MP3 Bevin Turnbull - Songs for Singers
10 MP3 Songs
URBAN/R&B: R&B Pop Crossover, EASY LISTENING: Crooners/Vocals
I struggled finding a title for this collection. The previous two releases on CD Baby-- “Invisible Man” and “New Jazz City” have such exotic and provocative titles--now “Songs for Singers’” is descriptive enough but perhaps a little understated, to say the least. But I’ll attempt to clarify how I arrived at such a simple title for a CD with so many different singers and styles.
Let’s start with the cover. That’s my beloved cousin, Jina-Billups-Pierce next to me. She is the singer on QUIET SPACE and NOW. She represents the whole package. She’s beautiful and sings with amazingly full-bodied tone and breath control--two things I look for in a singer. In fact, Jina is the queen of all the singers I have ever worked with.
The first voice you’ll hear on this disc, nevertheless, is that of Michael McCray doing MANHATTAN COOL. Mike soulfully tells us about his attraction for a lady whose eyes just remain fixed on her computer, not on him. She ignores him but he persists emotionally, convincingly and with insistent vocal power. Will she listen to Mike and truly hear then accept his plea out of the “million faces in the crowd”?
Next track: Mike is joined by Joyce Stovall in a poignant duet, JUST BEFORE THE STORM. They were so happy before something happened “on such a sunny day...” Joyce, whom I first met at Howard University in D.C., uses her great range and formal training to express the euphoria of love when it’s new followed by the often inevitable pain of it’s stormy ending.
Irene Haynes sings I MISS YOU SO. She’s the grittiest of my singers. Her missing someone--the subject of this song-- has what I would describe as an edge to it. She has a way of letting it all out; putting all her cards on the table; baring her soul vocally.
SUNRISE is such a hopeful, inspiring moment. Yolanda Lee certainly sang her way into my heart. In fact, we wedded at dawn on the grassy, wooded grounds of the U.S. Capital building some years ago. However, the marriage itself lasted for only a moment. Yolanda sings sweetly in a high, ethereal, silken range which is softly caressed by live violins and viola.
Andrea Silva ministers to our spiritual selves. IN MY FATHER’S HOUSE, the longest track on this disc, features a remarkable vocal performance which transcends the often strict boundaries between gospel and jazz. As the piece develops, Andrea, in a bold, forceful, compelling voice states the theme then takes an extended “solo” during which she preaches to us--reminding us what this life and the next are really about--truly “there are many mansions.”
Meanwhile, back here and now on this earth, Tarah Turnbull at 5 years of age and Allison Kitt, 10 (who follows Tarah in each verse) sing BUILD THE WORLD FOR CHILDREN. Tarah and her dad (that’s me) hold these words as our as our personal mantra. Why are these children on this CD anyway? Listen and you will hear some of the purest, sweetest young voices one can imagine. Tarah’s, for one, is a crystal clear voice full of optimism and hope for every generation.
Talk about peace on earth! Jina’s sultry voice on QUIET SPACE takes us away. She mesmerizes us as she did audiences in Japan and everywhere else we travelled together. Composers such as myself dream up these things but ideas cannot fly without the singer to help transport the listener. Have you ever heard a modern singer hold that beautiful-a-note as long Jina does toward the end of NOW?
I’ve always loved songs that tell stories. GOODBYE EDGAR DREW is a story of the musician friend who first helped me with improvisation and encouraged me to attend the Juilliard School of Music.
Maura McCabe, who is of Irish background, had never met the legendary Edgar Drew, but convinces us that she has. As in Irish folk music or country western, the singer spins a tale. Maura skillfully, in this “country eastern” piece, allows herself to be interrupted by a somewhat lengthy piano solo yet still drives home the point. She sings goodbye to the name not the man!
Our final track on this CD is, for lack of a fancier title, the CREDITS THEME, a piece that features the vocal improvisations of Cris Romano. Done in one take, Cris’ brilliant wordless vocal stylings give us the impression that we have seen a good movie. The plot has carried us through several varied soundscapes and moods. Each scene has given us insight into the hearts of the characters. Each singer steps onto the soundstage and delivers his/her respective lines in the song play. You see, this story is a tale told in a series of, oh... Songs for Singers.
Background vocals: Jackie Daniel, Debi Gilchrest, Wanda Hamlett, Brenda Smith (Manhattan Cool), Cris Romano and Bevin (I Miss You So), Tanya Willoughby and Bevin (In My Father’s House)
Erroll “Pumpkin” Bedward-- drums (Sunrise)
Ted Williams--bass (Sunrise)
Garry Bruer--drums (Just Before the Storm, Goodbye Edgar Drew)
Phil Hamilton--guitar (Just Before the Storm, Goodbye Edgar Drew)
Ed Martin--bass guitar (Goodbye Edgar Drew)
Anthony McDonald--percussion (Just Before the Storm)
Bevin Turnbull--piano, keyboards, Hammond B-3 organ, drum programs
Abdul Wali--guitar (Goodbye Edgar Drew)
Special thanks to the Marciano family at SystemsII Studios Brooklyn, New York