Sarah Weller Band | Stormy

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Jazz: Jazz Vocals Brazilian: Bossa Nova Moods: Type: Vocal
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by Sarah Weller Band

Sarah Weller Band combines jazz, bossa, samba and fusion to create a fresh take on some classic songs.
Genre: Jazz: Jazz Vocals
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Stormy
5:39 $0.99
2. A Slow Hot Wind
6:05 $0.99
3. Meditation
4:56 $0.99
4. Sugar
4:26 $0.99
5. Little B's Poem
4:08 $0.99
6. Love Dance
4:42 $0.99
7. Get Thee Behind Me Satan
5:02 $0.99
8. All I Can Do
3:53 $0.99
9. Hushabye Mountain
3:47 $0.99
10. In a Sentimental Mood
3:16 $0.99
11. Stormy (Nicola Conte "Black Spirits" Remix)
7:15 $0.99
12. Stormy ("Old Skool" Remix By Mr Mundy)
6:33 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
London, Monday 16th March 2015: New release from the Sarah Weller Band ‘Storms’ onto the jazz scene.


The debut from this promising jazz quintet shows their Latin-fusion take on a series of well-known standards. Tempered and refined, it's colourful playing whips up a restrained and sultry storm. - The Musician Spring 2015

The Sarah Weller Band is a new vocal-led UK jazz quintet but Sarah herself is no newcomer. A sometime Perrier Jazz Award finalist, she's previously fronted two other bands - Urban Dwellers and Heikatsu and in between times she's worked for Jazz FM and Ronnie Scott's. Being in and around the jazz scene has given Sarah a wealth of experience and it shines though on this lovely 12 tracker . The album is a set of very-well chosen but not so obvious covers, all selected to suit her robust, flexible and emotive voice – heard to best effect on the title cut.

'Stormy' is a well known tune. Originally recorded by the Classics IV, it's been covered by people as diverse as Billy Eckstine and Diana Ross but Ms Weller does it her own way. Her version is busy and energized and features a wonderful duel between Simon Golding's guitar and Ross Stanley's Hammond. The song is also offered in two extra mixes. Both take the tune to the dance floor via Nicolas Conte's bass-led tweak and Mr Mundy's sharper, "old school" re-tooling. Conservative jazz purists might baulk at these extras; but they add an extra dimension to the album and show a measure of confidence that many new jazz vocalists lack.

Sarah's confidence is shown in many of her other choices. She's brave enough to tackle things like Duke Ellington's 'In A Sentimental Mood' and Irving Berlin's 'Get The Behind Me Satan'. Like 'Stormy', she does 'em in her own way – undaunted by the litany of greats that have previously recorded them.

The album's other highlights include a bluesy reading of Stanley Turrentine's 'Sugar' and a gentle version of Ivan Lin's 'Love Dance' – one of several Latin flavours on offer. Unsurprisingly, I've noticed that both these cuts have been play-listed by Jazz FM. Both are hugely radio friendly yet offer intrigue and excitement in a way, say, that Clare Teal's "safer" recordings don't. And you know that's not a bad reference point. Ms Teal and Ms Weller are both steeped in jazz knowledge and history and both possess mighty fine melodic voices, but here Sarah takes just a few more chances and the album's the better for that. Find out more @ (BB) 4/5

Sarah Weller and her jazz quintet bring a freshness to the be bop, bossa and jazz fusion audience like her idol Janet Lawson 34 years back. Vocally she is faultless and on point riding various tempos and rhythms with her synergistic band of players. Inspired upon hearing Flora Purim's version Sarah tackles an improvised rendition of Stormy. There's plenty of instrumental showcasing halfway through Bobby Hutcherson's Little B's Poem and some cross pollination between acoustic guitar, drummer and organist on Slow Hot Wind. I'm quite partial to the funky Jeff Lorber style fusionof Sugar showcasing Sarah's vocal interpretation and variety. It's an east listening and foot shuffling album with 10 tracks sounding very crystalized in production, which you can - like the song titles - surely Love Dance to. Fitzroy - Soul Survivors Magazine

Live Review in UK Vibe:

