Brettina | Brettina

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United States - California - LA

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Jazz: Jazz Vocals Spiritual: Contemporary Gospel Moods: Solo Female Artist
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by Brettina

This jazz debut features Brettina's fantastic voice, her heartfelt songwriting, outstanding backing musicians, an organic jazz sound, and hints of the singer-songwriter's Bahamian homeland.
Genre: Jazz: Jazz Vocals
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Paradise
6:02 $0.99
2. Bahamian Girl
4:51 $0.99
3. The Bug
5:09 $0.99
4. Serafina
4:37 $0.99
5. Poor Old Times
6:31 $0.99
6. Chai
4:23 $0.99
7. My Time to Shine
6:08 $0.99
8. Pardon the Storm
4:54 $0.99
9. Island in the Sun
3:32 $0.99
10. One
6:19 $0.99
11. Serafina (bonus track with strings)
4:40 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Everyone who has heard the music on the newly-released jazz CD Brettina is excited. Singer-songwriter Brettina recorded these jazz originals with live musicians, featuring production by Tracy Carter, with additional production by Laval Belle.

Brettina writes and sings from her heart. She is a native of the Bahamas, and her music mixes the tradition of the islands with influences such as Nancy Wilson, Sarah Vaughan, and Shirley Horn, creating her own organic jazz sound.

Brettina grew up in a show business family. Her mother is the gospel singer Leona Coakley-Spring. Her uncles are Theophilus "T" Coakley and Kirkwood Coakley of the funk, disco, and R&B band T‑Connection. Others in her family are actors and musicians too. She was destined for a show business career.

She was born in the Bahamas in Nassau, the capital city. She began singing in early childhood. She spent several years of her childhood in Chicago, where she continued singing, acted in local theater, and appeared in national television commercials.

Her mother brought her and her brothers back to the Bahamas during her school years, to make sure she didn't lose touch with her island-nation homeland. After a brief struggle to adapt to the strict school discipline, she thrived, regained her Bahamian accent, and won the Miss Bahamas Talented Teen competition.

Her family returned to the United States before she finished school, settling in Seattle, where she made the transition back to US school culture. She continued her education at the University of Washington, where she studied cross-cultural communications and arts.

For some years she was unable to visit the Bahamas, and over time she lost her accent. She became homesick, which was the inspiration for several of her songs.

She moved to the Los Angeles area to pursue an entertainment career. She is a jazz singer, performing mainly in Los Angeles and Seattle. As an actor, she has performed in television advertisements. With her exotic beauty, she has also worked as a print model.

With her birthplace, years of school, and family in the Bahamas, it feels like home. With her years in Seattle, and many family and friends there, that feels like home too. And living in metropolitan Los Angeles, that's home now. With that background, maybe it's best if she calls all three places "home".

There are ten songs on the CD:

1. "Paradise" was written by Brettina's uncle Theophilus "T" Coakley, and recorded in the 1980s by his band T-Connection. This version transforms the song into a pure jazz arrangement. "T" likes this recording as well as his own band's version.

2. "Bahamian Girl" is a Brettina original. (Producer Tracy Carter contributed to the music.) It has her catchy lyrics, hints of the Caribbean in the steel drums and lively percussion, and great backing vocals. Brettina recorded it when she was homesick for the Bahamas; it is her tribute to her native country.

3. "The Bug" is a Brettina original, about the urge to make music, in spite of the frustrations of pursuing a creative career. Although it's about her pursuit of a musical career, it should stir feelings in anyone who has felt the compulsion to be creative in any art.

4. "Serafina" is a Brettina original. (Darrel Austin contributed a section of the music.) It tells the story of a woman who wants to be loved. The heart of the song is Brettina's vocal performance, but the guitar work by "Jubu" Smith is outstanding too.

5. "Poor Old Times" is a Brettina original, inspired by her childhood. She grew up poor, and didn't realize until years later that her mother had shielded her and her brothers from awareness of how poor they were. It can be a real tear-jerker.

6. "Chai" is a writing collaboration by Brettina, producer-pianist Tracy Carter, singer-songwriter Ava Monroe, and drummer Jerohn Garnett. It has a lively sound and lyrics that sound suggestive unless one listens carefully. It was one of the last songs written for the CD, and was inspired by the drink that helped keep Brettina going through the CD's production. It's clever and fun.

7. "My Time to Shine" was written for Brettina by her uncle Kirkwood Coakley (of T-Connection). He knows her well, and clearly understood her feelings about her desire to make it as a performer when he wrote the song. It has a lively instrumentation including Rhodes piano, B3 organ, Kirkwood on bass, more great "Jubu" guitar, and saxophone by Gerald Albright.

8. "Pardon the Storm" is a Brettina original, a jazz song with gospel lyrics. Believers should find inspiration in the lyrics. Even non-believers should appreciate the performances and heartfelt sound of the song.

9. "Island in the Sun" is a cover of the 1950s Harry Belafonte classic, but Brettina transforms the song with her beautiful voice and this sparkling arrangement.

10. "One" is a writing collaboration by Brettina, producer-pianist Tracy Carter, and Zimbabwe-born vocalist Wanda Xulu. The song is an ode to world peace. Some of the lyrics are in Zulu: Mashilanganeni means, "Let us be united." Sibemunye means, "Be as one."

11. The bonus track is a version of "Serafina" with added strings by Mark Cargill. The song is beautiful in both versions, but this bonus track allows the listener to choose to hear it either way.

The players:

Brettina: lead vocals, all songs; background vocals, "Paradise", "Bahamian Girl", "The Bug", "Chai"; arrangement, "Serafina".
Tracy Carter: producer, all except "Island in the Sun"; arrangements, all except "Paradise", "My Time to Shine", "Island in the Sun"; piano, all except "Bahamian Girl", "My Time to Shine"; keys, "Paradise", "Bahamian Girl"; percussion, "Paradise", "Serafina", "Poor Old Times", "My Time to Shine", "One"; Rhodes, "Chai", "My Time to Shine"; B3, "My Time to Shine"; background vocals, "Chai", "My Time to Shine"; choir, "One".
Laval Belle: producer, "Island in the Sun"; arrangement, "Paradise", "Serafina", "Island in the Sun"; drums, "Paradise", "Serafina", "Island in the Sun".
Jerohn Garnett: co-producer, "Chai", arrangement, "Chai"; drums, all except "Paradise", "Serafina", "Island in the Sun"; percussion, "Chai"; choir, "One".
Kirkwood Coakley: arrangement, "My Time to Shine", bass, "My Time to Shine".
Theophilus Coakley: keys, "Island in the Sun".
Dale Black Jr.: bass, all except "My Time to Shine", "Island in the Sun".
John "Jubu" Smith: guitar, "Bahamian Girl", "The Bug", "Serafina", "Poor Old Times", "Chai", "My Time to Shine", "One".
Munyungo Jackson: percussion, "Bahamian Girl", "Island in the Sun".
Mark Cargill: strings, "Serafina" (bonus track version), "Pardon the Storm", "One".
Dontae Winslow: trumpet, "Poor Old Times".
Donald Hayes: saxophone, "Paradise", "Chai".
Gerald Albright: saxophone, "My Time to Shine".
Toni Scruggs: background vocals, "Paradise", "Bahamian Girl".
Ava Monroe Garnett: background vocals, "Bahamian Girl", "The Bug", "Chai"; choir, "One".
Wanda Xulu: background vocals, "One"; choir, "One".



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