Jazz and Bossa Radio

Jazz and Bossa Radio
Jazz and Bossa Radio

sábado, 12 de marzo de 2011

Jazz and Bossa Artist of the Week (march 13 - 19) - Suzane Pittson

Jazz and Bossa Artist of the Week (march 13 - 19) - Suzane Pittson


“When you listen to the lovely Ms. Suzanne Pittson, you are being made
privy to the artistry of someone who is setting the pace and creating new
standards for those who follow and dare to call themselves ʻjazz
singers.ʼ” — Buster Williams, bassist
recent recording, released on August 24, 2010, takes jazz vocals to a new level. While this recording demonstrates a perfect marriage of Hubbardʼs music and Suzanneʼs
lyrics, it also showcases her amazing skill as an improvising jazz musician, with an
astonishing technical facility, beautiful tone and phrasing, and unrelenting swing.
Suzanne was born into a musical family, and began piano lessons at age 8 with John
Hiersoux, a student of a student of Franz Liszt. Though she played classical music, her family listened to jazz day and night. When she was very young, she performed a
Schumann piece for Erroll Garner, a friend of the family, and he reciprocated by playing “Misty” on her piano at her request! Witnessing the creative freedom of this genius at an early age, no doubt instilled a profound curiosity of this magnificent art form.

Suzanne first fell in love with the music of the great trumpeter Freddie Hubbard while still in high school. She went on to complete a Bachelor of Music and Master of Arts in music as a classical pianist at San Francisco State University, where she performed as soloist and accompanist, and in various chamber ensembles. While in graduate school, she also began to study jazz. With years of piano training under her belt, she set out to explore the music of the modern horn players, transcribing and singing their solos.

Hubbardʼs unique harmonic language was of particular interest, and she determined to
use it as a model for her own developing vocal improvisations.
In June of 2008, Suzanne and her husband, pianist Jeff Pittson, visited Freddie at the Iridium Jazz Club in New York City to seek permission to record original lyrics to some of his compositions. While he was initially flattered, Freddie was not confident that a vocalist could sing his complex compositions and he requested a demo. Upon hearing the demo, Freddie enthusiastically approved the lyrics to five of his compositions, stating that he was very pleased and looked forward to hearing the recording. Ms. Pittson has expressed that the making of this CD with Freddieʼs blessing was indeed a great honor and privilege.

“Out of the Hub: The Music of Freddie Hubbard” features some of the most dynamic
jazz musicians on the New York City scene today. Along with Suzanne on vocals, the
recording features Jeremy Pelt on trumpet, Steve Wilson on alto and soprano
saxophone, Jeff Pittson on piano, John Patitucci on bass and Willie Jones III on
drums, with stunning arrangements by Jeff Pittson. The lyrics were a collective
collaboration between Suzanne, Jeff and their son Evan, who also created the cover
illustration and CD graphics. All of the original lyrics express ideas about life, music, love, joy, suffering, and fantasy, but always seek to find hope in the midst of crisis. The two vocalese lyrics on “Lament for Booker (Bright Sun) and “Crisis” (Weʼre Having a Crisis) - set to Freddieʼs trumpet solos - are narratives based on their respective titles.

“Lament for Booker” expresses praise and admiration for the great trumpeter Booker
Little, who died at the age of 23, and the vocalese shows appreciation for the jazz
legacy that our predecessors have helped to create. “Crisis” is an urgent cry for
dialogue between people and cultures in order to resolve our world crisis.
“Out of the Hub: The Music of Freddie Hubbard” was recorded by Mike Marciano on
August 26 & 27, 2008 at Systems Two in Brooklyn, New York and was mixed and
mastered by Mike Marciano in April, 2009.

Suzanne Pittson is an exuberant, engaging and experienced performer. She has
performed in the US and Europe at such major venues as Yoshiʼs, Birdland, Catalina
Bar and Grill, Town Hall, Symphony Space, Aaron Davis Hall, Cornelia Street Cafe,
Enzoʼs Jazz, and has performed and/or recorded with John Patitucci, Buster Williams,
Dave Liebman, Shunzo Ohno, Mike Clark, Steve Wilson, Jeremy Pelt, Mark Soskin,
Jack Walrath, Chip Jackson, Harvie S, and others. Ms. Pittsonʼs first recording, Blues
and the Abstract Truth won strong praise from critics. Then in 1997, she set original
lyrics to all four movements of John Coltraneʼs seminal work, “A Love Supreme,” which
she then recorded in 1999 on her second CD, Resolution: A Remembrance of John
Coltrane. She is thus far the only vocalist to have sung the entire “A Love Supreme,” as noted in Ashley Kahnʼs book, “A Love Supreme: The Story of John Coltraneʼs Signature Album.”

Ms. Pittson is Assistant Professor of Jazz Vocal Studies at the City College of New York, and lives in Dobbs Ferry, NY with her husband Jeff and son Evan.

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