new soundcloud releases! so many new releases!

I went a little bit bananas this weekend with soundcloud! Over the weekend I was combing through my unreleased demos and live tracks and I found seven songs that I’m so excited to share with you. You can click play on the playlist above and listen to them all. Here are a few details about each tune to read as you’re listening:

1. Watching: This version of watching was recorded in studio at the Banff Centre in May 2012. I wrote Watching just before arriving at Banff so this was my first opportunity to really workshop it. The horn soli was written by Niall Bakkestad-Legare and it still blows me away every time I hear it, especially Rachel Therrien blowing her face off at the end.

2. Drinking Coffee: This song was actually written completely during Jazz and Creative Music Workshop at the Banff Centre. This live version was performed at “the club” at the Banff Centre and it was one of the last club performances of the program. The way the voices and the guitar blend together make me melt, and the energy from Andrew Velez for his eight-bar trumpet is incredible.

3. Little Prince: I recorded this with Chad Linsley last Monday! I wrote a whole post about it.

4. Softly, As In A Morning Sunrise: René Gely and I recorded this for a grant demo. I love René Gely’s layered arrangements.

5. Ain’t Misbehavin’: This was recorded live at the Here We Go Again CD release in December 2012. There’s so much nice stuff from this release that I might release a little digital live album. Thoughts? Would you like to listen to that?

6. September In The Rain: This is another collaboration between myself and René Gely. This was recorded as an entry for the Sarah Vaughan Vocal Competition.

7. Mushaboom / My Little Suede Shoes: Lucas Haneman and I were invited to be “resident jazz musicians” on CBC’s In Town And Out for their Christmas Eve special and this was our final song. That’s me on shaker!

I don’t know why it has taken me so long to share these little scattered bits of music that have been waiting patiently on my hard drive for years, but I’m glad I did. I plan on recording and sharing more soundcloud singles like these so you can follow me on soundcloud or you can periodically check this page I made for them. Of course, I’ll always blog about new releases.

What jazz standards or other songs would you like to hear recorded in the future? Let me know in the comments.

new release: little prince

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Yesterday I had the great pleasure of recording with Chad Linsley, a fabulous pianist who loves vocal jazz as much as I do! We recorded Little Prince with music by Frederick Loewe and Lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner. It’s the final song from the 1974 film adaptation of the book The Little Prince. I discovered this song and many others from the film while browsing through a film and theatre music book the other day. I watched the film for the first time on Sunday and even though I knew the plot from the book I found the addition of the music extremely touching, especially the song Chad and I recorded.

I hope our version of Little Prince moves you in the same way. Enjoy!

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weekend inspiration: city of light, city of darkness by sara serpa


This music video for Sara Serpa‘s City of Light, City of Darkness is so beautiful and striking I had to share it with you. I love seeing film, dance, and music collide. Here are some details about the video:

From Sara Serpa’s new album , MOBILE.
Music by: Sara Serpa (w/ Kris Davis, Ben Street and Ted Poor)
Directed by: Tiago Mata Angelino
Choreography by: Carolina Fonseca
Dancers: Carolina Fonseca, Sara Serpa

in my headphones: nancy king live at jazz standard with fred hersch // 05

king-hersch-jazz-standard

A few years ago I discovered Nancy King. I don’t remember exactly how it happened but I think someone mentioned her in passing to me. When I finally started listening to her it was a turning point for me in my own performance. Up until that point I had been trying to learn about vocal improvising with moderate success. I was blowing solos at my performances but I was stuck in a conservative rut. I had a lot of trouble taking chances. Then I heard Nancy King Live at Jazz Standard with Fred Hersch.

Both Nancy King and Fred Hersch have an amazing way of building and growing a standard into something unique and new. Together they take so many incredible chances but they always find each other in the end.

When I’m performing I sometimes like to play the game called “If I were               what choices would I make?” I pretend to be another singer and the things that come out of my mouth always surprise me. When I started pretending to be Nancy King I finally started to understand exactly how much breathing room I had in a solo. I learned how to take a leap of faith and trust my ears to guide me back home.

Click the play button to hear Ain’t Misbehavin’ by Fred Hersch & Nancy King.

nancy king live at the jazz standard with fred hersch

This has been in my headphones // 05, a blog feature about albums that have influenced me or are currently influencing me. You can also check out the last post in this series, in my headphones: the miseducation of lauryn hill // 04.

videos from live jazz monday // the end of live jazz monday is coming, nov 4

Thanks to our resident videographer, Austin Cooke, I have two more Live Jazz Monday videos to share with you. Thanks, Austin!

I also want to remind my Ottawa readers that our four-year residency at Mercury Lounge is coming to an end on November 4th and François Gravel and I would really love to have you there to say goodbye and celebrate the end of an era.

The event will take place on Monday, November 4th. There will be delicious treats, surprise guests, and of course – beautiful music. Entrance is free and the party will begin around 8:30pm with the performance starting at 9pm. See you there! Click here for more details and click here to RSVP on facebook.

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mixtape: dreamy autumn… // 20

mixtape: dreamy autumn...

When the leaves start to change and the days become sleepy and grey, I always find myself feeling contemplative and a little sad. This mix contains dreamy songs about memories and change and features Stacey Kent, Theo Bleckmann, and Diana Krall.

1. Star Dust / Memories of You – Betty Carter
2. I Remember You – Theo Bleckmann
3. Vibrate – The Manhattan Transfer
4. Autumn In New York – Fred Hersch & Nancy King
5. Dreamsville – Stacey Kent
6. ‘Tis Autumn – Nnenna Freelon
7. I’m All For You – Joe Lovano
8. A Case Of You – Diana Krall
9. For All We Know – Brad Mehldau

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in my headphones: the audience with betty carter // 03

in my headphones: the audience with betty carter // 03

The Audience With Betty Carter sat on my hard drive for an embarrassingly long time before I got into it. I acquired around the age of 16 after I read about how ground breaking and influential of a singer Betty Carter was. The album opens with a fast, dense, largely improvised, 25 minute piece called Sounds (Movin’ On) which you can listen to part of below. For the longest time I was so intimidated by this track that I never got past the first few minutes. The truth is I’m still intimidated by this track and had it not been for a bizarre twist of fate I never would have listened to the rest of the album.

I like to burn CDs for my (very old) car and when I finally decided to buckle down and dive into this album it was too big to fit on one CD since it’s a two disc set. I decided to burn only the second disc and try digging into that. This is probably sacrilege but I stand by my choices.

The Audience With Betty Carter is now one of my desert island albums. I love her unusual arrangements on I Could Write A Book and Spring Can Really Hang You Up The Most (which is four times as slow as it is usually played), I love her unconventionally song writing style on Deep Night, Fake, and Tight (which is the swingin’est thing ever), I love love love the preamble and the lyrics to So…, and I love how burning fast My Favourite Things is.

It’s a really unparalleled work and I’m so happy I finally got into it, even if it did take me eight years!

This has been in my headphones // 03, a blog feature where I talk about albums that have influenced me or are currently influencing me. You can also check out the last post in this series, in my headphones: patty waters – you thrill me // 02.

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