Clare Ascani | Until...

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Jazz: Jazz Vocals Jazz: Jazz-Pop Moods: Solo Female Artist
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Until...

by Clare Ascani

A 14-track debut CD reveals a voice with the sensuousness of a cello. There's hard swing and latin-jazz standards, plus a little Motown back-beat edge. Amazing musicians and uplifting arrangements will touch your heart and feed your soul.
Genre: Jazz: Jazz Vocals
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
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1. Throw It Away
4:17 $1.09
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2. Beautiful Things
3:22 $1.09
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3. Don't Look Back
2:58 $1.09
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4. I'd Rather Be By Myself Tonight
3:06 $1.09
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5. Baby Come Home
4:19 $1.09
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6. When Autumn Comes
3:57 $1.09
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7. Until...
2:53 $1.09
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8. Comes Love
2:53 $1.09
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9. After the Rain
3:49 $1.09
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10. My Favorite Things
4:04 $1.09
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11. Lullaby
3:11 $1.09
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12. When I Look in Your Eyes
3:15 $1.09
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13. Because I Told You So
3:34 $1.09
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14. Company
5:13 $1.09
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
The long 40+ year journey it's taken to do this debut CD feels like the song "Detour Ahead" -- perhaps I should have recorded that tune!....that will be for the next CD! Life has thrown a few detours in my path along the way, but I wouldn’t change one minute of the life I’ve experienced leading up to finishing this CD.

Music has been a part of my life since before I can remember. While growing up in a military family, music was the one constant in my life. The radio was almost always on, my mother would sing to us while getting us ready for bed, my father would be whistling a tune he'd just heard on the radio and putting some amazing spin on it, my sisters, brothers and I would harmonize in the acoustics of the bathroom…music just became an extension of my life. Singing just FELT so good to do. I listened to whatever albums I could get my hands on and, while transported into the swirl of the music, the chaos around me seemed to disappear. That’s when I knew I wanted to sing for the rest of my life.

So, I studied music and graduated with a Bachelor of Music, Performance degree. Then, like so many other aspiring singers, I scraped by and hustled to find ways to perform in as many local jazz clubs as I could, in regional theaters and recording commercial jingles. I'd started finding my own style during those many years of performing, but, by 1986, I was performing 6-7 nights a week and I ignored the vocal problems I was beginning to have. Since, that was the only way I was paying my rent, I just kept performing and just kept hoping my voice would recover every morning so I could sing the next evening. Eventually, it didn't recover. I lost my voice. I stopped getting hired on gigs. I had no backup. This forced me to have a professional assess the damage. I was told I had developed 4 vocal nodules and he wondered how I’d been able to perform as long as I had. He said I could either have the nodules surgically removed or I could stop talking for a couple of months and then begin vocal therapy exercises. I opted for the latter, but how was I going to pay rent? And, what I thought would be a short hiatus away from performing, lasted over 15 years.

My life took me through many roads and hard times...many day jobs and times of questioning and doubting myself about whether performing would ever be a part of my life again. But one thing I knew for sure is that all things happen for a reason, and my only option was to hope that it would all become clear to me one day.

During those 15+ years of detours, I lived through many rich experiences of loss, hope and hopelessness, loves and broken loves, confusion and small self-discoveries and victories, and I met many special individuals along the way who touched my heart and inspired me to keep my dream alive. Those years offered me the challenges that forged my metal, to recognize my true nature, and it gave me the time to discover and truly find myself. I know that all of those experiences made me who I am today and shaped what I love and how I sing today. So, when you listen to this CD, my hope is that you will hear these experiences in my voice, and, perhaps, recognize a part of yourself in one of these songs. I gave it my all, and I hope you can feel the life and the love I’ve put into this CD.

