MP3 Andree Pages - Original Jazz, Blues & One Lonesome Cowboy
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11 MP3 Songs
JAZZ: Jazz Vocals, BLUES: Finger-Picked Guitar
When I first came to New York some years ago I did a solo guitar/vocals audition at a place called the Golden Rail, near Times Square. After I'd played a few tunes, the owner asked: "Could you show me something a little more up? A little on the brighter side?"
I was stumped.
Going by many of the tunes on this CD, since then I've brightened up considerable, as Huck Finn would say. "Let's Go" is an up tune that fights the slough of romantic despair. "Yes To Love" is a medium bossa nova that celebrates the ideal of eyes-wide-open, second-time-around love. "Love Me Like You Used To" is a jazz waltz in the John Donne vein, about Love's power to mute the onslaught of Time. "The Cave," written to Russell Branca's haunting composition "Hamalama," is, well, an invitation with no strings attached. "The Night You Led Me To Your Room" is a Delta-style blues about an unforgettable night in which someone picked up on that invitation (with the sexiest electric guitar solo I've ever heard, by Jay Elfenbein, except it was done on electric viola da gamba).
Happily the dark side has not completely deserted me. As the funk tune "The Shakespeare Years" attests, love is a wild ride for those who favor the dramatic arts. "One Day Someday" is a plaintive ballad for someone who's left, and "If You Think The Hurtin's Over" is a rollicking blues addressed to someone who'll no doubt soon wish he had.
"La Chanson Des Vieux Amants," a ballad by Jacques Brel, is the only cover tune on the CD. No English translation I've ever seen or tried to do myself does its tender mixture of passion and regret full justice, so I stuck with the original French. (Below is a rough translation.) I swing it as a slow bossa to Jay's slightly altered changes.
"Tender Joe" is the lonesome cowboy of the title, the only C&W and the oldest original on the CD. I wrote it twenty years ago while living in a fleabag in Paris, affected by homesickness for my old Rhode Island home. It's a meditation on romance and loss, but without bitterness. As such it probably expresses in most unalloyed form my ideal of a pure love.
I am extremely fortunate to have found a group of players who are that rarest of combinations, great accompanists as well as great improvisors.
Guitarist Dan Rothstein and bassist/gambist Jay Elfenbein have been playing together since student days and have developed a sometimes almost breathtaking telepathy. The most exquisite moments of my musical life have occurred with them, both live and on my earlier CD, "Andree Pages Swings Both Ways." Drummer Tony Moreno is also an old cohort of theirs, and their inventive affinity for each other can be clearly heard.
The other players are relatively new collaborators with me:
I asked Arthur Kampela and Javier Diaz to play on the Latin tunes after hearing them at a performance of Arthur's wild, amazing compositions. Their feeling and artistry shine on every cut.
I first heard Ethan Mann playing on the streets of New York several years ago, loved his sound and wanted some lessons, but lost his number. We ran across each other again this year and I still love his sound. I can already see his solo to "The Shakespeare Years" written out in one of those books for those studying beauty and form in great solos.
Lou Grassi is a neighbor and widely known avant-garde drummer who was kind enough to squeeze me in between European tours and lay down my more traditional blues. Thank you, Lou.
John Guth did a masterful job recording and mixing Jay's GambaDream CD and the Swings Both Ways CD, as well as this one. His great guitar on "Hurtin's Over" is much appreciated, as is his dedication to sonic perfection.
I owe a special debt of gratitude to Jay Elfenbein, who has pioneered the use of the viola da gamba as a soloing jazz instrument, and solos on both the acoustic viola da gamba and the electric Ruby gamba (https://www.tradebit.com) made by Jan Goorissen in the Netherlands. (You can sample Jay's jazz/new music CD GambaDream at https://www.tradebit.com Jay also plays electric and double bass on this CD, and provided invaluable feedback and support.
People who are interested in Billie Holiday Sarah Vaughan Diana Krall should consider this download.
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