with Scott Sawyer/ Gabe Evens/
...tend to the roots...Revival--When I was eleven years old, one of the church elders who heard me sing Swing Low Sweet Chariot, made me promise her I'd sing at her funeral...Even as a child I knew that the Negro spirituals like Steal Away, Wade in the Water, and When the Saints Go Marching In, held profound meaning and connected us to our enslaved ancestors. The a cappella renditions we sang during summer revival were particularly moving, simultaneously rhythmic and discordant, raw and refined, tragic and hopeful, spontaneous and synchronous--always from the heart and soul. Someday Soon and You Will are works in progress, to honor the legacy of indigenous music. Reverence--Billie Holiday has always fascinated me. Her delivery of songs such as Lady Sings the Bluesand Good Morning Heartache embody the sonority and emotional depth of spirituals as well as their deep and often hidden messages. Similarly, the unfettered delivery and sheer power of KoKo Taylor's voice evokes slave songs and field hollers. Koko was a captivating performer--the first time I saw her perform live, she strutted onto the stage, grabbed the microphone from its stand and, in an instant, commanded the band and the audience. Queen KoKo Blue is a reminiscence of that occasion and a tribute to her significant contributions to the blues. For me, there are two definitive versions of Without a Song--Sonny Rollins's rendition on his recording, The Bridge, and Mahalia Jackson's 1967 performance in Berlin. Renewal--In the same way that the Mary Lou Williams was perpetually contemporary, so is Stevie Wonder, whose compositions often defy category. With deceptively simple lyrics and chord changes, Ribbon in the Sky provides abundant opportunity for jazz exploration and interpretation. The composition May I Have This Dance was written as a framework for improvisation as well as a means to express my lifelong love of dancing. Pennies from Heaven has been a staple of my repertoire for more than twenty years. Unplanned and unrehearsed, Gabe, Scott and I recorded it at the end of the one day we had together, and it reflects the trust we have in each other as well as our collective love of jazz.
I offer this recording in love, in peace, and in memory of Ed Thigpen and James H. Deloatch. Sincere gratitude to Scott, Gabe, John, and Beverly - my great friends and musical companions without whom this project would not have been possible; Ed, Kevin, the Deloatch and Gomes families, friends far and near, and fellow music lovers.
The New Album
To hear the song samples on this page, you will need Real Player. You can download a free version of the Real Player
Produced by Lois Deloatch and Scott Sawyer. Recorded in September/October 2009 and March 2010 at Overdub Lane Studios (www.overdublane.com). Engineered and mixed by Jason Merritt (www.jasonsong.com). Mastered by Brent Lambert at Kitchen Mastering (www.kitchenmastering.com)
CD Design by Nathan Golub. Front cover photo, "Untitled," by Ilene Nelson. Insert photo by Chris Ferrer Photography, Susan Branion, stylist. Back cover photo "Deloatches' Big Oak Tree," by Eleanor Mills Photography.