MP3 Cami Thompson - Colors of Christmas
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12 MP3 Songs
JAZZ: Jazz Vocals, JAZZ: Traditional Jazz Combo
On the night of October 26, 1998, Cami was awakened at 4:00 am and "told" she had to make a Christmas album. Exhibiting an authentic response to her life-long commitment to discipline and ambition, Cami said, "Shut up, brain!!!" and went back to sleep. But the "brain" chatter wouldn't quit. (Angels never do.)
So by 9:00 am (an hour anathema to her sleep pattern) Cami had chosen the songs, outlined the recording session, sketched the cover design, written out the to-do list, and created a budget. (Coffee-good!) She then started making the phone calls. Remarkably, her friends and associates rose to the challenge of rehearsing, recording, mixing, mastering, designing, and duplicating a full-length studio album in less than 2 weeks!
The result, "Colors of Christmas", is a personal glimpse of her heart-felt impressions of the holiday season. Classic Christmas songs are revisited in a mix of styles from traditional, swing, mainstream and contemporary jazz, R & B, gospel and pop-infused grooves. Most of the arrangements had already been completed by Cami for previous Christmas charity concerts, but she wrote out 4 more before the 3-day recording session began on November 3. Musicians who have been performing with Cami for over 2 decades came with their hearts and souls and talents, and worked long hours to fulfill her (and her angels') dream. Life-long friend and renowned drummer Tony Savage contributed his funky rhythmic arrangement of "Little Drummer Boy" for this project. Master bassist Hans Halt lent his clever reworking of "Silent Night" to Cami for her to create a vocal arrangement around his complex re-harmonization of the chord structure. Pianist Peter Supersano brought new textures, lucid warmth and rich colors to the time-honored tunes, "I'll Be Home for Christmas", "White Christmas", "The Christmas Song" and "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas". (That's a lot of Christmas!)
Guitarist TK Kellman brought his usual "funk and spunk" to the party; Steven Earl Swinford created a 6-guitar multi-track with Cami for the haunting "Nature Boy"; and horn section members Joel Edwards, Mike Whitwell, and Rich Lewis made their magic happen on three tracks. Cami then recorded all her lead vocals and multi-layered vocal tracks, and finally family and friends gathered in the studio to sing backing vocals on "Do You Hear What I Hear" --- a reminder of the neighbors who gather each year on Christmas Eve for food, friendship and carols around the Thompson fireplace. The title song, "The Color of Christmas", written and arranged by Cami, is a musical narrative of the sights and sounds, smells and tastes abounding throughout the family household in December --- dedicated to Cami's mother.
Recorded in her hometown of Reno, Nevada at Santa Fe Studios under the excellent engineering of Lee Taggart, (who made the impossible happen in recording and mixing a full-length album in less than 75 hours during 8 days) these 12 tracks (14 songs) show the depth of Cami's emotions, the dynamic range of her powerful voice, the diverse skills of her musical talents, and the many moods of her sweet, savvy and swinging arrangements. Everyone who played on the recording performed for the annual "Holiday Evening with Cami" concert in Reno at the Lear Theater on a snowy December 19, 1998, to benefit local charities --- and over 600 friends and fans shared in the joy of releasing the "Colors of Christmas."
"Colors of Christmas" Song list
Recorded in Reno, Nevada: Nov. 3 - 6th, 1998
Drums: Tony Savage;
Piano & Keys: Peter Supersano;
Bass: Rich Ray & Hans Halt;
Guitar: TK Kellman;
Acoustic Guitars on "Nature Boy": Steven Earl Swinford
Sax: Joel Edwards;
Trumpet: Mike Whitwell;
Trombone: Rich Lewis
1. I'LL BE HOME FOR CHRISTMAS --- This beautiful ballad invites the listener to remember the holidays of their past, and come "home" for a while.....
2. DO YOU HEAR WHAT I HEAR --- Cami arranged this as a contemporary "pop" ballad, adding a few friends and family to the gathering to help "Pray for Peace, People Everywhere!"
3. SWEET LITTLE JESUS BOY --- This little known spiritual from the 1930's serves as a gospel reminder of the loving teacher we honor at this time of year.
4. NATURE BOY --- Multi-tracked acoustic guitars and Cami's rich voice tell the sweet story of a mysterious young "prophet" who simply said: "The greatest thing you'll ever learn is just to love, and be loved in return."
5. THE COLOR OF CHRISTMAS --- This happy jazz-waltz original with horns tells of Cami's delightful "sensations" of Christmastime at her family home, dedicated to her mom Norma.
6. WHITE CHRISTMAS / THE CHRISTMAS SONG --- Two favorite holiday classics brought together with Peter's lush chords, an easy feel, and heartfelt sincerity.
7. LITTLE DRUMMER BOY --- Drummer Tony Savage's fun, funky, unique arrangement for 7-piece band --- little East Bay Drummer Boy, maybe?
8. (OH!) SILENT NIGHT --- Bassist Hans Halt's reworking of the chordal harmony and Cami's unusual vocal arrangement give this icon an "other-wordly" sound --- hauntingly beautiful!
9. WINTER WONDERLAND/LET IT SNOW --- While the band is swinging away on a snow-covered lane, snuggle up with hot cocoa and some corn for poppin'!
10. SILVER BELLS --- "Just like my sisters & I used to do it!"
11. DECK THE HALLS --- A tribute to Louis Prima and the jump feel, this features the hot saxophonist Joel Edwards - but you gotta hear it live someday!!!
12. HAVE YOURSELF A MERRY LITTLE XMAS --- This classic jazz ballad is Cami's way of saying good-bye, and sincerely wishing you a love-filled holiday.
