Album Notes“SOME MORNING” is the first solo project by Grammy Award-nominee Kim Nazarian. Kim gained fame as a founding member of the internationally acclaimed jazz vocal group, New York Voices, but this album focuses on Kim’s exquisite voice and her partnership with her husband, the five-time Grammy Award-winning producer and trombonist Jay Ashby. The CD features a mix of standards, not-so-standard standards, and several original tunes.
Kim is one of the most accomplished singers on the scene today, with vocal skills second to none. She can sing a ballad with great depth and immediacy or scat with a fluid proficiency that reveals her exceptional harmonic sophistication. Always tasteful and appropriate, her approach to melody, time, and dynamics is chosen to enhance the lyrics while imbuing each song with her own personality, truly making them her own.
All the tunes on this CD are arranged in whole or in part by Ashby. He is also featured on trombone on several tunes, including the opening medley “Robbin’s Nest/Boneology.” Kim and the band swing hard, with voice and trombone blending seamlessly during the high speed soli. Ashby is also featured on “What’ll I Do,” the poignant anti-war tune performed and arranged with great pathos by Kim and Jay. Jamey Haddad on drums creates a martial feel against which Kim sings with a deep sorrow expressed through long, plaintive phrases and a rising dynamic that are echoed by Ashby’s trombone.
Kim has strong family ties, and other family members are featured on several tunes. “Que Sera Sera” is a true family affair. It features Greg Nazarian, Kim’s father, on saxophone with vocals by Ian Ashby, Kim and Jay’s son. Ian sings the part of the child asking questions about the future. His sweet, young voice captures the innocence at the heart of the tune, while Kim sings the mother’s knowing refrain with hopeful high energy, assuring her child that there’s nothing to worry about -- what will be, will be. Marty Ashby, Kim’s brother-in-law, is also featured on guitar on several tracks, taking a solo on Cole Porter’s romantic “So In Love.”
Besides being a superb vocalist, Kim is a top-notch lyricist. “Still Life,” composed by Kim and Jay, was originally written in memory of Ian’s elementary school art teacher. Kim dedicates her graceful, imagistic lyrics to the many loved ones, friends and colleagues that have passed from her life over the years. Kim’s heartfelt interpretation is further enhanced by the exquisite accompaniment of pianist Alon Yavnai. “Road to Kursk” is another composition by Ashby. It is a blues inspired by a road trip from Moscow to Kursk, Russia. This swinging big band tune features spot on scatting by Kim and a searing trumpet solo by Sean Jones. It also features the legendary drummer Roger Humphries.
Kim has been in the music business a long time and over the years has performed with many jazz luminaries, some of whom were more than happy to participate in this venture. Paquito D’Rivera adds a sensitive clarinet solo to “Tell Him I Said Hello.” Kim said she chose that tune because “the lyric just breaks my heart.” It has a lovely, haunting arrangement featuring Marty Ashby on guitar, Alexa Still on flute, Anna Nelson on clarinet, and Jess McCandless on bass clarinet. John Pizzarelli plays guitar and sings with Kim on “Gotta Be This Or That,” where the interplay of their voices on the original vocalese section adds a playful and hip dimension to the tune. “Some Morning,” the title track, is a lovely re-interpretation of an Ivan Lins song with new lyrics by Brock Walsh. It features vibraphonist Gary Burton and a background vocal group featuring Alysia Tromblay and Kim’s fellow New York Voices member Peter Eldridge, as well as Ashby.
Mark Soskin and Mark Shilansky alternate on piano throughout the album. “All in My Heart” is an original composition by Shilansky, which he saved to debut on this CD. His expressive, textured solos can be heard on several of these tunes. Soskin’s tasteful piano work provides a rhythmic backbone to tunes like “Road to Kursk” and “Que Sera Sera,” while his joyful solo can be heard on the opening number “Robbins’ Nest.”
This CD was a long time in the making. Kim wanted to make sure that her first solo project truly reflected who she is as an artist. To anyone not familiar with Kim, “SOME MORNING” is a significant introduction to the scope of her talents – from singing to writing lyrics to arranging. Music is Kim’s life, and she hopes that this project will expand her already highly successful career and lead to opportunities to tour with her family. For Kim, music and life are all about love, truth and balance … and family; which include ALL the members of her professional, musical family.
Mark Shilansky: Sideman Discography
Lauren Wool releases her debut CD "here with me" on yardwide records. Lauren is a vocalist who has performed in the NH Seacoast as well as the Boston area with her band "the café" and has enjoyed recording and performing with Percy Hill, One Hand Free, Cactus Highway, the Seacoast Big Band, and the bands of Adrian Sicam and Mark Shilansky. Pianist Mark Shilansky produced the CD, which is a collection of originals (by Shilansky and Wool), jazz standards, and cover songs by such artists as Billy Joel, Holly Palmer, and Luciana Souza. Stylistically, the CD encompasses jazz, folk, and world music, and features Lauren's versatile, warm voice (and cello!) in arrangements both rocking and delicate, with sensitive performances by some of the area's greatest musicians: guitarist Kevin Barry (Paula Cole, Mary Chapin Carpenter), vocalist Adrian Sicam (Neon Grandma), UNH faculty members David Seiler (clarinet) and David Newsam (guitar), and Boston-based musicians Robin McElhatten (vocals), Fernando Huergo (bass), Bertram Lehmann (drums), and Eric Byers (guitar).
