MP3 Jeanne O'Connor - Something's Coming
Soulful, jazzy singing and scatting; swing, samba and bebop arrangements of tunes from Bernstein and Kern to Cannonball Adderly, Django Reinhardt, Joni Mitchell and Paul Simon, backed by superb playing by some of NYC’s finest jazz musicians.
13 MP3 Songs
JAZZ: Jazz Vocals, BLUES: Acoustic Blues
Jeanne O’Connor, a New-York based jazz, pop, and big band singer and member of the celebrated jazz vocal trio “String of Pearls,” has released her first solo CD, "Something''s Coming." It features gems from the American songbook, both old and new, familiar and rare. From the samba-inflected joyousness of “On the Street Where You Live,” to the melancholy “On the Waterfront,” to inventive new arrangements of pop classics like “Chelsea Morning” and “Something So Right,” Jeanne displays her deep musicality, seasoned scatting and vocalese, and a soulful sense of lyric. Her lyrics grace Sam Jones’ “Del Sasser” and Django Reinhardt’s “Douce Ambiance.” She is supported by the playing of some of New York’s finest jazz musicians, and inventive arrangements by Gil Goldstein, Lee Musiker, and her late husband, the brilliant pianist and composer Don Grolnick.
JEANNE O''CONNOR has brought her warm, sultry alto to jazz clubs and concert halls in the NY region and beyond. She has appeared at New York''s Blue Note, Elaine''s, the Rainbow Room, Worldbeat Jazz at the Guggenheim, and Midsummer Night’s Swing at Lincoln Center. With the renowned “String of Pearls” vocal trio, she has appeared at the Kennedy Center, the JVC Jazz Festival, Alice Tully Hall, and at festivals and clubs in the U.S., Germany, France, and Japan. The trio has released recordings in the U.S. and abroad.
Jeanne sings with some of the country''s leading swing and jazz bands, including frequent appearances with Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks. She’s also one-half of the swinging and soulful “Lanham and O’Connor” pop duo.
Says Michael Bourne, WBGO-FM DJ and host of “Singers Unlimited,” “Jeanne often looks to me like one of those hip dames singing in the nightclubs of 30s movies – except Jeanne also brings that same hipness to any and all songs, from then and now.” According to The New York Times, Jeanne “can belt out the innuendoes in Helen Humes’s song ‘Million Dollar Secret’ or the shouting joy in Louis Jordan’s ‘Let the Good Times Roll.’” 7 Days magazine called Jeanne, simply, “Fabulous.”
Jeanne studied piano and sang in pop and folk bands as a youth, but went on to study liberal arts at Brown University. There, she began singing in nightclubs with jazz and swing bands. She moved her singing career to New York in the 1980s. In 1992, she married the brilliant pianist, composer, and producer Don Grolnick. Don succumbed to lymphatic cancer in 1996, a loss that resounded throughout the music world. Jeanne has since remarried, to physicist David Atkatz, who teaches at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs. Jeanne divides her time between New York, Saratoga, and wherever her music takes her.
JEANNE O’CONNOR TALKS ABOUT “SOMETHING’S COMING”:
Title Track (“Something’s Coming”) – “Sometimes I try to imagine what it must have felt like to sit in a theater and watch ‘West Side Story’ for the first time, and hear all that stunning music coming from the stage and the pit. This song had been running through my head – maybe telling me to start this CD project! Lee Musiker is very attuned to Bernstein and gave it some great new rhythmic twists.”
“On the Street Where You Live” -- “I had sung this several times as a samba when jamming informally with musicians. Gil took the tune and wrote a great be-boppy opening line that fits beautifully into a samba beat. He also found some great dark and jagged chords for the bridge that set off the sunniness of the tune.”
“I Cover the Waterfront” -- “I’ve been singing this song for many years, and still love how it captures the loneliness of lost love in a big city – the verse (intro) is such a gem!”
“Chelsea Morning” -- “I’ve been returning to some of the songs of my own generation (although my romance with songwriters like Gershwin, Rodgers and Hart , and Arlen is far from over.) Gil’s chords and groove really evoke all the moods of a magical day, as does Joni Mitchell’s lyric.”
“Del Sasser” – “Once upon a time I knew a toxic bachelor. He provided the inspiration for this lyric I wrote to one of my favorite Cannonball Adderly recordings; the tune was written by Sam Jones. And I decided to write some vocalese lyrics to the great Cannonball Adderly solo.”
“Douce Ambiance” -- “I work with clarinetist Dan Levinson now and then, sometimes with Vince Giordano’s big band. On one gig, he played this great Django Reinhardt tune, and I cornered him and said, ‘What’s that song?’ No lyric, so I wrote my own, a kind of ‘noir’ Parisian romance gone wrong. I adore Gil’s accordion playing, and it suits this song so well.”
“Beautiful Love” -- “My first husband Don and I both loved the Bill Evans version of this tune. When I asked him to arrange it for me, his idea was to modulate to a different key mid-way through the song, as Bill Evans did in ‘The Days of Wine and Roses.’”
“What Can a Miracle Do” – “A Don Grolnick composition, with lyrics by the late Luther Vandross. Will Lee sang it on a Brecker Brothers recording. After Don died, I couldn’t believe how evocative it was of grief, and memory.”
“All the Things You Are” -- “Lee Musiker took the standard lick that musicians use as an intro to this classic and sprinkled it throughout the tune, and gave it some great minor harmonic moments. “