Vocalist Tammy McCann to Release New Album “Do I Move You?” on March 10th, 2023 | LISTEN!
Chicago’s Dynamic, Award-winning Vocalist Tammy McCann
Releases New CD, Do I Move You?,
Featuring Her Amazing Blend of Jazz, Gospel and Blues
and the Music of The Beatles, WAR, Nina Simone,
Bill Withers, Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn,
on March 10, 2023
CHICAGO, IL, February 7, 2023 – In the three decades she’s been on the scene, no one has moved so effortlessly and ebulliently from the secular to the sacred world than the Mississippi-born, Windy City native Tammy McCann. Her brilliant blend of gospel, jazz and blues reigns supreme on her new CD Do I Move You? (Io Canto Music, LLC), scheduled for release on March 10, 2023.
In addition to the new album, Tammy McCann will be the featured vocalist for Victory Is Assured: An Evening in Honor of Stanley Crouch, the late author, jazz critic and co-founder of Jazz at Lincoln Center (JALC). The special tribute, to be held at Dizzy’s Club, 10 Columbus Circle in New York, on Monday, February 13, 7:00 pm, also includes pianists Cyrus Chestnut and Bill Charlap, bassists Christian McBride and Peter Washington, drummers Jeff “Tain” Watts and Andrew Cyrille, saxophonist David Murray and others. Tickets and information here.
Co-produced by Grammy winning bassist/bandleader John Clayton, who worked with McCann when she performed at the Catalina Jazz Club in Los Angeles in 2021, and longtime collaborator guitarist Fareed Haque, McCann’s Do I Move You? was created at the end of the COVID-19 quarantine period. And, as McCann states in Grammy-award winning Journalist and Broadcaster Neil Tesser’s CD liner notes, she wanted to “create something that would bring us out of the emotional isolation we’ve been in – something that would make people feel again.”
McCann enlisted Haque to take listeners to a place where jazz, gospel and the blues meet at a musical crossroads. McCann calls that musical mixture her marinade. “The real miracle of this album, and in this voice, lies beyond Tammy’s ability to host a musical smorgasbord of individual dishes,” Tesser writes. “You can try to identify each unique taste profile, isolate each influence, but that misses the point. In a good marinade, the flavors swirl together, combining into something that transcends each ingredient, so you can hardly tell where one leaves off and the other begins.”
McCann’s cool and caressing contralto on this assemblage of jazz, popular and gospel standards is supported by Haque, who also plays sitar; bassist John Sutton; drummer Samuel Jewell; Tom Vaitsas on Fender Rhodes and piano along with guest artists organist Justin Dillard, percussionists Kahil El Zabar and Richard Christian and poet Che “Rhymefest”. Tesser writes that McCann “can inhabit the sacred as well as the secular; it’s that in her fusion of these world-views, they too lose the distinction of where one starts and where one ends.”
That fusion can be heard on McCann’s reverent reading of the Mahalia Jackson-associated Negro spiritual, “Canaan Land,” which also “echoes Muddy Waters, Big Joe Turner and so many other mid-century masters of the blues (gospel’s rakish cousin). Tesser rhetorically asks, “how could you remove the quasi-religious ecstasy that informs the seductive siren song of the title track (composed by Nina Simone), or the passionate yearn of [Buddy Johnson’s] ‘Save Your Love for Me,’ without sapping their energy entirely?”
Simone shows up again with McCann’s intimate and engaging vocal/bass duet on the Broadway selection, “Feelin’ Good,” and her spectral selection “Blackbird,” contrasting the more well-known song by the Beatles with the same name – the former, a stark, plectral Delta Blues rendition, the latter, a more upbeat composition. “I want listeners to see these as two sides of the same coin,” McCann says. Simone’s song brings back “memories of being minimized …”, while McCartney’s composition, “represents the wings of the phoenix upon which we ride; he implores us as a people to see our light and not let it be extinguished.”
McCann’s anthemic version of the 70s hit “The World Is A Ghetto,” by the soul-funk ensemble WAR, is percussively powered by Haque’s sitar, Zabar’s Afro-descended cajón, talking drum and shakers and Christian’s Indian tablas, laced with an unapologetically Afrocentric spoken word performance by Chicago poet, Che “Rhymefest” that, Tesser wrote “expands that world way beyond the urban slums of America.”
Another 70s favorite, Bill Withers’ “Grandma’s Hands,” is a down-home, Hammond B-3 hued, mid-tempo shout out by McCann in “…tribute to all the grandmas lost to COVID.” Duke Ellington’s “Don’t You Know I Care?,” dances in waltz time, while Billy Strayhorn’s “A Flower Is A Lovesome Thing,” is a delicious duo performance with McCann and Haque’s classical-style acoustic guitar, and as Tesser writes, McCann “ranges from the seraphic bridge to the thrilling low notes.”
McCann sang in church and was a devotee of Mahalia Jackson. She is a classically-trained vocalist and graduate of Chicago’s Kenwood Academy High School, and attended Virginia Union University, where she heard Thelonious Monk. McCann moved back to Chicago, and was singing locally, when jazz masters Von and George Freeman took her under their wing. McCann has worked with many jazz stars including Dee Dee Bridgewater, Ray Charles, Ramsey Lewis and Laurence Hobgood.
McCann’s previous recordings include You Like (with Wondabrass, 1996), Praise (with The Voices of Glory, 1999) Classic (2007), Never Let Me Go ( 2010), Love Stories (2014) and Southside Folk Tales (2021). She performed Yes Mahalia!, her tribute to Mahalia Jackson in Jazzmobile’s Summerfest 2021 at Marcus Garvey Park (formerly Mt. Morris Park) where Jackson performed at the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival, the subject in the award-winning, Questlove-directed documentary, Summer of Soul. She also performed at Jazzmobile’s Great Jazz on the Great Hill series in Central Park in 2022.
McCann has performed at many prestigious jazz venues, including Jazz at Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, Birdland and the Hyde Park Jazz Festival. A multiple recipient of Chicago Tribune’s Best Jazz Vocal Performance citation, she was named Chicagoan of the Year in Jazz in 2020 by the same newspaper. Currently, McCann is Artist-in-Residence for the Music Institute of Chicago in Evanston, a Mentor for Women in Jazz Organization (WIJO) and a Board Member for African American Museum of Performing Arts (AAMPA) in Chicago.
On Do I Move You?, McCann sings from her personal “marinade” of musical genres to create one spectacular work of aural art. As Tesser writes, “We all contain multitudes, and here, on what she calls ‘my most personal album,’ she lets them speak together.”
Do I Move You? will be available at www.TammyMcCann.com and on all streaming platforms.
Carolyn McClair Public Relations