Small Girl | Big Banana

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Big Banana

by Small Girl

We stop traffic at the intersection of jazz, blues, burlesque, and performance art as an original and progressive jazz quartet whose vivacious singer channels the spirit of Jacques Brel, the intensity of Edith Piaf and the gall of Lenny Bruce.
Genre: Jazz: Progressive Jazz
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. I Love Me
2:42 $0.99
2. Small Girl
4:11 $0.99
3. The Perspring Song
5:23 $0.99
4. 2 Pods in a Pea
2:55 $0.99
5. Cinnamon
4:58 $0.99
6. Mr. Mystery
5:04 $0.99
7. Cheri
3:52 $0.99
8. The Tides
3:08 $0.99
9. Home Alone
3:50 $0.99
10. Rock Me
2:07 $0.99
11. Babealicious
5:11 $0.99
12. Vegetarian Cannibal Love
2:37 $0.99
13. Find Me An Angel
4:25 $0.99
14. Ode to Gord
5:39 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes

The small girl BIG BANANA digipak CD was officially released at Burning Man in August 2008 with seven performances in different villages. The Winnipeg release was on October 17th at Liquid Lounge. A great time was had by all.

The small girl live quartet is Aliza Amihude – vocals, Jeff Presslaff – piano, Gilles Fournier – bass, and Scott Senior – percussion and drums.

BIG BANANA CD: Instrumentation

Aliza Amihude – vocals
Jeff Presslaff – piano
Gilles Fournier – bass
Daniel Roy – drums and percussion (tracks 2 & 4)
Kelly Marques – drums and percussion (all other tracks)

With this new recording, Aliza embarks upon a career of making life more challenging for critics and writers of liner notes. Poised somewhere on the edge of complete musical naiveté and enormous sophistication, of sincerity and irony, and at the intersection of jazz, blues, burlesque, and performance art, she opens doors to the unexpected.

This small girl’s humour, sassiness, range of inflection, and quirkiness of melody make listening to her and her progressive jazz back-up a delightful and sometimes breathtaking experience. small girl is an ensemble that turns on the harmonic and rhythmic dime, not unlike the late Betty Carter’s groups, but with Aliza’s own forthright take on life, love, the universe, and everything.

The songs tell stories whose performance can go an which way on a given night. Aliza and Jeff rely on their highly developed musical rapport to allow things to swing freely from whichever tree they find themselves up in, and the resulting emotional terrain is a wonder to behold.

The 14 songs on BIG BANANA

came through Aliza Amihude between 1996-2001 in Montreal, Quebec; Jakarta, Java; Lorette and Matlock in rural Manitoba; and on Maui, Hawaii.

were co-composed with Jeff Presslaff between 1999-2001 in Winnipeg, Manitoba

where, in Winnipeg, they were

recorded between 1999-2005 at Unity Gain, Private Ear, and Mid-Ocean recording studios

mixed by Jeff Presslaff, Don Benedictson, and Rodrigo Muñoz

mastered by Allen Hunnie in 2007

The artwork for BIG BANANA was all done in 2008

cover photo was taken in Maui by Daniella Dreher (Aliza’s step-daughter)

graphic design done by David at

final product done by Polar Bear

More facts

The digipak is made with recycled cardboard

The song Cheri is completely en français (in French) and Mr. Mystery is bilingual

Cinnamon is in the film “Blow Me” by Jaimz Asmundson

The stage show can be performed in English, French, or both


Aliza Amihude
Born in St. Boniface, Manitoba and raised in Winnipeg on Nana Maskouri, Jaques Brel, and Yemenite prayers, Aliza has been singing odd songs in various voices since she was a young child.
Aliza has had the privilege of living in Montreal for 7 years, and for 1 year each in Jakarta, Calgary, and northern Israel. She also travelled in Great Britain, France, Egypt, India, turned 23 and 32 in Bangkok and travelled through Thailand, Singapore, Vietnam, Burma, and on the islands of Java, Bali, Sumbawa, Flores, and Rinca in Indonesia.
Aliza studied voice with Trisha Pope in Montreal, Cindy McLeod in Calgary, and Alicja Kietta Seaborn in Winnipeg
Singing and performing is her greatest passion but she is also a trained art jeweller HYPERLINK "" and teaches jewellery-making at schools throughout Manitoba. Aliza has received many awards for her sculptural one-of-a-kind jewellery. She mixes precious metals and gems with materials like sand, twigs, hair, etc. to express her belief that the entire universe is precious.
She met Joseph Fullmer, her husband of 6 years, at Burning Man 2000. Originally from Oregon, Joseph moved to Winnipeg after living in Maui for two years. Together, they completely gutted and rebuilt an old home in historic North Point Douglas, where they live, create, and garden with their cat, Puppy.
Aliza is 4’10” and speaks four languages

