SUZANNA SMITH 'Halfway Between Heaven & Love' CD Release Concert
Join us in celebrating the release of Suzanna Smith's highly-anticipated debut CD - Halfway Between Heaven & Love.
With the release of Halfway Between Heaven & Love, Smith delivers one of the year's most impressive vocal projects, an intoxicating mix of original tunes and beautifully rendered standards.
Accompanied by some of the most creative figures on the Bay Area scene, Smith combines the confessional imperative of a singer/songwriter with the rhythmic acuity of a jazz chanteuse. She wrote the lyrics for nine of the album's 13 tracks while collaborating on the music of five songs with pianist/keyboardist Michael Coleman.
The album opens with Smith's clever lyrics to Tadd Dameron's "Lady Bird" and Miles Davis's "Half Nelson." More than half the CD showcases her originals, including "Paper Boat," a sassy affirmation of love that surges over a rollicking groove buoyed by organ, trombone and washboard. On "The Man That Broke the Dragon's Heart" Smith added a lyric to Michael Coleman's evocative title, resulting in a sweet but sad parable guided by Michael O'Neill's serpentine clarinet work.
The gentle ballad "Planes and Trains" is one of Smith and Coleman's most winsome collaborations and recalls a 1940s Hollywood production, while "Comet" pulses with 21st-century urgency, accented by the fiery strum of Ken Husbands's bouzouki.
The album's poetic title comes from a line in "Monk's Make Believe." Smith's wistful lyrics fall just right on Coleman's dreamy, slightly off-kilter Monkian melody. The line "halfway between heaven and love" wafts in so smoothly that it takes a beat to realize it's not a familiar saying.
The album also includes savvy interpretations of standards,from an irresistibly grooving arrangement of "Summer Me, Winter Me," that captures Smith's singular combination of sunny optimism and rueful wariness, to a lovely but forlorn version of "Alone Together" to unfettered joy on Harold Arlen's celebratory "Hooray for Love." Smith closes the album as she started, with an original lyric set to a modern jazz gem, Dexter Gordon's Latin swinger "Soy Califa."
"There is an essential, profound difference between being a singer and being an artist. In today's oversaturated music-scape it's wise to be patient when making the maiden recording voyage until one has something unique and compelling to say. Halfway Between Heaven & Love was undeniably worth the wait." Kitty Margolis
Suzanna has been a creative force on the rich Bay Area jazz vocal scene since 2005 -- as a performer and songwriter as well as founder/producer of San Francisco's long-standing Savanna Jazz vocal jam session and founding member of the nonprofit Bay Area Jazz & Arts, Inc that runs the Sound Room. Her constant efforts to nurture local jazz have benefitted many artists. In gratitude and with delight, we look forward to hosting her CD release and helping her celebrate this debut!
The evening will feature the musicians from the recording:
Michael Coleman piano, electric keys
Michael O'Neill saxophones & clarinet
Ken Husbands guitar & bouzouki
Brandon Essex acoustic & electric bass
Jon Arkin drums & percussion
Tune in to KCSM (91.1 FM), Thursday, November 21st at 9am, to preview tracks from Halfway Between Heaven & Love and hear Suzanna in conversation with Alisa Clancy, host of "Morning Cup of Jazz."
For more information about Halfway Between Heaven & Love, visit suzannasmith.com.
The Sound Room (View)
Oakland, CA 94612
|Kid Friendly: Yes!|
|Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!|