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Michela Macfarlane | here and there

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Michela Macfarlane

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Jazz: Jazz Vocals World: World Fusion Moods: Type: Vocal
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here and there

by Michela Macfarlane

An honest, downright sexy and unpredictably playful delivery of standards and not-so-standard songs.
Genre: Jazz: Jazz Vocals
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
clip
1. Besame Mucho
4:28 album only
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2. A Case of You
3:42 album only
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3. Turn Me On
3:38 album only
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4. Walkin' After Midnight
2:55 album only
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5. Mais Feliz
3:46 album only
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6. All of Me
3:30 album only
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7. Gee Baby, Ain't I Good to You
2:07 album only
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8. Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps
2:40 album only
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9. Sentimental Journey
2:40 album only
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10. Skylark
4:09 album only
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11. Cold Cold Heart
4:04 album only
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12. Sway
2:54 album only
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13. The Nearness of You
5:03 album only
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14. I'm Through with Love
2:54 album only

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Singer Michela Macfarlane and pianist Bob Schlesinger join forces to present one of the most honest and sensuous performances to date of a delightfully unusual set of standards. Michela artfully and effortlessly spins out phrases in an almost liquid approach to singing that blends with Bob’s masterful technique of forming a new take on an old song. The result: a raw sound that unfolds in the moment.

Their collaborative debut CD, here and there, came about when Bob had the opportunity to get back into recording at a brand new studio out in Longmont, Colorado. Michela started coming up with these songs that basically formed a narrative of the past year of her life, songs that wouldn’t necessarily be connected in any other way. They began the process of piecing the tunes together in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where each session unfolded in a progressively personal and organic transformation of sound to song and reached its culmination in the recording studio. Each song was recorded without any overdubs, punch-ins or digital editing, which accounts for the genuine and seamless feel to the sound. Each song also evokes its own mood, transporting the listener to somewhere new yet oddly familiar.

Michela’s unique sound developed through her 8-year active career singing baroque music. Her diverse list of engagements include singing three seasons with the Boston Early Music Festival, soloing with twenty different premier baroque ensembles in the Boston area as well as in Maine, Rhode Island, and Connecticut, presenting a recital tour in Romania, taking a lead role in an oratorio presented at the Jerusalem Early Music Workshop in Israel, participating in the International Baroque Singing Competition in Chimay, Belgium, and most recently performing with the Sweelinck Ensemble in London, England. A few years back she crossed over into the more popular jazz music world, releasing her first CD of standards entitled You Call It Madness in 2004 with guitarist Marc Bernasconi.

Bob’s work as a pianist and composer covers multiple styles, including jazz, blues, R&B, and classical. In his dozen years with singer Hazel Miller he has played Red Rocks six times, opened for James Brown and Earth, Wind and Fire, performed at the Telluride Blues Festival, Winter Park Jazz Festival, Jazz Aspen, and with the Longmont Symphony Orchestra. Bob also writes soundtracks for films, video, commercials and theater.

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Reviews


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Ledyard Gray

pure voice and original musicianship inspires the listener to dance
This album of familiar songs begins with "Besame Mucho" which became all too familiar to me during a recent trip to Cuba, when it was forced upon us by the all hotel orchestras in Havana. I thought I would never want to hear it again. Hence, the fact that I thoroughly enjoyed the rendition by Macfarlane and Schlesinger speaks volumes. It turns out that the tango, with its dark intent, lends itself, with particular charm, to this duo's subtle sense of humor. There are two other memorable tangos in the collection ("Sway and "Perhaps") and they, too, are enlivened by a gentle joshing.

The reinterpretation of Joni Mitchell's "A Case of You" illustrates how difficult it is to create something new out of a poem/song that was so new in the first place. By contrast, some of the bluesy numbers, like "Turn Me On" and "Walkin' After Midnight" seem to be made for this pair, whose genuine enjoyment shines through.

Devotees of some of the other numbers may be put off by what could seem like an excess of originality (e.g. "Sentimental Journey"), but, in general, the pure voice and easy competence of Macfarlane combines with Schlesinger's original, yet appropriately muted musicianship to produce a piece of work that inspires the listener to dance. Clearly, there's a lot more music to look forward to where this album came from.
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