“Throw It Away” is a song of Abbey Lincoln’s that touched my heart. It kept me believing that the music would always be in my life and “keep your heart wide open, let the sun shine through, cuz you can never lose a thing, if it belongs to you.” “Beautiful Things” was introduced to me by Daniel May, the producer of this CD. As soon as I heard it, I burst into tears. The first line is “If once in your life you wished you were someone else…if once in your life you thought there was no way out…if once in your life you’d like to save yourself, realize, somehow there are beautiful things.” This pretty much sums up my life. It’s a beautiful song that will seep into your heart and maybe, just maybe, remind you that we are all beautiful in our own unique way. “Don’t Look Back” is an up-tempo Latin feel with which you will not be able to keep from tapping long. It reminds us “don’t look back; the past doesn’t matter now…” How can we argue with that? “I’d Rather Be By Myself Tonight” is a fun original composition by Daniel May and Lou Tracey that describes those times when you’ve just broken up with someone and you don’t feel like going to any parties or events…it just doesn’t feel the same without that special someone. You just need time to heal. In “Baby Come Home”, another original by Daniel May, he finds a fun way of how two lives can get crossed in the lines and what you think might be happening is not what actually is going on…and the choices and spots we get into by assuming anything. As soon as I saw the cut “When Autumn Comes”, I immediately got interested as fall is my favorite time of year. It’s all about the summer love that seems will last forever, but when fall comes along, life and lives take another course, and, each year, fall will always remind you of the summer love you had. When I heard Sting’s “Until…”, I had to sit and reflect. Sting is a master songwriter and always brings forth the most ethereal of stories. This track will make you feel like you are floating. “Comes Love” is a rousing hard swing track that you will want to nod “uh huh, that’s right…” because as much as we think we’ll never fall in love again, a face crosses our path and we have no control over falling in love again! I have loved Michel Legrand and Alan & Marilyn Bergman’s lyrics and music since I was a very young child. The combination of these lyrics and Michel’s music elicits how being feels as fresh as the air after a rain. Rogers and Hammerstein’s “My Favorite Things” is hit with a fast, Latin-funky feeling…just singing that song with that arrangement was one of my favorite things! Daniel May introduced me to “Lullaby” which had been sung by Chaka Khan. It was the kind of song my mother would have sung to us as she was putting us to bed. It’s sweet, and light, and helps you know that those dark shadows are really just angels watching over you. “When I Look In Your Eyes” once again takes on a hypnotic Latin-jazz feel. Haven’t you ever known that you are “home” once you look into your love’s eyes? It’s a beautiful arrangement that will brighten your day. Daniel also introduced me to a most amazing songwriter, Jonatha Brooke whose writing is unique and special. I have become a big fan of her work and fell in love with “Because I Told You So.” You will want to sing along as I did when I first heard it. And, finally, with “Company”, it is a song that was written by Rickie Lee Jones and Alfred Johnson off of one of her first albums in the 1970s. She’s someone with whom I wish I could sit and have dinner. “Company” is about that feeling you have like a phantom finger…your love is gone but you have imaginary conversations with them in your mind. It is haunting and, I felt, it was best to place at the end of the CD.

Now, I'd like to take a moment and write about the most amazing musicians you're going to hear, and the most incredible producer, arranger, and recording partner I was fortunate to have be a part of this CD. They are all, in their own right, master performers and they have produced many of their own CDs. First, my biggest thank you is to pianist, composer, arranger, recording master, Daniel May...I will be forever grateful and appreciative of his contribution to this CD! His special spirit lives within every single one of these arrangements, in the recordings, mixing, and mastering! This CD would not be in existence if it were not for him. His piano playing is as natural and as refreshing as air...so light, creative, and perfect. His musical brilliance kept me focused; his infectious humor and mischievousness kept me laughing; his words of encouragement kept me believing that I could actually do this CD and that I was on the right track. He pulled the “best” out of me – beyond what I thought I was capable of achieving. I love his original song, “Baby Come Home”, and that I could debut your new song “I’d Rather Be By Myself Tonight” that he wrote with Lou Tracey. Lou – is a lyric machine!
And to the musicians who left a little piece of their generous soul on this CD…Paul Thompson is so humble, but he is a monster bassist and truly a work of art. He plays from a cosmic, other-worldly place, and, although he has traveled all over the world and has played with the best of the best, he was still as giving on my CD as he was working with Stanley Turrentine. David Throckmorton is a force of nature on the drums. He kicked my ass!....as he does with everything and everyone! I was transported to a higher level of performance because of what he was laying down! He is so amazing. Eric Susoeff on guitar – what can I say? His own compositions and music is so important and alive. It was exciting to have him on the CD. He is so creative and solid in what he added to everything. Eric came into the studio and didn’t have much time, but he listened to what we were doing, and conquered it in one sitting! He couldn’t have been more perfect! David Bennett on cello – he reached into my soul and embraced it with his playing. I have wanted to have a cello on my CD since forever! So, David completed another one of my dreams! He played the cello as if it was an extension of his soul, and it is celestial! My heart melts every time I hear “Beautiful Things”, "Lullaby" and “Until…” He made them even more beautiful than the originals! Carolyn Perteete, on background vocals – from the first note I heard her sing live at an event at the August Wilson Center for African American Culture in Pittsburgh, PA, I knew I was hearing the epitome of a singer with a unique vision and sound, writing style, and a soulful jazz voice. I was in awe. Her own CD is also wonderful! The background vocals she laid down on this CD pulled it all together. All of these amazing musicians were so genuine in what they gave to this CD. I am thrilled and honored, and will be forever grateful to all of them for sharing their talent with me! How did I get so lucky?

With all the opportunities to listen to so much music that's out there today, I appreciate you taking a moment to "tune in" to my little corner of the musical universe and listen to this CD. And, I hope you enjoy it.

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