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Sarah Elizabeth Combs | A Step Beyond the Rain

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United States - California - LA

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Jazz: Mainstream Jazz Easy Listening: Crooners/Vocals Moods: Solo Female Artist
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A Step Beyond the Rain

by Sarah Elizabeth Combs

"A Step Beyond the Rain" is a refreshing collection of best-loved jazz standards performed by vocalist Sarah Elizabeth Combs accompanied by various artists.
Genre: Jazz: Mainstream Jazz
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. It Might as Well Be Spring
4:03 $0.99
2. Manha De Carnaval (A Day in the Life of a Fool)
4:20 $0.99
3. All the Things You Are
3:12 $0.99
4. These Foolish Things / My One and Only Love (feat. Chadwick Johnson)
5:12 $0.99
5. Call Me Irresponsible
2:58 $1.50
6. Sophisticated Lady
2:25 $0.99
7. The Shadow of Your Smile
4:20 $0.99
8. Joy Spring
2:40 $0.99
9. Over the Rainbow
5:34 $0.99
10. My Favorite Things
5:31 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
“A Step Beyond The Rain” is the combination of two of my favorite things; singing from the great “American Songbook” and collaborating with outstanding artists. I am pleased to offer listeners a refreshing tribute to some of the most beloved jazz standards as well as a few lesser known gems of this golden era.
The journey to what I am proud to call my debut album began over two years ago while on the road. I was working on tour with brilliant musician and friend, David Olivas and decided we needed to collaborate. We came up with a concept and began hashing out ideas while aboard buses, planes, in our little hotel rooms and back stage between shows. 

It was David’s creative and musical expertise that took this project to another level and something better than I could have imagined. He created all but one of the charts and give them a fresh spin. And somehow, he was able to make even my crazy ideas work with special arrangements such as the mashup duet of “My One And Only Love/These Foolish Things.” It’s David’s sax you hear on a few of the tracks and he’s also responsible for recording all the vocals and assembling a stellar group of musicians to record with us.
As I’m sure many of you know, independent projects like this don’t happen overnight or on one’s own. It’s been a labor of love over two years in the making. I’m grateful to God for bringing together a team of amazing and accomplished people who put their time, talent and great care into helping me make this dream a reality. Their guidance and support has been invaluable.
I would like to dedicate this album to my parents who worked tirelessly to provide me with a strong education and exposure to the performing arts. It is them who instilled a taste for good music and introduced me to many of the songs that appear on the album. And to my dear grandmother Dona who’s been a huge support, attended every recital and show and is quite possibly my “biggest fan.” Without them, this dream would not have been possible. And a very special thanks goes out to my phenomenal group of family and friends for their great and constant support. 

Sadly, our bassist, John Shifflet, passed away before the project was completed. We would also like to dedicate this album to his memory and are so grateful to him for contributing his artistry to our project. 

Random fun facts for the very curious listener:

-We recorded the musicians at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley, California
-On the drive to Berkely, we were fuled almost entirely on Redvines, which may have made us sound possibly just a little bit “sweeter.” 
-Due to a new job that took me out of the country for a few months, three of the tracks had to be recorded by the band members listening to my vocals on a click track I pre-recorded at David’s apartment in Los Angeles. 
-The vocals for “Might As Well Be Spring” and “All The Things You Are” were recorded in a make-shift studio. A closet at the home of Kent Moore, credited below.
-It was David’s idea to do “Joy Spring” and to give it the “swunk” beat which was completely new to me, but so fun. 
-Without a doubt, “Joy Spring” took the most time recording vocals. Between the words and the phrasing, that song is killer and I can see why most vocalists don’t attempt it much.
-It was my idea to have a jazz flute in Joy Spring. David wasn’t sure about it. You can decide for yourself, but I’m a big fan and love what Kris Strom did with it. Though, she had originally practiced the solo for sax and had no idea until just before recording that she was going to do a flute solo, so even more props to her.
-The idea for the mashup of “These Foolish Things/My One And Only Love” came while listening to one and I began to sing the bridge of the other. Turns out they are quite similar in chords, tone and feeling. I am so pleased with the final result and the way we were able to switch the lyrics and melodies and hopefully some may not even be able to tell it’s two different songs.
- The big band arrangement of “Call Me Irresponsible” was created by Jeff Hoeppner. 
-Chadwick Johnson, featured on “My One And Only Love/These Foolish Things” and whom I have still yet to meet, recorded his vocals separately from me at a studio in Las Vegas. 
-Kristen Strom, who’s talents are featured throughout the album was David’s saxophone teacher. She was also our Associate Producer during the recording at Fantasy Studios and Marketsound. Kristen is married to Scott Sorkin who performed all the guitar for the album as well as the mixing or each track. 
-I was out of the country during the final mixing and mastering processes so many previews and decisions were made from places all over the world such as Bali, Australia, Alaska, Barcelona, Lisbon and even Antartica. 
-On our recording session, our pianist, Adam Shulman was still in recovery from Pneumonia, but somehow managed to play. I had no idea until the session was over.
-Though American Songbook standards are my favorite genre to sing, I’m originally a classically trained singer who’s made a living performing in musical theatre. 
-A few of my favorite musical artists and influences are Barbara Streisand, Judy Garland, Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennet, and Dame Julie Andrews. 
-My dad speaks Portuguese and coached me on Manha de Carnaval. Any issues with pronunciation can be taken up with him. ;-)
 -I originally thought to title the album “Sophisticated Lady” but decided against it when I realized how much it had already been used. 
-“Over The Rainbow” is my favorite song of all time and the lyrics from the opener just seemed to work for the final title and struck a chord with me on a personal level as well. 
-The Editing and Mastering was done by the Grammy and Emmy award winning artist/producer and friend, Joe Hogue of HiTPLAY. 

