Monday, June 21, 2010

Linda Ciofalo's new CD, a tribute to Johnny Mercer, comes out today

Vocalist Linda Ciofalo understands how to deliver a great lyric and on her new CD, "Dancing With Johnny," a tribute to Johnny Mercer, she shines. Since Mercer is known for his endless brilliance as a first class writer of over 1,000 songs, Ciofalo is breath taking in her element. The songs showcase her tasteful vocal style and Ciofalo allows the strength of the material to serve as the musical foundation upon which her strong, yet distinct vocals sit comfortably as the centerpiece of this timeless collection of standards. But what makes this recording even more rewarding is that all of the compositions have a Latin twist that spark the desire to move to each memorizing Mercer lyric. Deep rooted in the South, Mercer's award winning songs paint exquisite images of nature, romance, haunting memories and love. "Johnny Mercer's lyrics dance on a singer's lips," said Ciofalo. "His words are intoxicating and a sheer pleasure to sing."

"Dancing With Johnny" also features Grammy winner - and a current member of the CTI All Stars 2010 Band - Brian Lynch on trumpet, and stellar musicians such as John DiMartino (piano), John Benitez (bass), Ernesto Simpson (drums), Little Johnny Rivero (percussion), Paul Meyers (nylon string guitar), Chieli Minucci (electric guitar and effects) and Joel Frahm (saxophones). The Mercer material is a welcome addition to Ciofalo's repertoire, which ranges from such diverse sources as bluesman John Lee Hooker to Broadway's Rodgers and Hammerstein. What a bold statement to her versatility that her voice can be both hard-hitting and gutsy or lend itself to pure romance. Andrea Canter of writes, "Her vibrant swing can turn gloom into joy; her storyteller's passion recounts love lost and found; her voice moves easily from sultry to salty to sassy."

Linda's love for Mercer songs started early on when she had to learn songs for a big band and after being introduced to the famous Mercer hit "Skylark" she was swept away because of the beauty of the lyrics. "Singers have a special gift," said Ciofalo in a recent interview "because we get to use words along with the music. In fact, it's our job to deliver those lyrics with emotion and sincerity." Linda has been devoted to Mercer's music doing programs for many years that feature the great artist. She was hoping to release this CD on his centennial but just missed it by one year. Commented Ciofalo,"It was my intent to tribute Johnny Mercer with a recording which is both romantic and moving. We hope it will make your heart feel like dancing."

The greatest jazz singer of our time, my dear friend Mark Murphy said it best:
"Linda Ciofalo is an absolute bundle of joy. Wait 'til you hear her sing, you're in heaven!

"Her vibrant swing can turn gloom into joy; her storyteller's passion recounts love lost and found; her voice moves easily from sultry to salty to sassy. Above all, on Dancing With Johnny, singer Linda Ciofalo presents the words of Johnny Mercer as if revealing their meaning for the first time." Andrea Canter, Jazz

"A spirited singer with a bright, flexible voice and a firm grasp of bop and blues. Linda Ciofalo has shared the stage with the likes of Mark Murphy and Les Paul." Time Out NY

TOUR DATES: (Seattle, San Francisco, LA)

June 25: 7:30 PM Tula's Restaurant and Nightclub
with Kelley Johnson Quartet
2214 Second Avenue, Seattle, WA 98121
tel: 206-443-4221
$15 music charge

June 27: 1 PM Jazzvox Concert
with Randy Halberstadt
Camano Island, WA
tel: 206-963-2403 (Nich Anderson)
$30 suggested donation

June 29: 7 PM Rasselas Jazz Club
with David Udolf Trio
1534 Fillmore Street (at Geary) San Francisco,CA 94115
No Cover

July 1: 7 -10 PM Jazz at the Crowne Plaze in the Brasserie Jazz Lounge
with Otmaro Ruiz, John Belzaguy & Jimmy Branly
5985 Century Blvd. Los Angeles,CA
Reservations: 310-642-7500
No Cover

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