Sarah Weller Band is a new jazz quintet led by singer Sarah Weller, who is no newbie to the music scene, and more in particular, to the funk and fusion scene. She has collaborated with Hed Kandi, and commissioned remixes for her album with the charismatic Nicola Conte as well as producer Mr Mundy. Her love of singers and jazz clearly stands out on the new album.
Sarah Weller Band is:
Sarah Weller – vocals
Simon Golding – guitar
Arthur Lea – piano
Jules Jackson – bass
Simon Pearson – drums
Tonight’s crowd is a mixed crowd. An expectant one. And quite rightly so, as the band steps on to the stage at precisely 7pm, Sarah, looking resplendent in a beautiful vintage décolleté dress, opens the show with “Never was Love”. Sarah’s voice is soft yet deep with velvet tones. She is charm personified and her singing adds a breath of fresh air to an already promising night of funk and fusion.
“Sarah’s hair reminds me of the Pre-Raphaelite tresses” – Bob Sinfield, JazzFM presenter extraordinaire, told me recently. And he is right of course. Sarah’s singing mixed with an incredible look is something that needs to be experienced live for sure.
It’s always fascinating to listen to talented voices. Sarah’s is just that, hers is the talent that brings the band together although credit also has to go to Simon Golding for all arrangements on the night.
Top musician of the night: Arthur Lea for skilfully moving from his Fender Rhodes to a “normal” piano keyboard with such dexterity and ease whilst creating a good groove, whether slow or up tempo.
Outstanding tracks: “Love Dance” – a mellow, tender song with great support by Simon Golding’s guitar and “Stormy”, which closes the band’s show and which is, by far, a beautifully melodic tune and also my favourite track.
Looking forward to more Sarah Weller Band compositions in the future!
“Stormy” (Daisy Dog) is out now on digital download // Physical release: 16th March Erminia Yardley

Press release:
The Sarah Weller Band is a new vocal-led jazz quintet combining swing, samba, bossa and fusion. 2nd March sees the release of “Stormy”, a collection of ten tracks performed by Perrier Jazz finalist Sarah Weller. The tracks are arranged by the exceptionally talented Simon Golding, and his soulful guitar can be heard throughout the album. The Brazilian influence is heard on Ivan Lin’s ‘Love Dance’, arranged by New Zealand pianist Duncan Haynes and the title tracks ‘Stormy’ that Sarah first heard sung by Flora Purim. Top UK musicians Ross Stanley, Jules Jackson, Arthur Lea and Simon Pearson collaborate to produce the joyful, life affirming, atmospheric and sometimes melancholic sounds. The timing of this release will suit the long winter evenings and springtime gigs that are already planned.

While Sarah’s choices are from well-known artists, they are anything but obvious. “From All I Can Do to Slow Hot Wind these are the songs that have shaped the way I listen and sing”. There is a freshness and a unity in the sound and the vocals are crisp and clear. The moody influence of the sea as seen on the artwork photographed by Carl Hyde is present throughout the album. “Sarah has the humble assurance befitting the experienced performer that she is.” (Paul Pace) There are two special remixes that take ‘Stormy’ to the dance floor: one by Italian boss nova king Nicola Conte and Quartz and Jazz Vandalls producer Paul Mundy. Sarah enjoyed success with Satoshi Tomiie remix of ‘Lover Man’ and on this occasion has scored another creative highpoint with these current remixes.

Forthcoming shows at Ronnie Scott’s on the 2nd and 3rd March will give fans an opportunity to experience ‘Stormy’ live with the full band.

"I love singers and I love jazz. This album indulges some of my favourites that have influenced, inspired and introduced me to a kaleidoscope of styles, tones and ranges that all encompass the genre of jazz. I have been enticed by many standout interpretations, which include Janet Lawson improvisation on Dindi; Stardust as beautiful and pure as only Doris Day can; Cry Me A River in the uniquely theatrical style that is Barbra Streisand and originals such as Jackie & Roy with their kitsch Runaround; La Cantatrice classically sung by Diahann Carroll and Jean Carn’s vocal acrobats on Closer Than Close. These are my chosen songs and singers:

1. Stormy

I recall a specific Bognor Regis Soul Weekender with its in-house radio station. Too young myself I had to settle for a 90-minute cassette tape of songs brought back for me containing Call Me by Nancy Wilson and Stormy by a singer I would later know as Flora Purim. I had no idea who she was, I just loved the sound she created. The innovative fusion of Brazilian rhythms and melodies combined with seventies grooves in Airto and Flora’s music has completely shaped my taste in jazz. I met and spoke to Flora Purim at Ronnie Scott’s in 2010, the last time she was there, and stood star struck waiting for her to sign a CD for me. There was a lump in my throat as she sang Vera Cruz that night.

2. A Slow Hot Wind

Sarah Vaughan: voice of an angel, the finest voice ever in jazz and a voice that dramatically changed over the course of her career. She disliked being pigeon-holed into one genre but I’m glad she chose jazz. From Shulie-a-Bop to Interlude to Mystery of Man she is my queen of jazz forever. When Mancini decided to do a songbook with a singer there were only two people on the female list and he knew that if Sarah Vaughan sang his songbook she would make his songs live on.

