MP3 Michele Holland - A Table For Two
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10 MP3 Songs
JAZZ: Smooth Jazz, JAZZ: Jazz Vocals
On one beautiful sunny day last spring, I noticed my wife, Michele sitting at a table that overlooks the patio of our home in Orlando, Fla. That table had become a symbol to us as a private place in our bedroom, where over a cup of coffee or glass of wine, we would discuss important matters, make decisions, dream of the future or just contemplate the beginnings of the universe. The table was only for two, yet sort of a forum for our sharing of ideas, feelings and communication. As I observed Michele on this particular day, with earphones on and a notebook and pen in hand, I realized that the table for two had now taken on an additional yet new functional role.
In psychological parlance, this phenomenon was often referred to as the empty nest syndrome. Both our children, Rashida and Kiar were now away in college. Although rewarding, the challenges and responsibilities of child rearing were no longer the focal point in our lives. Yet this did not seem so devastating as anticipated. Michele seemed finally able to sense a release of her own creative energy to write and compose music. I too, having recently retired from my profession, felt the freedom to pursue my interests in writing and research in regional African-American history. So out of this, the song: TABLE FOR TWO was inspired. The feeling could not have been more succinctly expressed, than in Michele's words:" You and I alone, sitting at our private little table. No kids, No mama, No Papa, No cousins, No brothers. No Sisters. Just you and I, Not even a dog can come in tonight."
Throughout the 80s and 90s, Michele's performances increasingly accumulated an enthusiastic audience from New York (her original beginnings) to the summer vacationers in Martha's Vineyard and in the last six years in the Central Florida Area. She was fortunate to have been able to work with some of the finest musicians in the area, such as Jacqueline Jones, (a well known and talented Blues and Jazz singer); Billy Hall (a truly gifted pianist and keyboard player), both of whom have become friends as well as an inspiration. These friendships led to performances at a host of clubs around Central Florida, such as the Westin Grand Bohemian, House of Blues Blues School House at Disney World, and helped to bring her into contact with many other outstanding musicians. These include Don Black, saxophone; Robert Wawoe, bass and congas; Harvey "Lex"Marshall, drums; and Adib "Spiceman" Solaam, congas.
The song LOVE ON THE BEACH, written by Billy Hall and melodically interpreted by Michele, was reminiscent of our summer home community on Martha's Vineyard. The melody of the music reminds one of the whisper of the soft summer breezes of the Cape Cod Sound. The uniqueness of the Vineyard beaches was not only of sand and sea nor simply an abstract concept, but perhaps for some, a place where actual conception (no incriminations intended!) and life long relations began. For Michele, memories of the after-beach activities are just as poignant! Michele performed at many venues, including Lola's Restaurant and the Ale House in Oak Bluffs, The Seafood Shanty, The Black Bean in Edgartown and many community related appearances at the Old Whaling Church in Edgartown, Union Chapel or Cottager's Corner in Oak Bluffs and other appearances with the Cottagettes.
WHAT'S GOING ON was selected as an aftermath of 9/11, when we had our attention redirected to war. We entered another cycle of preoccupation with our potential for widespread conflict, death and destruction in Afghanistan, Iraq, and other places in the world. It brought back memories of the Vietnam War Era when WHAT'S GOING ON, was written, after Marvin Gaye's brother returned from Vietnam and told of his experiences there. Michele and company, were able to bring a unique and special message by doing two different renditions of this song.
Michele's arrangement of I CAN"T HELP IT, from Michael Jackson's "Off The Wall" album, seems to meld into what is most characteristically awesome and natural of her. It has elegance with the smooth sounds of Don Black on sax, and the magic of Billy Hall's artistry, tempered with the classic swing/funk beat provided by Lex Marshall on drums, Spiceman Solaam on congas and Robert Wawoe on bass. Michele revealed the shape of her unique signature in style and accompaniment.
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