Amy Lee | Use Me

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Amy Lee Official Website "Use Me" live video MySpace page Nexhit Tradebit MusicIsHere PayPlay Apple iTunes Bitmunk GreatIndieMusic GroupieTunes

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Jazz: Smooth Jazz Urban/R&B: R&B Pop Crossover Moods: Featuring Saxophone
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Use Me

by Amy Lee

Smooth Jazz / R&B / Funk / Reggae
Genre: Jazz: Smooth Jazz
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
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1. Use Me
6:24 $0.99
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2. Across The Water
4:23 $0.99
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3. Coming Home
3:43 $0.99
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4. In The Sun
4:09 $0.99
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5. Traz Da Lua
3:59 $0.99
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6. Why You Wanna
4:30 $0.99
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7. More To Love
3:42 $0.99
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8. One and One Makes Three
3:29 $0.99
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9. Brite Eyes
5:39 $0.99
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10. Too Shy To Say
5:00 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Jazz saxophonist, composer and arranger Amy Lee has been on the national/international music scene since 1990. Her newly released solo CD titled USE ME (PPM 2004) marks her 2nd solo album and contains 7 original compositions and 3 covers including Bill Withers' Use Me as well as Stevie Wonder's Too Shy To Say. USE ME is filled with feel-good songs and soulful soloing that is unique to today's "Smooth Jazz" monotony. That's because Amy's years playing with Charles Neville of the Neville Brothers and Jimmy Buffett have brought to her palette a distinctive blend of jazz, funk and storytelling which is undeniably weaved into her music and playing. Producer/engineer Steve Schwartzberg also brings his pop/R&B skills to the project having worked with such artists as Toni Braxton, TLC, and Boyz II Men. The accomplished musicians backing Amy on USE ME have recorded with hundreds of artists including Earth, Wind & Fire, Steely Dan, Marvin Gaye, Luther Vandross, David Sanborn, Kenny G, the Temptations, Quincy Jones, George Benson, David Bowie and Stevie Wonder. The resulting instrumental jazz-pop-soul mix on USE ME is incredibly fresh and fun.

Amy Lee was born in North Adams, Massachusetts but left the New England cold to study music at the University of Miami. She became a fulltime Southerner residing in Atlanta, immersing herself into the city's budding music scene. A multitalented sax player, studio musician, composer and arranger, Amy has worked extensively with Charles Neville and Jimmy Buffett, and played as well with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, James Taylor and Joni Mitchell to name a few.

Her debut indie CD Inside the Outside showcased her diverse musical talents as a player and writer. The album brings the listener into the realms of Amy's writing styles and playing, featuring songs ranging from contemporary and straight-ahead jazz to R&B. Her soulful "voice" is interspersed with her unique soloing and writing styles. "I'm somewhat of a chameleon, catering to the different styles of songs I write. I have so much music in me! If I write a modal straight ahead tune, I play in that style, like something Wayne Shorter might play. If I write a funk pop tune I play for that style. I love artists Stevie Wonder and Luther Vandross so I write R&B tunes with them in mind."

Her sound is unlike any other's - she has her own sound, her own voice and identity. She is not a copycat soloist. Pop, R&B, soul and jazz were all musical influences on Amy, who grew up in a household filled with the radio playing all day long. "When I was a child, my mom didn't have the TV on. She played the radio. Both of my parents aren't musicians themselves but they wanted their children to learn an instrument and this was possible thanks to the music programs available in public schools." Amy started playing sax at age 10. She went through the music system playing in concert band, jazz band and marching band through high school. She became a professional musician at age 16, joining the local musician's union and playing in big bands in North Adams. She won various district and state competitions through the school system.

After high school it was a given Amy would study music in college. "Music was the only thing I did. Fortunately I did have good grades and the talent so I was awarded a music scholarship to study at the University of Miami. It's an extremely expensive school. I paid for that education on my own and worked 2 jobs while going to school while also playing in an off campus funk band. It was hard work but it made me realize I can do anything. I learned a lot of street smarts while living in Miami and playing in areas like Liberty City!"

