Sydney Ellis | Ask A Woman Who Knows

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Sydney Ellis

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United States - Ohio

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Blues: Jazzy Blues Jazz: Jazz Vocals Moods: Solo Female Artist
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Ask A Woman Who Knows

by Sydney Ellis

Slow and slower Jazz and Blues Ballads- you'll forget to breathe.
Genre: Blues: Jazzy Blues
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. This Bitter Earth
5:56 album only
2. In The Dark
5:09 album only
3. Ask A Woman Who Knows
4:40 album only
4. Don't Explain
7:57 album only
5. Willow Weep For Me
4:59 album only
6. Lover Man Oh Where Can You Be
5:12 album only
7. Teach Me Tonight
5:02 album only
8. Another You
5:03 album only
9. You Don't Know What Love Is
5:15 album only
10. Nobody's Fool
9:01 album only


Album Notes
"Ask A Woman Who Knows", is Sydney's third recording project. As with the prior projects, this one had a very specific objective - concept in mind. Having heard what Sydney and Hollis could do live with a slow ballad, Kevin suggested that a ballads-torch song album be recorded. To bring out the best in songs like these you need two things above anything else. One, a singer who can sing. Two, a soloist who knows how to play a melody line as though he were singing. With Sydney and Hollis, Kevin saw both of these qualities. "Ask A Woman Who Knows", is a collection of some the best Blues and Jazz ballads, Jazz standards ever recorded. Drawing from singers; Dinah Washington, Billie Holiday, Lou Rawls, Nina Simone, and Ann Rabson this CD represents some of Sydney's and Hollis' best recordings and performances. Sydney and Kevin spent months developing and working on the phrasing for Sydney.

The tempos of each song were set based on ease and impact of Sydney's singing. Arrangements were kept simple and to the point. The point being the words and the meaning in each song focusing on melody line, soulfulness in Sydney's tone, the dramatic use of space and timing to accent and impact the melody line and words. Hollis' intros and solos were in the same vain as though he were a second singer on the project.

The rhythm section was arranged as to support without crowding Sydney or Hollis, chord voicing was arranged to support and enhance the melody line. Perhaps the hardest part of this project was developing a groove and bounce to some of the songs where in the source recording there was none. All the songs have a 12/8 feel in varying tempos.

"This Bitter Earth", source recording Lou Rawls. Expression with tone and timber. This is what defines a singer as a "Singer's Singer", Sydney shows ample talent and ability
in the very first number.

"In The Dark", source Nina Simone. This is a very old Lil Green Blues song. It has a very subtle drive to the groove. If you are used to being pounded on by grooves you might miss it all together.

"Ask A Woman Who Knows", the intro and solo is Hollis perhaps defining what a tenor sax should sound like. Sydney, again shows her ability to sustain a note, to accent with tone and phrasing rather than volume.

"Don't Explain", Billie Holiday's incredibly sad song. This is the slowest song on the CD at about 40 bpm. It is easy to over look how difficult it is for a rhythm section to play this slow, and when you consider that this CD was recorded live in the studio in eight hours you can begin to appreciate how "On it" everyone was that day. There are times in this song where all you hear is the sustained bass note and then a back beat. Hollis' solo brings the feeling of the words in this song out like no other tenor player could. Sydney, once again through tone and phrasing will have you in tears by the time the song is over.

"Willow Weep For Me", this Dinah Washington song, though you may not recognize it with a groove, may have been the most challenging number to convert to this CD's concept. Joe Voelker handles the solo on piano and does a tremendous job.

"Lover Man Oh Where Can You Be", this Billie Holiday song sounds like it was written for Sydney. Sydney does the intro rebato and a'capella, and it would be almost impossible to imagine a singer bringing out the feeling better than Sydney does. Hollis' solo shows his versatility in soloing on a Jazz song.

"Teach Me Tonight", this Jazz standard is a song Sydney has been singing for years. It is also the number on this CD where Sydney hammers some of the notes and shows how big her voice can be, but still maintains that discipline that is required to be a singer of her caliber.

"Another You", source song Ann Rabson. Ann is one of Sydney's true inspirations and is a friend.

This slow Blues song gives Sydney the opportunity to demonstrate her true Blues singing ability. Sophisticated and subtle, this is a beautiful and sad song.

"You Don't Know What Love Is", source song by Dinah Washington. This was perhaps the most difficult melody on the CD for Sydney to sing, but Sydney makes it sound easy. Again, Hollis' solo show his ability to handle a Jazz melody impeccably.

"Nobody's Fool", source song Ann Rabson as part of Saffire. This satirical Blues tune is about life and love and allows Sydney to sing with "Attitude and disdain" as she lectures her resolve to an ex-mate. Solos are Joe on piano and Hollis on tenor.

If you would like a CD that you can slow dance to with your partner, or listen to on head phones. If you need a CD that is for crying yourself to sleep with because of lost love. If you like music with extraordinary live performances. Then you may want to consider this CD.

For Booking Information contact:
Kevin Post at Sydney Ellis Management



to write a review

Martin Barysch

This CD is fantastic!