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MP3 Andree Pages - Swings Both Ways

Backed by top-flight New York players, this singer soars on sophisticated, danceable standards with a piano trio and pushes the rhythmic and expressive envelope with a guitar/bass duo. "Straddles both worlds: the slick and seedy, the bright and dark..."

13 MP3 Songs
JAZZ: Jazz Vocals, JAZZ: Swing/Big Band

"But it''s not just the music or the musicians; Swings Both Ways is about the experience, the concept, and Pagès straddles both worlds - the slick and the seedy, the bright and the dark - to give the listener a good night out. Not a nice night out - a good one."
-J. Hunter, https://www.tradebit.com

Though New York jazz and blues singer Andrée Pagès sings the standards of American jazz repertoire, she is not a "cool jazz," pop, or easy listening song stylist. Pagès traces her influences to three of the greats: Billie Holiday, for her emotional connection to her material and rhythmic flair; Frank Sinatra, for his hard swing and clean delivery; and Sarah Vaughn for her virtuosity, innovative takes on tunes, and willingness to push the envelope.

Though well-versed in the classics, Pagès''s sound is all her own. Her unique gifts lie in the range of her voice and material, the freedom of her rhythmic play, the variety of timbres her voice displays, and the emotional intensity of her expression and strong connection she makes with audiences.

As J Hunter writes in his review of "Swings Both Ways": "Pages lets the bitterness in the Gershwin''s ''My Man''s Gone Now'' come through with no stops, and her cover of Monk''s ''Round Midnight'' sums up the weariness of it all...Whether it''s ''early in the evening'' or ''later that night,'' the pieces on Swings Both Ways are firmly in her wheelhouse. Her readings...are strong and faithful, and all flights of expression stay within her base and never detract."

Per Hunter, "If the title were to accurately reflect the mood of the disc, it would have been called Early That Evening/Later That Night." The first 7 tracks, Some Enchanted Evening: At the Hotel Club, "put you in a downtown supper club at the start of the evening, with soft lights, soft piano, drinks and dancing, and that feeling that something good just might be starting here. Here Pages is backed by bassist/viol de gamba player Jay Elfenbein, drummer Peter Grant, and pianist Tom Nelson. The material - all standards - ranges from the sultry (Ellington''s ''Sophisticated Lady,'' Cole Porter''s ''Get Out Of Town'') to the just plain fun (''St. Louis Blues,'' the Rogers/Fields comp ''It''s Crazy'')...all slick and polished, just like the club itself."

The last 6 tracks, In The Wee Small Hours: The Basement Dive, "take us further into the evening, and into someplace that''s not so slick, where some people may just be doing other people dirty. The instrumentation gets spare, with guitarist Dan Rothstein replacing Grant and Nelson. Here things are much less formal; the ties have been loosened, the top buttons have been unbuttoned, and the lyrics have gotten harder, just like the drinks..."

What also sets Pagès apart is her creative interplay at all levels - rhythmic, melodic, and harmonic - with the top-shelf musicians she plays with. Pianist Tom Nelson, bassist and viola da gambist Jay Elfenbein, guitarist Dan Rothstein, and drummer Peter Grant are swinging ensemble players who all get a chance to shine as innovative soloists on this CD. Raves Hunter, "Nelson''s piano is a joy, and it made me want to hear him duke it out with Rothstein...particularly on ''Round Midnight.'' However, Rothstein''s guitar was a quiet driver who doesn''t need a wingman...and his subtle sub-references brought a giggle and a gasp to a satisfying performance. Elfenbein provided solid bottom throughout, changing his attack to suit the "club" he was in at the time." (See player bios below.)

Pagès is currently appearing at the Uptown club Penang, and has just released a second CD as part of a quintet led by Jay Elfenbein on electric and acoustic gamba. "GambaDream" and "Swings Both Ways" are available at https://www.tradebit.com. "Swings Both Ways" is also available at Tower Records at Lincoln Center in New York.


The elegant jazz of pianist Tom Nelson was a staple of the Intercontinental in New York for over ten years, and he now plays regularly at the Drake Hotel. Nelson has performed nationwide with such artists as Junior Cook, Billy Hart, Eddie Locke, George Kelly, and Al Harewood.

Jay Elfenbein''s bass-playing has been described by The New York Times as "virtuosic...played magnificently..." and "with virtuosity and flair." He has played and recorded with musicians ranging from Anthony Braxton to Paul Simon, on whose most recent album he can be heard playing early stringed instruments (the vielle and vihuela). He also leads a six-piece band called GambaDream, which features the viola da gamba as lead solo instrument, whose debut album will be released this winter. The cut of "Sophisticated Lady" on "Swings Both Ways" features a beautiful gamba solo.

Guitarist Dan Rothstein has performed throughout the eastern United States from Nashville to New England. His resume includes extensive appearances in and around New York City at locations including The Bottom Line, The Cotton Club, Beacon Theater, and The American Institute of Guitar.

Drummer Peter Grant has played with such artists as Astrud Gilberto, Peggy Lee, Bob Dorough, and Gerry Mulligan.

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