Upon graduation Amy moved to Atlanta. She played everywhere and anywhere she could, even on the streets. It wasn't long before she connected with Charles Neville of the Neville Brothers and began playing and arranging for his jazz group Diversity for the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. "I played with Charles at Jazz Fest for six years. It was through him that I met and sat in with Jimmy Buffett. I continued to play with Charles for five more years while also touring with Jimmy. New Orleans was like my second home."

Amy became a member of Buffett's band in 1991 and to date is still touring as a Coral Reefer. "My first year I was the only horn player with Jimmy. In '92 he put another sax and trumpet player with me and made me the leader/arranger for the section. In '93 Jimmy was putting together a sampler CD of various artists for his newly created record label, Margaritaville Records. He asked me to write something for the CD and I wrote a reggae tune called 'Sugartown Shakedown.' Also in that year I opened Jimmy's show for the whole touring season performing that tune with the Coral Reefer Band backing me. That was an incredible experience!" Amy soon became a co-writer with Buffett writing "Fruitcakes," "Delaney Talks to Statues" along with Mac McAnally and "Bob Robert's Society Band."

"Working with Jimmy has been an incredible learning experience. A lot of his music is simple story telling. As a soloist I've learned to keep it simple and have patience. You can't go throwing in the hottest licks just to prove a point. You have to create a marriage of your solo to his music. It has to make sense and complete his story and you may only have four bars to do it in so you better make it fit. Arranging for his music has been a blast. He is so diverse in his styles that one chart may dictate something like old-style R&B Memphis Horns and another may be for a salsa Cuban horn section. It was maybe through the years working with Jimmy that I decided to put out my first CD filled with many styles of jazz. There's a little bit of everything on Inside the Outside ."

After Amy's debut indie release she continued to work with Buffett. "I tried to shop my CD but heard it was too straight-ahead or too smooth from the various labels. Of course, the beauty of doing an indie is that you can do whatever you want and not have a label dictate your voice. But I did find it to be hard to shop and even get distribution unfortunately."

Amy's disc remains independent and is not available in stores but only online via her site AmyLeeSax.com as well as CD Baby and Amazon. "The Internet is a wonderful resource and I have sold internationally. But with my 2nd solo album Use Me I am shooting for top!" Amy, a renaissance woman working in a typically male dominated field, knows her history whenever someone states how unusual it is for a female to play sax. "Women have been playing sax for decades! Look at all the wartime big bands for instance and the various artists out today! Sure it's difficult to prove yourself in the majors unfortunately. But hey, it's for everybody, male or female in this business!"

What Amy says about the look and sounds of her 2nd solo release Use Me : "With this project I am not stopping at anything - from the look, to the music. I used some incredible musicians and am extremely excited about this CD." Drummer Sonny Emory, percussionist Ralph MacDonald, bassist Ronnie Garrett, keyboardist Darrell Smith, tambourine player Jack Ashford, and guitarist John Raymond all play on the release, along with some of her band mates from the Coral Reefer Band, bassist Jim Mayer, guitarist Peter Mayer and drummer Roger Guth. "I have some of the best of the best playing on this CD, from Earth Wind and Fire's drummer to Kenny G's guitarist to Motown's tambourine player."

Amy muses about the title track, Use Me , and the look of her 2nd release. "I covered Bill Withers' tune and it is so funky and happening I wanted to make it the title of the CD." Coupled with the look of the cover and insert, it radiates sex appeal. "All my life I've struggled with the fact of trying to get people to hear me as a sax player and not make a quick judgment just by the way I look. With my first solo release I was rebelling over that whole thing, so I deliberately wore a tie dyed Tee shirt and had no makeup on. It finally dawned on me, I am who I am and I will show the world with pride that women can do anything, be anything and look however they want to. This time I'm presenting my feminine side. I'm not covering up my physique or the fact that I am a woman. I had an absolute ball participating in a real photo shoot and getting the look I wanted. I had a lot of fun making this CD and unmasking the image...to show the world that yes this woman can really play the sax!"



