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Solitaire Miles - Melancholy Lullaby (2011)
Artist: Solitaire Miles
Title Of Album: Melancholy Lullaby
Year Of Release: 2011
Genre: Jazz, Vocal Jazz
Bitrate: 320 kbps
Total Time: 57:43 Min
Total Size: 139 Mb
1. The Night Wind
2. How Little We Know
4. Stars Fell On Alabama
5. Darn That Dream
6. I Found A New Baby
7. I'm Getting Sentimental Over You
8. Baby What Else Can I Do?
10. Softy As In A Morning Sunrise
11. September In A Rain
12. Melancholy Lullaby
13. Out Of Nowhere
14. Me And The Moon
15. Blue Skies
“The memory of things gone is important to a jazz musician. Things like old folks singing in the moonlight in the back yard on a hot night or something said long ago.” (Louis Armstrong)
I’ve spent most of my life listening to old swing and early jazz so this album is a compilation of popular American standards and also some lesser known songs that I’ve cherished over many years. Each selection is a discovery that I made along my musical journey, and some are abandoned melodies that I felt needed to be resurrected and restored. The project began in 2005 with countless happy hours spent hunting through stacks of ancient sheet music in the “Old Pop’s” collection at Chicago’s Harold Washington Library. It was a challenge to find some of these disregarded tunes like “Baby What Else Can I do” or “Say it with a Kiss” because they had only been recorded and released back in the 1930’s and 40’s, but the music librarians enjoyed the challenge and never failed to find any song that I asked for. After holding two public fundraisers to help pay for this project, I was able to record around 35 songs over several sessions with different groups of musicians in Chicago between 2008-11. Many of those songs appeared on my most recent album “Born to Be Blue, so these two albums are like sisters, similar in composition and tone, and I have tried to keep a common theme running between them.
In 2011, I began recording the vocals using a vintage AEA Ribbon microphone, which gave my singing an old fashioned sound that I thought was more appropriate for this type of material. Legendary singers like Billie Holiday, Frank Sinatra and Peggy Lee all recorded on Ribbons, and I hope I was able to capture a smooth and smoky feeling similar to early jazz and swing styling. Very old tunes like “The Night Wind” which hasn’t been recorded since vocalist Helen Ward laid it out with Benny Goodman in 1935, and “Melancholy Lullaby” which was recorded by Peggy Lee early on in her career, are complimented by the Ribbon’s dark, velvety sound, giving a more authentic feeling to these erstwhile songs. People ask me why I like to record older or more uncommon tunes and I’m not sure. Maybe it’s the antiquated lyrics or that they’re not performed very often, but I hope that I’ve been able to breathe some life back into these overlooked moments of the past. I think of myself as a music historian as well as a performer and so I’m very pleased to present a new recording from the late swing violinist Johnny Frigo and his accompanist and long time friend Joe Vito.
Taken from my first recording session in 1996, this version of “I’m Getting Sentimental Over You” was never released because of technical problems. It was difficult to edit tape in those days, but with modern digital processing, my engineers were able to get the sound from the old tape to match the clarity of my new digital recordings, allowing us to present a new song from these late, beloved players. I am so happy to be able to revive this unreleased gem and include it with these other tunes. This project is a mixture of material from several sessions recorded in three different studios over the course of 16 years, but the glue that holds it all together is the fine playing by the talented musicians involved and our passion for the material. I hope you enjoy this musical excursion as much as I enjoyed living it.
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