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MP3 Kit Mcclure Band - Just The Thing

Groove jazz, with funk, swing, and Latin

11 MP3 Songs
JAZZ: Jazz Fusion, JAZZ: Swing/Big Band



"The International Sweethearts of Rhythm, an important all women band of the 1940’s, have been an inspiration to me since I first heard them on the Rosetta Records release (1984). It has been a great privilege for me and my band to record a two CD tribute to the Sweethearts in homage to their musicianship, their music, their spirit and their story. This has been a labor of love." -- Kit McClure

The Kit McClure Band made its debut at the Ritz in New York City in 1982. The band became a popular fixture in the New York nightclub scene, and was soon offered a tour with the great Cab Calloway. This led to recording industry interest from Island Records, and Kit and her band were put on payroll to prepare a show with the rock star Robert Palmer. Palmer featured Kit on saxophone in his band and featured the Kit McClure Band within his show. This show played sold-out houses at Radio City Music Hall, Garden State Arts Center and similar venues across the Northeast. Eight tours of Japan ensued, and in between Kit found time to produce the Kit McClure Band''s debut recording, Some Like It Hot, on RedHot Records. The success of Some Like it Hot brought the attention of jazz legend Teo Macero, who produced McClure''s second release, Burning, in 1996.

McClure and her band toured Europe five times in support of these two recordings and then settled into a steady calendar of US dates. The Kit McClure Band is as dedicated to keeping a dance floor full as it is to providing a great show in concert halls and at jazz festivals. The band''s music ranges from transcriptions of Duke Ellington’s and Count Basie’s popular works all the way to the soulful grooves of Aretha Franklin, James Brown and original compositions and arrangements by Kit McClure and her band mates. As a dance orchestra the Kit McClure Band has enlivened ballrooms across the USA, including the inaugural ball of President Clinton.

Kit''s non-profit Women in Jazz, Inc. has the mission of furthering the recognition and celebration of the achievements of women in jazz. To this end, she produced The Sweethearts Project, a tribute to The International Sweethearts of Rhythm, popular all women big band of the WW11 swing era. The preparation for The Sweethearts Project (released to acclaim in 2004 on RedHot Records) involved detailed historical research and transcription of the original Sweethearts repertoire which McClure and the band lovingly recorded in a style faithful to the swing of their big band swing sisters of the earlier era. Noted jazz critic Nat Hentoff wrote that The Sweethearts Project “is both a musical and an historic event...Whoever hears this recording will find it hard not to get up and dance.”

While recording The Sweethearts Project, the women of McClure’s band began to have ideas about ways to bring the music of the Sweethearts ''back to the future'' by re-imagining, re-grooving and re-harmonizing the repertoire with contemporary flavors such as hip-hop and salsa. Their ideas led to the recording, Just the Thing - The Sweethearts Project Revisited, (in stores July 11, 2006 on RedHot records in association with Motéma Music and RedEye Distribution). Spanning seven decades of women in jazz, this recording documents an unparalleled joining of the creative efforts of historical and contemporary women in jazz.

The Kit McClure Band was invited to perform this music at the prestigious JVC Jazz Festival in New York City, and at the Mary Lou Williams Women in Jazz Festival at the Kennedy Center. These critically acclaimed performances included both original and up-dated versions of the Sweethearts’ music: “The Kit McClure Band celebrates the swing era of the International Sweethearts of Rhythm in both faithful and refreshing ways” (The Washington Post). Jana Herzen, of Motema Music, caught the show and a collaboration between Motema and RedHot was developed to distribute the music nationally and internationally.

“Women have made significant contributions to this great music called jazz and I think it’s time for some recognition. The inclusion of women’s voices will expand and diversify the pool of talent. This will only make jazz better.” Kit McClure

Audio clips, hi-res photos, and video including footage from the Kennedy Center show are all available at https://www.tradebit.com.

About Kit McClure:
Kit McClure, saxophonist, activist and leader of the longest running all women big band in history, was born in Jersey City, New Jersey in 1951. Raised in Little Falls, New Jersey, she attended public school, and began working with local bands as a trombone player at the age of 16. In 1969 she was accepted at Yale University as part of the first undergraduate class of women at Yale. While attending Yale, she participated in the women''s rights movement, and joined the New Haven Women’s Liberation Rock Band. She also continued to work as a freelance trombonist and saxophonist. Upon graduating from Yale in 1975, she moved to New York City to attend Manhattan School of Music, working her way through school teaching music and performing. Her freelance credits include tours in the USA, Japan, and Europe with R&B legends Sam and Dave, the Broadway show Dancin’, as well as a position as featured soloist with the Barry White Orchestra. Although she was able to find meaningful work, she felt the gender discrimination that held a firm grip on women jazz musicians, especially instrumentalists. She developed the somewhat radical passion to start an all women big band which would give herself and other women a voice, work, and an opportunity to steadily express their talents on a level playing field. Her vision became a reality with her band''s debut at the Ritz in 1982.

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