It Might As Well Be Spring 
(Richard Rodgers, Oscar Hammerstein) Guitar - Scott Sorkin
Piano - Adam Shulman
Bass - John Shifflett 
Drums - Jason Lewis
All The Things You Are 
(Jerome Kern, Oscar Hammerstein)
Guitar - Scott Sorkin
Piano - Adam Shulman
Bass - John Shifflett 
Drums - Jason Lewis
Joy Spring 
(Clifford Brown)
Flute - Kristen Strom
Guitar - Scott Sorkin
Piano - Adam Shulman
Bass - John Shifflett
Drums - Jason Lewis
Manha De Carnaval 
(Luiz Bonfa)
Guitar - Scott Sorkin
Piano - Adam Shulman
Bass - John Shifflett
Drums - Jason Lewis
My Favorite Things 
(Richard Rodgers, Oscar Hammerstein)
Alto Saxophone - David Olivas
Guitar - Scott Sorkin
Piano - Adam Shulman 
Bass - Sam Bevan Drums - Jason Lewis
My One And Only Love/These Foolish Things
(feat. Chadwick Johnson) (Guy Wood, Robert Mellin/Jack Strachey, Eric Maschwitz)
Tenor Saxophone - Kristen Strom
Guitar - Scott Sorkin 
Piano - Adam Shulman Bass - John Shifflett
Drums - Jason Lewis
Sophisticated Lady 
(Duke Ellington, Irving Mills, Mitchell Parish)
Piano - Adam Shulman
Call Me Irresponsible 
(Jimmy Van Heusen, Sammy Cahn)
Alto, Tenor, and Baritone Saxophone - Kristen Strom
Alto, and Tenor Saxophone - David Olivas
Trumpet - Jeff Lewis
Trombone - Jamie Dubberly
Guitar - Scott Sorkin
Piano - Adam Shulman
Bass - Sam Bevan
Drums - Jason Lewis
The Shadow Of Your Smile 
(Johnny Mandel, Paul Francis Webster) 
Tenor Saxophone - David Olivas Guitar - Scott Sorkin
Piano - Adam Shulman
Bass - John Shifflett 
Drums - Jason Lewis
Over The Rainbow 
(Harold Arlen, E.Y. Harburg) Guitar - Scott Sorkin
Piano - Adam Shulman
Bass - Sam Bevan 
Drums - Jason Lewis 
Tenor Sax – Kristen Strom 

Recorded at Fantasy Studios Berkeley, CA
Engineered by Jesse Nichols
Additional Recording Engineered by Scott Sorkin
Sarah Combs’ Vocals Recorded at ???
Engineered by Kent Moore and David Olivas
Mixed by Scott Sorkin at Marketsound Studio, San Jose, CA
Additional editing by Scott Sorkin at Marketsound Studio
Vocals recorded at ???
Additional editing by Kent Moore at ???
Mastered by Joe Hogue at HiTPLAY Studios
Executive Producer - Sarah Combs
Producer - David Olivas
Associated Producer - Kristen Strom
Vocal Production - Kent Moore, Sarah Combs, Chadwick Johnson, and David Olivas
“Joy Spring” produced by David Olivas, Kristen Strom, and Kent Moore 

Chadwick Johnson’s vocals recorded at The Hideout Recording Studio, Las Vegas, NV
Chadwick Johnson’s vocals engineered by Luis Pacheco 

All songs arranged by David Olivas except
“Call Me Irresponsible,” arr. by Jeff Hoeppner 
“All the Things You Are,” arr. by David Olivas, Scott Sorkin, Adam Shulman, John Shifflet, and Jason Lewis
“It Might As Well Be Spring,” arr. by David Olivas, Scott Sorkin, Adam Shulman, John Shifflet, and Jason Lewis
“Manha De Carnaval,” arr. by Scott Sorkin, Sarah Combs, and David Olivas

Artwork designed and created by Michael Lehman at SlickArts Media



to write a review

Amy K.

Was expecting more
I know it's hard to record an album, so kudos to getting it done. I followed Ms. Combs' musical theatre career in Southern California and I thought she was going to follow in the footsteps of Stephanie Block, Eden Espinosa and Lindsay Mendez and be a big star on Broadway. I don't know what happened, but it just seems like her career fell into a void.

I wanted to love this album, but the music selections don't show off her talents. I wish it had a musical-theatre angle versus jazz. Her vocal quality is not suited for jazz music, in my opinion. Maybe a future album of Broadway selections would be better? Shrug.