3. Meditation

I fell in love with Brazilian music after discovering Flora Purim and my first job was selling original Brazilian albums and reissuing compilations called Rare Brasil with a Russian conductor called Gennady Zalcovitch (Soldier Story - Glenda Jackson/Nureyev). I would spend my days listening to these amazing voices before I had to go on and sell them to dealers and to shops such as Mike Chadwick’s Decoy Records, Soul Jazz and Mr Bongo. I chose this Jobim song because I like the sentiment in the lyrics. When I was recording it there was a lot on the news and still is about the soldiers in Afghanistan amongst other places the world over and I imagined what it must be like to say goodbye to your loved one and have to wait and hope that they would return: “Though you’re far away, I have only to close my eyes and you are back to stay…” Timeless, and Duncan’s solo encapsulates the pensive mood.

4. Sugar

DJ Giles Peterson had such an influence on me growing up with his Jazz Juice albums and I remember hearing this vocal version of Sugar by Roland Kirk and always loved the feel of it more than the Stanley Turrentine original. Ours has more of a funk feel to it with solo by Arthur Lea.

5. Little B's Poem

Before Flora, the main vocal influence in my life was Jean Carn. Every Friday, Hastings Pier would host a disco and two soul-boy DJs (Bob James and ?) came to spin their vinyl. They would play soul, funk, disco and hip hop and when I heard Was that All It Was I thought I’d died and gone to soul heaven. It was only later that I heard Little B’s Poem, a collaboration with husband Doug Carne, whom I was overjoyed to see perform together at Ronnie Scott’s in 2012. Jean said in the show that Bobby Hutcherson wrote it for his little Bobby and then Jean wrote the vocals for their daughter and when we started this album I was pregnant with my first. What better song to devote to your children?

6. Love Dance

The first LP I bought was by George Benson. In the 80s when he was recording more of a soul repertoire I would love hearing the occasional jazz standard; his vocals were always full of great embellishments (listen to his version of You Don’t Know What Love Is). The song is a Brazilian/US writer collaboration between Ivan Lins and Paul Williams who wrote the English words. I remember going along to a Mark Murphy workshop organised by UK singer Gill Manly. We had to bring a song along and I chose this one. It was so nerve-racking to sing and be assessed by someone like Mark Murphy, one of the greatest living jazz singers. I remember him with his flask and wearing his woolly scarf telling me to not open my mouth so wide!

7. Get Thee Behind Me Satan

A biblical quote; the reply of Jesus when tempted by the Devil but of all the Ella Fitzgerald songbooks the Irvin Berlin one is my best-loved. She recorded it in 1958 and won a Grammy for Cheek to Cheek. Irvin Berlin wrote this in 1935 for Top Hat starring Fred and Ginger but it ended up in Follow the Fleet sung by Harriet Hilliard who sings it gazing into her reflection before being swept away by a sailor! I had already recorded Russian Lullaby (Urban Dwellers – Shop Worn Angel) and this is a little known or sung song and has always been cherished by me so this is to Irvin and Ella.

8. All I Can Do

I love vocal harmony. It started with my parents’ Mamas and the Papas and The Carpenters albums. This song is from the first Carpenters’ album I think Karen and Richard must have had jazz hearts. A song in 5/4 is pretty unheard of for a pop song or maybe Richard loved Take Five. Karen Carpenter: another low voice with a melancholic edge. Listen to her singing Eve and Someday for how to evoke heart-breaking sadness within a song.

9. Hushabye Mountain

Dick Van Dyck sang this in Albert Broccoli’s 1968 film Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. It’s always good to research who else has recorded songs before you and I am in fine company: Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour, Julian Lloyd Webber and the infamous Chipmunks! I was introduced to the vocals of Bobby Gentry fairly recently (thanks Val Jennings), someone I had completely missed. There is something haunting about her low voice, which appeals to me. I also chose this song because of my love of musicals. From the age of five I wanted to be a musicals’ star. I grew up (and still love) watching the films of Judy Garland, Doris Day, Deanna Durbin, Ginger Rogers, Julie Andrews, Barbra Streisand and wanted to be just like them. Now I have satisfied that desire with my Celebration of Doris Day show that I perform once a year at Ronnie’s to celebrate her birthday. Anyway, our version lost the lullaby on the way to visiting Pat Metheny!

10. In a Sentimental Mood

Nancy Wilson has another one of those unmistakable voices and has made many a fine album. The standout for me is Lush Life from 1967 with her version of Midnight Sun but it is her renditions of Call Me and Sunshine that I love the most!"

11. Stormy (Nicola Conte "Black Spirits" Remix)

"I wanted to take Stormy to the dance floor and who better to do a remix than Italian bossa king, Nicola Conte who creates a sparse deep house remix that captures the essential elements of the original and gives us a melodic song that builds to a crescendo.

12. Stormy ("Old Skool" Remix) Mr Mundy has taken us back to the Old Skool with a remix that conjures up the classic 90s house sound with an atmospheric dark take on the song."



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