Lisa B (Lisa Bernstein) | I Am an Orchestra

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Jazz: Avant-Garde Jazz Avant Garde: Modern Composition Moods: Type: Improvisational
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I Am an Orchestra

by Lisa B (Lisa Bernstein)

Singer and poet Lisa B (Lisa Bernstein) teams with pianist Scott R. Looney in this homage to the brilliant avant-garde pianist Cecil Taylor, released in honor of the first anniversary of Cecil's passing, which occurred on April 5, 2018.
Genre: Jazz: Avant-Garde Jazz
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1. I Am an Orchestra (feat. Scott R. Looney)
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
This new single evokes the incomparable pianist and poet Cecil Taylor in honor of the first anniversary of his passing last April 5, 2018. The track is also the first taste of Lisa B's forthcoming album, expected in late fall 2019, "Reverberant: Poems & Music." A departure from Lisa B's previous records, which often feature spoken meter-and-rhyme verses embedded in the music, this new collection presents free-verse poems in dynamic compositions created with a diverse cast of musicians.. In her seventh record since 1999, Lisa will embark on additional duos (vocal/drumset, vocal/bass) to complement this expressive vocal duet with pianist Scott R. Looney, as well as tracks with other personnel. Enjoy this first taste, this poetic journey across time and space, memory and exploration, via "Cecil Taylor: I Am An Orchestra."

Lisa B has performed at more than 90 venues in the San Francisco Bay Area, New York, Los Angeles, and elsewhere. Her six previous full-length CDs -- the latest, "I Get A Kick: Cole Porter Reimagined" on the esteemed Jazzed Media label, home of a number of Grammy-nominated artists -- all received excellent radio play and charting on hundreds of trade-reporter stations as well as great reviews in All Music Guide, Jazz Times, Jazziz, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, the Philadelphia Daily News, and many other publications.

Meanwhile, Lisa B's (Lisa Bernstein's) poems appeared in more than 60 literary magazines and anthologies, and her poetry book "The Transparent Body" was published by the prestigious Wesleyan University Press. She earned master's and bachelor's degrees in English literature/creative writing from San Francisco State and UC Santa Cruz, respectively.

She also received creative writing fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, Headlands Center for the Arts, Ucross Foundation, Barbara Deming Memorial Fund/Money for Women, and Puffin Foundation. Her tune "Holiday in Oakland" was a Bay Area hit.

Lisa B has taught workshops and classes on creating your own tribute project, mind-body-spirit tools for performers and creators, and creative writing at San Francisco State University, Foothill College, Skyline College, the Jazzschool (now California Jazz Conservatory), and Blue Bear School of Music.

While most of Lisa B's vocalizing on her previous records is jazz singing, the spoken verse she integrates into her songs reflects the influence of 1950s public poetry readings to jazz accompaniment, the biting rhythms of contemporary creative rap, and the poetic lyrics of modern singer-songwriters. The result is genre-bending and multidimensional.

Pianist Scott R. Looney, based like Lisa B in the San Francisco Bay Area, has recorded or performed with Oliver Lake, Frank Gratkowski, Wolfgang Fuchs, Jon Raskin, Joelle Leandre, Henry Kaiser, Gianni Gebbia, Gino Robair, Joe Morris, and Paul Smoker, to name a few. He played in local and international festivals including the Ulrichsberger Kaleidophon, San Francisco Electronic Music Festival, Olympia Experimental Festival, Big Sur Experimental Music Fest, and Line Space Line Festival in Los Angeles. He has forged a signature style using the inside and outside of the piano as well as electronics, and his musicianship is grounded in composition and improvisation studies with Roscoe Mitchell, Wadada Leo Smith, Morton Subotnick, David Rosenboom, and Frederic Rzewski. His most recent release is “Point Cloud” with the New Monsters, including four of his arrangements of Eric Dolphy tunes.

Some responses to Lisa B’s previous work:
“With the freewheeling control of the raw materials that only the finest jazz practitioners possess, B takes possession of Cole Porter's witty, poignant stories... a true American original.”
- Downbeat critic Ted Panken in his liner notes

“An extraordinary album that takes songs from the American songbook and adds bold poetry, an unexpected taste of rap, richly emotional singing, and exotic moods… a new standard for the 21st century.”
- Hiroshi Ogawa, Jazz Life Japan

“B brings her poet’s incisive ear to uncover the roiling emotions beneath Porter’s glittering confections."
- Andrew Gilbert, Berkeleyside

Reviews and responses to Lisa B's previous collections (see her CDBaby store as well as most music platforms for her first five titles):

“Great pipes… talented songwriter.” – Jazziz

“Daring, dexterous singer/songwriter/poet Lisa B... with appeal to both traditional and contemporary jazz tastes and even hip-hop hipsters.” – Jonathan Takiff, Philadelphia Daily News

“She totally captivated the audience. She is an originator, her arrangements are mesmerizing, and her band is great!” – Gary Hamada, Jazz and Blues Company/KRML-FM, Concert Manager

“A beautiful voice, a great message, and snazzy grooves… spiritually uplifting… sultry.” – from pullquote and review, Mark Saleski, Blogcritics.com

“Exudes up-front sexuality… an overflowing measure of soul.” – Cadence

“...B continues to ride the progressive tip with a creative abandon that makes it seem easy to break convention and get away with it. As sexy as you can sound without being a... 70s diva.” – Chris Spector, Midwest Record

“Obviously you're a gigantic talent…you totally controlled the room.” – Robin Reichert, Paradise Lounge owner, San Francisco

“Sultry and witty... Her own songs are fun and sexy, and she brings a fresh voice to well-known songs.” – Soundstage.com

“Bringing in her background as a poet…really pays off... The tunes are not just interpreted but placed in entirely different contexts.” – Blogcritics.org

“Funky, fresh and sexy as all hell… seamless blending of jazz, hip-hop, soul, spoken word and popular music… One of the most daring and deft performers I’ve come across in a while.” – Jordan Richardson, Canadian Audiophile and Blogcritics.com

“A singer, spoken-word artist and poet with an incisive way of chronicling situations, memories, and emotions… a pliable, expressive voice dipped in blue… saucily suggestive… imagistic…” – Jazz Times

“…Whatever she knows or sings comes, in Whitman’s term, from the body electric.” – Frances Mayes, author, in San Jose Mercury

About Scott R. Looney:
“This guy deserves your attention. He's got power, emotional heft, but also an abundance of musical intelligence and subtlety.” - Ken Waxman, Cadence

“Satisfying set of state-of-the-art free improvisation in all its splendid, unpredictable glory.” - Robert Iannapollo, All About Jazz

“A combination of technical skill and creativity that is truly engrossing…My hat is off to (him) for actualizing this wonderfully eclectic body of improvisational music.” - Ian Hall, Chain D.L.K.

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