Those gifts are the focus of Leata Gallowayâs fourth and latest CD, Tenderly, an 11-song one-from-the-heart in which she interprets some of her all-time favorite songs with instrumentation that spans from solely piano accompaniment to a rhythm quartet with three horns. Co-producing the affair herself along with esteemed bassist Larry Ball, Leata revisits timeless chestnuts such as âMoodyâs Mood For Loveâ (a tour de force for which she sings in its fabled alto AND tenor registers, riffing on the already improvised melody â a must hear), Antonio Carlos Jobimâs samba classic âDesafinado,â a rendition of Miles Davisâ âAll Blues,â and a cool breeze thru the ever-hip âAhmadâs Blues.â
âWhat I love most are songs that tell a story and that have melodies that linger in your memory,â Leata states. This is beautifully apparent in her takes on picturesque standards such as âStella by Starlight,â an especially breathtaking âI Want to Be Loved,â the more modern gem âMoondanceâ and, naturally, the title track âTenderly.â Leata also gets down to the swing of things on the finger-snappinâ blues âYeah-Yeahâ and the horn-spiked âWhen a Woman Loves a Manâ which she learned as the understudy for the Billie Holiday role in the one-woman play âLady Day at the Emerson Bar and Grill.â Leata reprised her portrayal of Holiday in the 5-hour CBS mini-series âSinatra.â
Accompanying Leata on Tenderly are pianist Frank Zatolli, guitarist Phil Upchurch, drummer Kenny Elliott, saxophonist Ron Brown, trumpeter Nolan Shaheed and trombonist Dwayne Benjamin. âIâd been away from music for awhile,â Leata laments, âbut itâs what makes my heart beat. So I took my time and brought some of my favorite songs and musician friends together to do an album. I believe itâs some of my best work.â
Leata Galloway has come a long way from Harlem where she and an older sister grew up in a volatile environment. âBy 8, I could sing âStormy Monday Bluesâ and know what it meant,â Leata reveals. Music became her salvation, starting with the Nancy Wilson albums she snuck into her room from her fatherâs collection to get lost in. âUnbeknownst to me, by singing along with Nancy on things like âWhat a lilâ Moonlight Can Doâ and âThe Great City,â I was absorbing impeccable vocal training in how to breathe and phrase. In honor of Nancy, I recorded one of those songs on Tenderly: âIâm Gonna Laugh You Right Out of My Lifeââ (which she closes with a choice refrain from Ann Ronellâs classic âWillow Weep for Meâ). Leata also learned about performing as a frequent patron of the Apollo Theatre where she caught the acts of a wide variety of Black entertainment giants. She also caught a stray cuff link from Godfather of Soul James Brown! âThe guys on the door always let me and my girlfriends in for free âcuz they knew weâd be right up front screaming,â Leata laughs.
Those gratis lessons paid off big time when Leata jumped from being a junior in a high school production of the musical theatre classic âCarouselâ into the inaugural cast of the revolutionary rock opera âHairâ on Broadway. She stayed for two-and-a-half years and was immortalized on the now-classic RCA Records original cast album. Taken under the wing of one of the showâs composers, Galt McDermott, Leata was the only original cast member featured in the film adaptation over a decade later (singing âElectric Bluesâ) as well as sing two songs on-screen for the Black screen gem âCotton Comes to Harlem.â Many more stage productions followed, from âRock-a-Bye Hamletâ and âDonât Bother Me, I Canât Copeâ on Broadway to âGolden Boyâ off Broadway. A chance role in the German film âPanic Zionâ starring Udo Lindenberg led to Leata recording her eponymous debut LP, Leata, for Ariola Records â a pop production.
Back in New York, Leata developed her nightclub act, which brought her to the attention of Dr. George Butler at Columbia Records who signed her after seeing her at Green Street. However, Leata was usurped by the R&B department which commissioned a Quiet Storm-leaning LP, The Naked Truth, produced by Nick Martinelli (Phyllis Hyman and Regina Belle) and Preston Glass (Whitney Houston), and highlighted by a sensational rendering of âCry Me a Riverâ arranged by James Lloyd of Pieces of a Dream. Leata had previously moonlighted on Love Play with jazz vibraphonist Mike Mainieri and on the soundtrack of the comedy âStir Crazyâ with sax man Tom Scott.
Now with the release of Tenderly, Leata Galloway is sublimely embracing the Jazz that has always been first in her heart. And with a richly expanded range of dynamics in her vocal palette, she is reaching more profound levels of lyrical expression than ever before.
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