Jeff Presslaff
Is a former New Yorker who transplanted to Winnipeg in the 90’s, and enjoys his life as a jazz pianist, trombonist, composer, producer, and teacher.
He studied music at Princeton and Wesleyan Universities and has been a member of prestigious music faculties including Bard, Union College, and Princeton
Has worked with Benny Carter, Bill Baron, Ed Blackwell, Roswell Rudd, Rick Margitza, Stanley Jordan, George Garzone, Prudence Johnson, and many others.
Recorded an album of original compositions, Collective Unconscious (1991), featuring Steely Dan’s saxophonist, Cornelius Bumpus, and UI bassist, Wilbo Wright. Jeff has also recorded with many Manitoba musicians.
His compositions and instrumental work have been heard worldwide on CBC
Jeff was awarded Manitoba Jazz Musician of the Year in 2004

Gilles Fournier
Has the very busy life as the first-call bass player in Manitoba, for almost every genre, although, he plays mostly jazz.
Studied at St. Francis Xavier University in Nova Scotia and also under Rufus Reid.
Has performed and recorded with international jazz musicians Bobby Hitcherson, Kevin Embanks, Arturo Sandoval, Atilla Zoller, Paqito D’Rivera, Tito Puente, “Smitty” Smith, Fred Penner, Shirley Jones, James Keelaghan, Clarke Terry, and many more.
Recorded and released Bootleg, a live album by his funky band, EgoSpank. Check out

Scott Senior
His depth of knowledge in Afro-Cuban and Brazilian percussion has led Scott to be one of the most in-demand percussionists in Manitoba
He studied in both Havana, Cuba and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Just finished touring a large part of the planet with Juno Award winners, The Duhks. Check out
His passion for music and originality is what makes his music multi-dimensional and surprising, the perfect fit for small girl.


small girl was born a cappella In Montreal, Quebec in 1996 through improvised melodies and lyrics sung by Aliza Amihude where she performed Babealicious, Ode to Gord and Mr. Mystery in three clubs before moving to Jakarta, Indonesia in July 1997.

In July 1999, Amihude moved back to Winnipeg, after a 9 year hiatus, to find a band to accompany her for an upcoming performance at the Calgary Arts Centre for the High Performance Rodeo and Engineered Air Theatre’s Singer Songwriter Series in January 2000.

Jazz guitarist, Brian Zimmerman introduced her to Jeff Presslaff, musician and composer, who had recently immigrated from New York. That summer, she sang her songs to Jeff and he scored and arranged them for a jazz trio.

Since the show in Calgary, small girl has performed at Jazz Winnipeg Festivals, the Winnipeg Art Gallery, The Gas Station Theatre, The Garrick Theatre, Le Centre Culturel Franco-Manitobain (where she was banned), at the Manitoba Theatre Centre’s Warehouse, and at various clubs around Winnipeg.

Aliza wrote a 55 minute musical, small girl Chokes the Chicken, that the quartet performed five times during the 2001 Winnipeg Fringe Festival. They received 4/5 stars in their Winnipeg Free Press review.

small girl DISCOGRAPHY:

Some New Songs from a small girl - 4 song CD, 1999
small girl Laughs – 5 minute laugh track CD, 2001
Girlfriend from Hades – 8 song CD, 2002
Jazz, Blues, Burlesque – 7 song CD, 2004
BIG BANANA – 14 song CD, 2007


Martin Morrow, Calgary Herald
“The spirit of Joe Cocker reincarnated in the body of Betty Boop”

Gilles Marchildon, Winnipeg Free Press
“Amihude is an endearing and voluptuously sexy stage presence” and “the high-calibre musicians take flight during the 55-minute show, brilliantly performing edgy and eclectic music, mostly sultry jazz sounds”

Larry LeBlanc, Canadian Editor for Billboard Magazine
“I Love Me and 2 Pods in a Pea knocked me on my ass!”

John Kendle, Editor Uptown Magazine
“vamping piano-based tunes are the stock-in-trade of Aliza Amihude…and reveal her to be a theatrical presence with a sound that is almost a throwback to the day of smoky cocktail lounges, silver lame backdrops, and singers in shimmering evening gowns and long black gloves”

Liz Clayton, as Manager of UMFM
“ Aliza is an intrepid warrior for visionary freedom. Somewhat naughty but never coy. And her back-up band is the best in the land!”

James Borsa, The Jenny Review
“Aliza is a very talented ans sharp presence on stage… a very sincere and likeable performer…a really great singing voice”

Citizen Stan
“Great music, wild dance, irrepressible spirit”

ALIZA’s FAVOURITE QUOTE (when she changes the word God to the word, good):

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, which most frightens us. We ask ourselves, “Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?” Actually, who are we not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we’re liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

-Nelson Mandela



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