Los Angeles-Based Jazz Singer
Amber Weekes Performs Warm Versions
Of Some Of Her Favorite Standards
On Pure Imagination
Amber Weekes a regular fixture on the Los Angeles jazz scene, displays a quietly emotional voice and a creative use of space that is a bit reminiscent of Shirley Horn. Pure Imagination teams the singer with such notable musicians (all of whom are featured) as guitarists Mitchell Long and Ramon Stagnaro, flutist Justo Almario, altoist Keith Fiddmont, baritonist Dale Fielder, violinist-arranger Mark Cargill, vibraphonist Nick Mancini and bassist Trevor Ware.
The set begins with a playful version of “Pure Imagination” that has Amber Weekes interacting with her longtime teacher, the great Sue Raney. “It’s All Right With Me” is a swinger that has Ms. Weekes contributing a fetching vocal while on “When He Makes Music” her soft vocal is filled with inner passion.The masterful lyricist Oscar Brown Jr. is represented by the cautionary tale “The Snake,” a beautiful rendition of “Brown Baby” (taken as a duet with Trevor Ware’s mostly bowed bass) and a spirited and high-powered version of “Mister Kicks.” Amber Weekes revives the swing era Benny Goodman hit “Gotta Be This Or That,” “After You’ve Gone” and Duke Ellington’s lightly swinging “Just Squeeze Me.” She takes Michel Legrand and the Bergmans’ “The Way He Makes Me Feel” as a heartfelt ballad duet with Mon David (one of Los Angeles’ top male jazz singers) and joins in with the Bucjump Brass Band for Paul Simon’s “Gone At Last” which is given an infectious 1950s New Orleans “Second Line” groove. In addition, Amber Weekes performs two versions of “When October Goes” (a Johnny Mercer set of lyrics that was given music posthumously by Barry Manilow), very effectively interpreting the song as a bossa nova and a ballad.
While Amber Weekes was born Los Angeles, Amber’s parents were raised in Harlem, where her paternal grandparents ran Weekes’ Luncheonette; among its customers were Duke Ellington, Diahann Carroll, Billy Strayhorn, Lena Horne, Sidney Poitier, and Harry Belafonte. She began singing as a child and considers her early influences to include Diahann Carroll, Nancy Wilson, Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, and Lena Horne. She studied voice with Phil Moore, Catherine Hansen, Sue Fink and Sue Raney. Amber Weekes has performed at many of Los Angeles’ top clubs in addition to the New Rochelle Jazz Festival in New York and Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas. Now with the release of Pure Imagination, her finest recording to date, Amber Weekes can be heard at the peak of her creative powers.
Artist: AMBER WEEKES
Title: PURE IMAGINATION
Label: AMBER INN PRODUCTIONS
Release Date: JANUARY 3, 2020
UPC Code: 0 51497 12269 0
1. Pure Imagination (Duet with Sue Raney) – 3:45 (Anthony Newley & Leslie Bricusse)
2. It’s All Right with Me – 3:26 (Cole Porter)
3. When He Makes Music – 4:26 (Marvin Fisher & Jack Segal)
4. The Snake – 4:42 (Oscar Brown, Jr.)
5. Gotta Be This or That – 2:51 (Sunny Skylar)
6. Brown Baby – 5:54 (Oscar Brown, Jr.)
7. After You’ve Gone – 2:12 (Henry Creamer, Ray Sherman, Turner Layton)
8. When October Goes – 4:21 (Barry Manilow & Johnny Mercer)-(Bossa)
9. Mister Kicks – 2:35 (Oscar Brown, Jr.)
10. The Way He Makes Me Feel (duet with Mon David) – 4:53 (Legrand, Bergman, Bergman)
11. Just Squeeze Me (But Don’t Tease Me) – 2:46 (Duke Ellington & Leonard Gaines)
12. Gone At Last – 4:14 (Paul Simon)
13. Bonus Track: ● When October Goes – 5:21 (Barry Manilow & Johnny Mercer) (Ballad)
Pianists: Peter Smith and Tony Copodonico, Bassists: Trevor Ware (also co-producer) and Jeff Littleton, Drummers: Charles Ruggiero and Nathaniel ScottSaxophonist: Keith Fiddmont, Trumpeters: Curtis Taylor and Scotty Barnhart, Violinist, String Arranger/Conductor and Co-Producer: Mark Cargill Percussionist: Munyungo Jackson.
AVAILABLE FROM: amberweekes.com
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