Amy Lee
Resume


SOLO CD RELEASES
Use Me - Amy Lee
Publick Ptomaine Music 2004
Inside the Outside - Amy Lee
Publick Ptomaine Music 1999


RECORDED/PUBLISHED MUSICAL COMPOSITIONS
"Brite Eyes" - Amy Lee
Use Me Publick Ptomaine Music 2004
"Coming Home" - Amy Lee
Use Me Publick Ptomaine Music 2004
"In The Sun" - Amy Lee
Use Me Publick Ptomaine Music 2004
"More To Love" - Amy Lee
Use Me Publick Ptomaine Music 2004
"Traz Da Lua" - Amy Lee
Use Me Publick Ptomaine Music 2004
"Why You Wanna" - Amy Lee
Use Me Publick Ptomaine Music 2004
"Behind the Moon" - Amy Lee
Inside the Outside Publick Ptomaine Music 1999
Oasis Jazz Sampler Oasis Records 1999
"Consider This" - Amy Lee
Inside the Outside Publick Ptomaine Music 1999
"In a Memory" - Amy Lee
Inside the Outside Publick Ptomaine Music 1999
"Inside the Outside" - Amy Lee
Inside the Outside Publick Ptomaine Music 1999
"Little Tortoise Shell" - Amy Lee
Inside the Outside Publick Ptomaine Music 1999
"Lonely Summerwinds" - Amy Lee
Inside the Outside Publick Ptomaine Music 1999
"Our Song" - Amy Lee
Inside the Outside Publick Ptomaine Music 1999
"UD1000N" - Amy Lee
Inside the Outside Publick Ptomaine Music 1999
"Zo Zo" - Amy Lee
Inside the Outside Publick Ptomaine Music 1999
"Bob Robert's Society Band" - Jimmy Buffett, Amy Lee
Banana Wind Margaritaville/MCA Records '94 - Certified Platinum
Meet Me in Margaritaville Margaritaville/MCA Records '94 - Certified Multi-Platinum
"Delaney Talks to Statues" - Jimmy Buffett, Mac McAnally, Amy Lee
Fruitcakes Margaritaville/MCA Records '94 - Certified Platinum
Parakeet Album Margaritaville/MCA Records '96
"Fruitcakes" - Jimmy Buffett, Amy Lee
Fruitcakes Margaritaville/MCA Records '94 - Certified Platinum
Great Summertime Fun with Jimmy Buffett Target Records '99
Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays Mailboat Records 2000 - Certified Gold
Meet Me in Margaritaville Margaritaville/MCA Records '94 - Certified Multi-Platinum
"Sugartown Shakedown" - Amy Lee
Margaritaville Café Late Night Menu Margaritaville/MCA Records '93



CDs PERFORMING ON
Meet Me at Margaritaville - Jimmy Buffett
UTV/MCA/Mailboat Records 2003
Far Side of the World - Jimmy Buffett
Mailboat Records 2002
Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays - Jimmy Buffett
Mailboat Records 2002
Someone to Lean On - Luther Barnes and the Red Budd Gospel Choir
Atlanta International Records '99
Calaloo - Jimmy Buffett
Margaritaville/Island Records '99
Memorable Moments - Richard Smallwood
Sparrow Records '99
Beach House on the Moon - Jimmy Buffett
Margaritaville/Island Records '99
Oasis Jazz CD Sampler - "Behind the Moon" - Amy Lee
Oasis Records '99
Don't Stop the Carnival - Jimmy Buffett
Margaritaville/Island Records '98
Christmas Island - Jimmy Buffett
Margaritaville/MCA Records '96
Banana Wind - Jimmy Buffett
Margaritaville/MCA Records '96
A Live Celebration - Luther Barnes and the Sunset Jubilaries
Atlanta International Records '95
Barometer Soup - Jimmy Buffett
Margaritaville/MCA Records '95
Fruitcakes - Jimmy Buffett
Margaritaville/MCA Records '94
Fruitcakes - Jimmy Buffett
Margaritaville/MCA Records '94
Nothing Can Be Better - Luther Barnes and the Sunset Jubilaries
Atlanta International Records '93
Y'all So Stupid - Van Full of Pakistans
Rowdy/Arista Records '93
Margaritaville Café Late Night Menu - Various Artists
Margaritaville/MCA Records '93
Portrait - Richard Smallwood Singers
Word Inc./A&M Records '90