Patrice Williamson - voice, flute, Mark Shilansky - piano/arrangements, Keala Kaumeheiwa - bass, Ron Savage - Drums, Eric Byers - Guitar, Jason Hunter - saxophones, Kera Washington - percussion
Some people are just born to music.
Patrice Williamson's childhood home in Memphis, Tennessee was filled with song. Her late father, Webster Williamson, an avid amateur singer, choir director, and pillar of the St. Stephen's Baptist Church music ministry, introduced his children to both sacred music and the secular styles of greats like Louis Armstrong, Nat King Cole, and Lena Horne. With the encouragement of her mother, Lillie Williamson, Patrice followed in the footsteps of her elder sister, Denise, taking up the violin and making her debut at age four, playing a duet with her sister in front of the St. Stephen's congregation.
From then on, she was hooked on music and performing. To her violin studies, she added piano (at age seven) and flute (at 11). She imagined herself growing into a world-famous concert artist:
Patrice carried the dream into her teens, but chose a "practical" major, communications, when she enrolled at the University of Tennessee. In her second year, however, she realized her heart was elsewhere and decided to major in music.
Her focus remained on classical performance; she served as principal flutist for the opera & symphony orchestras. It wasn't until the conductor of the UT Studio Jazz Orchestra overheard her scatting during a rehearsal break, and immediately offered her a vocal solo, that she considered singing as a possible career path. Encouraged by UT faculty jazz pianist Donald Brown, she headed to New England Conservatory to focus full-time on her voice, under the guidance of Dominique Eade.
In Boston, Patrice hit the ground running. Before her Master's degree studies were complete, she was weighing rival offers for a four-month performance engagement at Somerset's Bar in Singapore and further studies at NEC in the school's prestigious Artist Diploma program. In the end, she managed to do both.
A regular at Boston's celebrated Regattabar since1996, she has also appeared in the company of Tony Bennett, James Moody, & Cassandra Wilson at the Tanglewood Jazz Festival; and Danilo Perez & Kevin Mahogony at the Marblehead Jazz Festival. Around the U.S., she's been heard at Boston's Symphony Hall and Jordan Hall; as well as the IDB Cultural Center Concert Series in Washington, DC.
Singapore, having had a taste of her, wanted more; and Patrice has since returned to the scene of her first triumph as a special guest performer in the nation's New Year's Eve Millennium Celebration; and as part of the Eden Project, an international group of female jazz improvisers who rocked the International Women's Forum in March 2000.
The critics and the jazz community have not been slow to recognize that this talent is for real.
The response to her debut recording, My Shining Hour (released in September 1998) has been overwhelmingly positive, drawing favorable comparisons to legends like Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughan. She was honored with a coveted "Best of Boston" award in 1997, and in 1999 and 2000 was a nominee for "Best Jazz Vocalist" by the Kahlua Boston Music Awards.
One of the most inventive young vocalists and improvisers around, Sara Leib is proving herself an integral key to the modern jazz scene. Her harmonic approach to scatting, charismatic personality, and endearingly thoughtful stage presence have echoed through the jazz communities of her native Los Angeles and the New England jazz scene. She has performed at various clubs and concert halls nationwide, and her skill, charisma and passion are undeniable.
"It's worth seeking out. Leib has a terrific voice, her improvising is inspired, and the Boston-based trio that backs her is top-notch. Most important, the arrangements of these tunes - particularly the Latin-tinged take of "More Than You Know" and the jaunty, up-tempo "It Could Happen to You" - are fresh and inspired." - Boston Globe (7/4/03)
"She's got a beautiful, natural voice, and she improvises with aplomb, scatting with ease."
-Steve Greenlee, Boston Globe
"Sara Leib offers a fresh approach to jazz vocal classicism..." - Larry Katz, Boston Herald
"Scatting is not for the faint of heart, and Sara scats particularly well in a risky instrumental style that belies her tender age..."
-Lou Lanza, AllAboutJazz.com
"profoundly gifted...reinterprets the template of the standard into something that seasoned jazz enthusiasts and crossover fans from the Norah Jones camp will both be blown away by."
-Jamie Rattner, of Northeast Performer Magazine
"Leib displays an attractive voice and inventive phrasing...Sara Leib has great potential for the future and It's Not the Moon is an important first step"
-Scott Yanow, L.A. Jazz Scene
"Leib's considerable talents will come as a shock. She's got solid technique that allows her to comfortably interpret and improvise over a range of styles and tunes. The girl can really scat...there's an irresistible sun in her sound, and she can soar up to ecstatic head tones when called for..."
-Stephen Mark Beaudoin
Featuring the talents of Mark Shilansky (piano), Edward Perez (bass), and Michael Herklots (drums).
Produced by Kaoruko & Bob Pilkington
Kaoruko; vocals, arranger "A Night In Tunisia"
Greg Hopkins; trumpet, flugelhorn
Mark Shilansky; piano
Mauro Longordo; guitar
Thomas Hebb; bass
Bob Tamagni; drums
Bob Pilkingon; arranger "Joy Spring"