Kiki Ebsen | Scarecrow Sessions

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Jazz: Jazz Vocals Jazz: Mainstream Jazz Moods: Type: Vocal
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Scarecrow Sessions

by Kiki Ebsen

Dedicated to her father, Buddy Ebsen, this elegant new record from singer Kiki Ebsen includes songs from her dad's early life and career in as a vaudevillian in New York City and the Golden Age of Hollywood.
Genre: Jazz: Jazz Vocals
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. You Don't Know What Love Is
4:44 album only
2. If I Only Had a Brain
5:40 album only
3. Missing You
2:59 album only
4. Moon River
4:11 album only
5. Comes Love
3:00 album only
6. Tea for Two
3:10 album only
7. At the Codfish Ball
2:01 album only
8. Laura
4:14 album only
9. Easy to Love
2:43 album only
10. Prelude
0:49 album only
11. St Louis Blues
4:54 album only
12. Over the Rainbow
4:28 album only


Album Notes
“When she sings, the power of her vocals conveying the lyrics is mesmerizing... 
Basically she was born to be on stage–somewhere, anywhere, everywhere.” 
Dawn Lee Wakefield,

“My father always wanted me to perform the jazz classics, but I had strong musical opinions and other roads to travel,” says Kiki Ebsen with a wry smile as she reflects on her father, Buddy Ebsen, who passed away in 2003. Kiki has enjoyed an impressive career as a singer, keyboardist and songwriter, working with some of the best in the business including Christopher Cross, Al Jarreau, Boz Scaggs and Tracy Chapman.

This fall Kiki honors her father’s request with the national release of her first jazz vocal album, Scarecrow Sessions. This heartfelt project was completed as a gift to her dad for Father’s Day of this year. She paid tribute by selecting songs with a connection to Buddy’s early career as a New York vaudevillian and later as an actor during Hollywood’s Golden Age. Expertly produced and arranged by David Mann, the album features beautiful performances by New York City’s finest, including John Patitucci on bass, Chuck Loeb on guitar, Henry Hey on piano, Clint de Ganon on drums and Mann featured on saxophone and flute. Her choice to record on the East Coast came from a desire to be where her father’s career began.

“If I Only Had a Brain” is the first single from Scarecrow Sessions. This classic song has special meaning because Buddy was originally cast as the Scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz, a fact little known to the public. He was later bumped to the role of the Tin Woodsman, and after becoming seriously ill from repeatedly inhaling the powdered aluminum that comprised his character’s makeup, he was replaced by another actor.  
“Moon River” comes from the film Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Kiki recalls bittersweet memories of watching her father’s character, Doc, as he begs a defiant Holly Golightly (Audrey Hepburn) to return with him to their backwoods home.

In Captain January, the magic of the Hollywood recreates life on the docks of Maine in “The Codfish Ball.” One of the more endearing song and dance routines ever filmed features an irrepressible Shirley Temple and a lanky twenty-eight year old Buddy Ebsen.

Kiki explains the genesis of Scarecrow Sessions and coming face-to-face with her father’s legacy in this letter during her successful Kickstarter campaign earlier this year:

“A few years ago I discovered buried in my mother’s attic a box of original scripts and music from Dad's career. Among them were the musicals Born To Dance, Yokel Boy and even a songbook from The Wizard of Oz with his handwritten notes in it. I also found a tune my father had written called ‘Missing You,’ a song so beautiful and poignant it felt like a gift just for me. I began to include it in my shows and would get chills performing it, as if my dad was there with me.”

“Missing You” is included on Scarecrow Sessions as well as Buddy’s favorite jazz standard, “Laura.” A nostalgic booklet accompanies each CD with pictures from the family's collection as well as personal stories about the songs and a heartfelt introduction.

During the recording process, Kiki explored the streets of New York City to get a feel for her father’s first years in the Big Apple. Tracing the route from his first flat on W. 87th St to the bright lights of The New Amsterdam Theater, where he landed his first paying gig, she leaned against the same chilly winds off the Hudson her dad writes of in his autobiography, The Other Side of Oz.

“I remember Dad teaching me ‘St Louis Blues’ on the piano when I was just a little girl. I had no idea the song was from his first feature film, Banjo on My Knee, where he acted alongside legends Barbara Stanwyck and Joel McCrea. I am the youngest girl in the family and didn’t get a chance to really know his early work. This project allowed me the opportunity to explore my dad’s early years in entertainment and bring me closer to him in a way I never knew before.

“Shirley Temple’s recent passing reminded me that our time is limited. We are losing the iconic talents many of us grew up with. By recording these songs I hope not only to honor my father’s memory and his love of jazz, but to create a musical statement that is truly my own. I’m connecting his past to my present in a way that will no doubt leave me forever changed.”

In addition to Kiki’s long list of touring and recording credits, she has five critically acclaimed albums showcasing her exceptional songwriting talents.

Kiki shares her passion between lifelong loves of music and horses. In 2008 she founded The Healing Equine Ranch (501c3), where she teaches natural horsemanship using a herd of rescued horses. Having both music and horses in her life has helped Kiki find purpose, passion and a simplicity that keeps her grounded in the present.

"Through this journey I have discovered my voice. A simple yet beautiful tone that emanates from a true place in my heart; a place of lightness and ease.

Kiki is currently performing throughout the United States and will make her Scotland debut later this summer.



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