TELEVISION
Performing with Jimmy Buffett & the Coral Reefer Band
NBC -The Tonight Show with Jay Leno '94, '95, '99, '02, '03; The Today Show '94, '97, '99, '04; The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson '92
CBS -The Late Show with David Letterman '94 & '96
ABC -In Concert (Syndication) '94
A&E -Best of In Concert '94
Showtime -Hurricane Relief Benefit Concert '92

Other performances:
BET -History of Afro-American Music
Performing with Charles Neville & Diversity Syndication '91
International -JVC Corp. Compilation of New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival
Performing with Charles Neville & Diversity - Japanese Syndication '90



MUSIC VIDEOS
"Hey Good Lookin" - Jimmy Buffett & the Coral Reefer Band
Mailboat Records/MCA '04
"It's Five O'Clock Somewhere" - Alan Jackson with Jimmy Buffett & the Coral Reefer Band
Arista Records '03
"Another Saturday Night"- Jimmy Buffett & the Coral Reefer Band
Margaritaville/MCA '93
"Let The Good Times Roll - A Film About The Roots of American Music" - Performing with Charles Neville & Diversity and Jimmy Buffett
Island Visual Arts/Polygram '92
_____
REVIEW
From http://www.allaboutjazz.com/php/article.php?id=14860

Use Me
Amy Lee | Publick Ptomaine Music

With Use Me , Decatur, Georgia-based multi instrumentalist Amy Lee presents a collection of ten tunes that further solidify a connection between contemporary "light" jazz and R&B/soul/funk. Her new recording has all of the hallmarks that identify her music with the popular jazz style-very precise production with multiple layers of electronically and acoustically generated sounds; tight, funky bass lines and other rhythm tracks that lock in a solid groove; and Lee's saxophone, full of soulful sounds inspired by the vocal inflections and styling of great blues and soul singers.

A further connection to her music as "instrumental soul," however, is perhaps best exemplified in that her repertoire draws directly upon two great sources of 1970s R&B/soul, Bill Withers and Stevie Wonder. The title cut is Lee's instrumental cover of the classic song "Use Me," recorded by Withers in 1972. She does a formidable job here covering the melody-so much so that you can almost hear her sax "singing" Withers' lyrics. Like a bookend, Lee chooses to close her recording with Stevie Wonder's "Too Shy to Stay." Her version is quite interesting and innovative, with the accompaniment of pedal steel guitar, which gives a haunting background to Lee's delicate yet throaty tenor saxophone.

Amy Lee is also a creative composer, having written six of the tunes on Use Me . Of the six, one tune that stands apart from the others is the bossa nova "Traz Da Lua." Sung in Portuguese by vocalist Alice Genereux, the piece has that romantic yet genteel, laid back, cool-as-an-evening-breeze approach that makes us fond of Brazilian music. Lee's flute solo, albeit brief, and her instrumental comments behind the vocals certainly continue the smooth, mellow vibe brought on by this tune. The Jamaican reggae rhythm-inspired piece "Brite Eyes" is also one that stands out to this listener. Lee also demonstrates her talents as a multi-instrumentalist, playing three different saxophones and trombone on the tune.

Amy Lee's Use Me is recommended for listeners who enjoy the funky yet smooth sounds of contemporary "light" jazz.

~Craig W. Hurst

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