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MP3 Sue Giles - With Love From Sue

Impressive vocal jazz debut release from debut artist Sue Giles, not only offers a pure and enthusiastic tribute to Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughn, but also features her clear warmth, smooth, round tone and heartfelt passion for jazz.

10 MP3 Songs
JAZZ: Jazz Vocals, URBAN/R&B: R&B Pop Crossover

I was born a native New Yorker and the youngest of seven.

My love of all music began in early 1965, in my bassinet under the bedroom window, right next to a portable Panasonic record player. Night after night, my mom or older sister used to play one particular
record to lull me to sleep. I would lay awake and look through that window, up into the trees, watching leaves dancing against the night sky and listening to side 1 or 2 of the record, which was Rodgers & Hammerstein Played by the Melanchrino String Orchestra. To this day, I remember every single note of that recording.

Music served as the background fabric of my 60s/70s childhood. My mother, an artist, designer, jitterbug enthusiast and former WAC (Woman''s Army Corps) from WWII, shared her love of music and dance with
all of us. She would practice scales and chords on the old upright piano in the living room; she made certain that music wove through the house all day long, either through the radio or from the RCA stereo record player. As baby seven, my daily musical diet included Frank Sinatra and Jack Jones, Glen Miller, Artie Shaw, Billy Strayhorn, the Duke Ellington orchestra, Julie London and Peggy Lee.

My father, traditional by nature, added his love of choral music, gospel, spirituals and Broadway to the mix, while upstairs, my older sisters and brothers, nestled in the civil rights movement and soul, were students of Motown, Tamla, Stax, the British Invasion and what is now referred to as classic rock.

My surrounding musical influences being what they were, I found a needed means of expression singing into the television antenna while perched on the edge of a portable bassinet. I soon fell out of it, and have not stopped singing since.

Two musical things happened to me in the summer of 1972. First, one hot and sticky summer afternoon, I decided to find out if I could belt out high notes. Previously, I never really belted; I''d been afraid to sing out on high notes. My mother often warned me I''d "rip out" my vocal chords, or burst a blood vessel if I tried to belt without training. But this one day, I decided to find out. Behind the closed door of the back bedroom, I decided to test myself. I would sing the entire verse and chorus of my favorite song at the time: the Jackson 5 version of I''ll Be There, while playing the record on my sister''s Panasonic record player with the psychadelic green flowers on it. I started the music and began slowly and quietly, staying with Michael Jackson''s vocal, working my way and building up to the chorus; where I finally burst out in my nasal, shrill, pre-adolescent voice with, "I''ll BE THEEEEEEEEERE; I''ll BE THEEEEEEEEEERE" - - and realized I''d done it! I''d hit the notes on key - - and although my throat hurt a little, I didn''t burst a blood vessel! I was so excited, I kept putting the needle back on the record to the same spot, singing at the top of my lungs, repeating it over and over almost five times through...when I became dimly aware of someone far away calling my name. It was my mother, yelling up the stairs, saying - "SUSAN! SUUUUSAAAAANN! - I''LL BE THERE - IF YOU DON''T SHUT UP!!!"

Second, I borrowed a different J5 single from one of my friends, which at the time was a huge deal, as I owned none. Punished after the I''ll Be There incident, I was not allowed to use the record player upstairs for awhile. I decided to sneak to the living room and use the huge, mammoth RCA stereo downstairs to play it. Now, my mother played the radio on that RCA all day long and no one had permission to mess with it. If shutting off the radio was not wise; messing with the turntable was a criminal act. I felt I had to play that record just once, and thought that since she was doing laundry in the basement, I thought there''d be a chance to pull it off. I tiptoed into the living room, opened out the turntable, found the 45 converter, set up the single and was just about to switch the radio knob over to phono, when I heard this song come on the radio.

It was a soft, clean, pure voice - a woman''s voice - singing right out through the speakers. Clear as a bell, honest, understanding; smooth as a sunset and sparkling as a night sky. I''d never heard a voice like it before; it held me right on the spot, and not even my beloved J5 could tear my attention away from that song. The voice was singing over this absolutely soaring melody when suddenly it stopped short. Then, the band picked up, the horns kicked in, and the voice did this other thing where it darted in and out and on top of a melody unlike anything I''d ever heard. It was wild. I was not sure what I was listening to, so I did what I was known for doing - - I yelled and yelled for my mom to come NOW because this person was doing this thing on the radio and I wanted to know who it was and what it was. And it was Ella Fitzgerald.

For yelling, for getting her out of the basement, and for messing with the RCA turntable, Mom promptly confiscated my borrowed J5 single and sentenced me to scrub out the upstairs toilet. But I did not mind, because I felt something special had happened to me that summer with music, and particularly on that day. The day I heard Ella sing, I found out there was this whole other level to vocal music. I was almost nine years old.

From that moment, Jazz called to me. Along the way, I have been blessed and extremely fortunate to have met and mentored with some of the finest musicians in jazz - notably Barry Harris, David Durrah, Marion Cowlings, Dr. Billy Taylor, Joe Magnarelli, Harold Mabern and Harry Whitaker. Their dedication, individuality and vision consistantly encourages me to dare to test myself to grow and to soar in music, the way Ella did.

I am honored to have the opportunity to sing, and to have created gilesjazz management to provide management and booking services for jazz musicians in exchange for barter. We are grateful to do this in order to give something back to jazz - for all it has given to the millions of us who love it from every corner of the world.

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