CAMI THOMPSON - A Light-Hearted Biography
Spirited singer, actress, songwriter, teacher and band leader Cami Thompson has been sharing her gifted musical talents and charismatic personality with appreciative audiences all around the globe for about 30 years now. Reno born and musically raised, she has traveled to the far reaches of Paris, London, Amsterdam, Bangkok, Cannes, Casablanca, Manila, Tokyo, Seoul, and managed to find her way back from being very lost in most places to work around the US, singing her heart out in concerts, clubs, jazz festivals, cabarets, theaters and more than a few unsavory but delightful dives. Audiences journey with her through a passionate repertoire of classic American standards, unique jazz tunes, saucy blues and poignant originals. Her 4+ octave voice resonates with warmth and beauty, and displays great depth, dexterity and unbelievable control. Often displaying dizzying blasts of scat, Cami sings with outstanding musical skill backed by a great sense of humor, compassion and human dignity, all the while soaring on the wings of innovative jazz freedom, faith and a great lack of reality, probably stemming from her extensive background in musical theatre.
"(She has) a voice that stands out like diamonds from plastic glitter!" (Guy Richardson, Reno Gazette)
She has starred in many professional and community musicals such as "Annie Get You Gun" (Annie) with John Raitt, "Mame" (Agnes Gooch) with Toni Tenille, "Sweeney Todd" (Mrs. Lovett), "Showboat" (Ellie ay), "Follies" (Sally Durant), "Candide" (Old Lady), "Hair" (lead singer), "JC Superstar" (Mary Magdelan)," and "Best Little Whorehouse in Texas" (Miss Mona), and had operatic leads in "Hansel and Gretel" (Rosina Daintymoth the Witch) and "Desert Song" (sidekick Susan). During this time Cami also sang and/or played keyboards and percussion in various rock, R&B, soul and jazz bands around Reno-Tahoe, and she was one of the youngest members of the Nevada Opera chorus (8 productions) while studying music, theater and voice at University of Nevada-Reno. She earned several awards as "Best Local Singer" and "Best Local Actress" in the Reno Gazette Journal's "Best Of Reno" readers' surveys. She received the "Best New Artist" in the Washington D.C. area while she lived and worked there.
Miss Thompson spent over 2 years singing in Europe at various jazz clubs and festivals in England, France, Italy, Morocco and Holland, including the prestigious North Sea Jazz Festival in Den Haag, Holland, and the Juan Les Pins Festival du Jazz in France. She has toured as lead actress with two DOD/USO 3-month-tour shows throughout the Far East. She spent four years in LA singing in jazz clubs, recording, teaching voice, performing with the prestigious Emmy-nominated vocal group LA Jazz Choir, and auditioning her heart out... but she was "too short" for the LA theater scene. Cami has lived much more happily in San Francisco since 1995, singing in clubs, creating concerts, touring, recording, teaching voice, and enjoying the great cuisine and fresh foggy air! She has received no awards there. - oh well, the balcony view is worth it!
Cami has also had the priveledge of performing as Opening act for The Manhattan Transfer, Nancy Wilson, Mel Torme, Dianne Reeves, Lou Rawls, Art Blakey, Jon Hendricks, Eddie Jefferson, Abbey Lincoln, Charo, Jose Feliciano, Sam Butera, Louis Bellson, Lou Levy, and others.
"Cami Thompson is remarkable, a perfectly wonderful singer." (Philip Elwood, San Francisco Chronicle)
The recorded collection of Cami now measures 5! In 1993 in Los Angeles, Cami and her best friend/manager Lizabeth Rogers and pianist Benjamin Dowling independently co-produced Cami's first CD, "No More Blues," a collection of jazz favorites and original torch, blues and ballads. An earlier cassette release of a live performance, "An Evening with Cami", has recently been digitally remastered and edited, and is now available on CD. In 1998 Cami produced her third recording, a jazzy soulful holiday album,"Colors of Christmas". Her fourth release in 2000, "By Request" is a powerhouse of beautifully recorded live and studio tracks, capturing all the dynamic splendor of great American ballads, jazz and swing standards, including Cami's most-requested songs such as "Over The Rainbow", "Bye Bye Blackbird", "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy" and more. Her fifth album, "Café Camille", is a collection of torch, blues and jazz songs recorded live during 10 months of club dates in the Los Angeles area during 1993 with her trio. This CD, as well as "An Evening with Cami", was lovingly mastered and produced by Lizabeth Rogers. All may be found on Miss Thompson's website, https://www.tradebit.com, along with her performance schedule. Credit card users can visit https://www.tradebit.com to purchase some of these recordings.
"Cami is loaded with talent and possesses one of the most technically diverse, smooth and sumptuous voices in music today... It grooves, belts, caresses, scats, soars, and gets way under the skin of every tune she sings."
(Jack Neal, Nevada Journal)
In 1990 Cami was asked to sing with trumpeter/ bandleader Mike Vax and His Great American Jazz Band, touring Jazz and Swing festivals around the US with his band for 12 years. She is also a frequent guest artist with Vax's 19-piece Jazz Orchestra, and has recorded tracks on their two albums, which received global critical acclaim and great reviews.
Currently Miss Thompson performs at various festivals, cabarets, concerts, jazz spots, showrooms, clubs (regularly at Harrah's Reno Sapphire Lounge) charity events, supper clubs, and private parties around the world. Cami also teaches voice privately and in clinics, and enjoys songwriting, traveling the world, skiing, scuba diving, eating great food by her very own "kitchen mechanic" (fiance', chef Scott Lenau), exploring the cultural scene, movies, concerts, reading, laughing a lot, and tending her balcony garden with great joy.
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