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Michelle Lordi | Drive

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United States - Pennsylvania

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Jazz: Jazz Vocals Jazz: Mainstream Jazz Moods: Type: Vocal
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by Michelle Lordi

Michelle has a talent for crafting intimate, thoughtful versions of standards ranging from Cole Porter to the Cars. Her elegant voice is pleasing to the connoisseur of 30’s/40’s era girl singers, yet surprisingly modern in its clarity and expression.
Genre: Jazz: Jazz Vocals
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  Song Share Time Download
1. You're My Thrill (feat. Larry McKenna, Tom Lawton, Dan Monaghan & Madison Rast)
5:21 $0.99
2. Imagination (feat. Tom Lawton, Larry McKenna, Madison Rast & Dan Monaghan)
7:15 $0.99
3. True Love (feat. Madison Rast, Dan Monaghan, Larry McKenna & Tom Lawton)
5:24 $0.99
4. My Ship (feat. Orrin Evans)
5:11 $0.99
5. If I Only Had a Heart (feat. Larry McKenna, Tom Lawton, Madison Rast & Dan Monaghan)
5:39 $0.99
6. I Fall in Love Too Easily (feat. Orrin Evans)
5:06 $0.99
7. My Ideal (feat. Larry McKenna, Tom Lawton, Madison Rast & Dan Monaghan)
5:49 $0.99
8. Ghost of a Chance (feat. Larry McKenna, Tom Lawton, Madison Rast & Dan Monaghan)
5:00 $0.99
9. Now At Last (feat. Dan Monaghan, Larry McKenna, Tom Lawton & Madison Rast)
4:11 $0.99
10. Drive (feat. Dan Monaghan, Orrin Evans & Madison Rast)
5:32 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
With a voice pleasing to the connoisseur of the elegant 30’s & 40’s era girl singers, yet surprisingly modern in its clarity and emotion, Michelle’s drive to create innovative music has her poised to become the jazz scene’s new sweetheart .

The lineup of musicians on Drive ( Grammy nominated Orrin Evans, Tom Lawton, Larry McKenna, Dan Monaghan and Madison Rast) belies that this is no ordinary “me- too” jazz vocalist. Over the past few years, Michelle has lead bands featuring these stellar talents heard here on Drive. An upswell of recognition and avid audience appreciation keeps Michelle head lining jazz venues.

In the process of collecting the songs for Drive, Michelle drew upon her long time passion for Victorian cabinets of wonder, an interest stemming from her background in visual arts and science.

“Cabinet museums are collections without categorical boundaries. Artifacts can be organized in any way that is pleasing, to make a statement.”

Just like these whimsical cabinets of wonder, it is no accident that Drive (recorded live in the studio with the most minimal overdubs) became a reflection of her both modern and classic influences with an eclectic mix of songs. Still, a unifying thread loops throughout the album, brought to the surface in her cool, clear voice and subtle phrasing.

“Orrin Evans encouraged me to choose the songs based on how much I loved to sing them. So there happens to be an 80’s pop song in there with the jazz standards.”

“As it turns out, to me all these songs express a great longing or loss. I guess that’s what was in my ‘cabinet’ when we made this album.”

“Drive is dedicated to those I’ve lost and especially for those who loved them. These recent losses made me realize how important it is to celebrate and share what we have- NOW- and drives me forward to make music . I hope those who listen can be brought comfort and maybe even some inspiration in these songs.”


“Michelle Lordi sings in a way that is uncommon today: simple, straightforward, direct, and conveying the emotions in the way we all do: in our voice inflections. No gimmicks. This is a style that emerged in the swing and cool jazz eras, a strict adherence to the tune that virtually vanished as singers began to add embellishments, scat, and too often a hysterical emotionality where personality crowded out the melody. In particular, Lordi owes something special to Chet Baker and Blossom Dearie…. Cool uncorrupted understatement that swings is a way to describe Lordi's vocal style in a nutshell. Her voice is clear and never shrill, her diction is flawless, and she uses almost no vibrato. So what you get is the pure unadulterated song.”
Victor Schermer, Jazz Near You

Michelle Lordi - Drive 4/3
O's Notes: A few keys to success for a singer are (1) having a great band, (2) sharing the spotlight and (3) having an inviting voice. Michelle scores on all three! Her slightly veiled, soft, warm tone is easy to embrace. Larry McKenna shadows her on sax while also taking several lengthy, well-developed solos. This is also the case with Tom Lawton (p), Madison Rast (b), Dan Monaghan (d) and producer Orrin Evans (p). It's a great mix of vocal and instrumental features within each song. The performance remains scintillating either way.
D. Oscar Groomes
O's Place Jazz Newsletter

"Michelle Lordi, a bright star on the jazz horizon.”
-Orrin Evans

“Michelle has a lovely voice and keen sense of phrasing, but foremost among Michelle's priorities is the story she is telling. Few vocalists exhibit as much understanding of the lyric.”
-Larry McKenna, Jazz Saxophonist, Composer and Arranger

Lordi's singing is reminiscent of Chet Baker's minimalist style, allowing for exceptional rapport between her and the instrumentalists. She is rapidly gaining a reputation as one of the finest singers on the circuit today, and “Drive” is a further illustration of her remarkable talent.
"Victor L. Schermer, All About Jazz." March 2015


Orrin Evans
Two time Grammy nominee and Pew Fellow, Orrin Evans has been recognized as one of the most distinctive and inventive pianists of his generation. The New York Times describes him as “…a poised artist with an impressive template of ideas at his command”, a quality that has undoubtebly assisted in keeping Orrin at the forefront of the music scene.

Tom Lawton
Tom Lawton has been on the jazz scene in Philadelphia for the last 35 years in settings both straight-ahead and cutting edge.
Until the age of 19, he played classical music and rock. Then he began private jazz studies with Gerald Price, Bernard Peiffer and Al Stauffer. He has performed with numerous groups and backed many soloists such as Ben Schachter, Marcus Belgrave, Don Byron, Bobby Zankel, Larry McKenna,John Swana,and Norman David.. His trios are also in demand for backing many vocalists. His performance highlights include festivals in Finland, Norway, Italy, and France. He is also a founding member of monkadelphia. Tom has received many composition grants. One from the PA Council of the Arts resulted in his double CD of original music,Retrospective Debut (Dreambox Media). Others were from the American Composers Forum and most recently, one from the Philadelphia Jazz Project for a suite based on the visual art of Man Ray. An educator as well, he teaches at Temple University, University of the arts, and Bucks County Community College.

Larry McKenna
One of the world’s finest jazz saxophone players, Larry McKenna
has a national reputation as both a masterful jazz improviser in the be-bop and modern jazz styles of the 1950s and 1960s and an influential jazz educator is firmly established after five decades in his profession.
Larry McKenna is known for his gorgeous, velvety tenor saxophone sound, the unparalleled beauty of his balladry, and his fluid, bebop-inspired improvisations. For years, Larry’s status as a jazz great has been affirmed by his myriad fans and the jazz stars with whom he has played and recorded including Woody Herman, Clark Terry, Buddy DeFranco, Tony Bennett, Rosemary Clooney and Frank Sinatra.

Madison Rast
North Carolina native Madison Rast graduated from the prestigious North Carolina School of the Arts in Winston­Salem and received his MA from Virginia Commonwealth University. He moved to Philadelphia in the fall of 1999 to pursue a career in jazz. Since that time he has become one of the areas most in demand sidemen. His solid and steady basslines have supported many notable musicians including Mickey Roker, Orrin Evans, Sean Jones, and Joanna Pascale. Recent projects of his include recording a debut CD of his own original songs and arrangements, and a recording project with pianist Gary Dial and saxophonist Dick Oatts, in which the poetry of Walt Whitman is set to original music. Madison is currently a faculty member at Temple University.

Dan Monaghan
Mansfield, PA, native Dan Monaghan is one of the busiest drummers in the Philadelphia area. After studying classical percussion for eight years he went on to earn a Bachelors of Music in jazz studies from Temple University. Since then he has performed with some of the top names in jazz, including Eric Alexander, Peter Bernstein, Uri Caine, and Randy Brecker. In addition, he has recorded with Dick Oatts, Garry Dial, Joe Magnarelli, Jimmy Bruno, Elio Villafranca, Joanna Pascale, John Vanore & Abstract Truth, Larry McKenna, Jon Lundbom & Big Five Chord, Norman David, Tom Tallitsch, Mike Kennedy, and many others.
Dan has performed at the Mellon Jazz Festival, the East Coast Jazz Festival, the Wilmington Latino Festival, the Cremona Jazz Festival, the Blue Note, Blues Alley, Smoke, Ortlieb's Jazzhaus, Zanzibar Blue, and Chris' Jazz Cafe, among other well-known venues.
In addition to his performing credits, Dan is on the faculty at Temple University and Widener University, and is a frequent clinician at schools, colleges, and festivals.



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