Holly Zell Jurgensen @ the Hip Kitty!!! This Friday, February 25
Hip Kitty Jazz Fondue Lounge
502 W. First St., Claremont, CA 91711
Ph: (909) 447-6700
Featuring: Ron Kobayashi (piano), Baba Elefante (bass), Steve Dixon (drums) & Joe Jewell (guitar). Not to be missed!
Jazz-inflected pop sensibilities; sensual, soulful songs: Meet Holly, the single-moniker of singer/songwriter Holly Zell Jurgensen, a Southern California-based artist whose melodic finesse and vocal intimacy are in full bloom on her full-length debut, "Butter & Chocolate."
Born in San Clemente, California, the gorgeous Holly graduated from UCLA with a master’s degree in music. She has since become a charter member of the Southern California songwriting community – a loose-knit group of friends and collaborators. Listeners might know her from her inclusion in "Women on the Move" (Red Coyote Records), a collection praised as possessing “…a fluidity that is rarely seen in compilation records.”
Within the 12 new tracks that constitute "Butter & Chocolate," breezy references to the ocean, tides, and the moon confirm Holly’s west coast origins. “I Love This Place,” introduces the song suite, with Holly’s serene voice floating over chiming acoustic guitars and a rippling piano. Between swelling strings and hypnotic rhythms, “Helplessly in Love,” illuminates the intoxication of infatuation as it reinforces a primary theme of the CD – different shades of love. “There is lost love, there is in love and there is true love,” notes Holly. “I want to represent the whole person.”
Subtle Latin grooves, acoustic guitars and a declaratory chorus of female voices underscore the candid declaration of “I Love Him.” With “That Look,” the mood is definitively sharpened – as a stinging electric guitar and sly innuendo annotate the flash point of physical attraction. Confirming the theme in her song, “Helplessly In Love,” Holly notes, “I’m a helpless romantic -- I like that sense of ‘Danielle Steele hotness.’”
“Butter,” also celebrates the power of the sensual. “Baby tastes like butter/Simmering sweet and slow,” she intones. The album’s other delectable bookend, “Chocolate,” is a bluesy invitation, with the narrator equating through metaphor how physical desire mirrors a craving for sweets.
But all is not candy coated: The mood transitions into profound shades of blue with the CD’s emotional centerpiece, “Over the Rainbow.” By appropriating a well-known title, Holly creates a new reflection on an historic metaphor. “You have hope and expectations when you’re young,” she says. “All of the challenges are there. These lyrics talk about the idea of dreams not coming true, and what do you do then?”
Diabetes, autism, cancer and loss -- it is her response to these very human frailties that inspires her art and bonds her to others dealing with similar realities . “Another Day, Another Night,” and “I Miss You,” both reveal a connection to trial and loss. “When you’re sharing authenticity that’s art,” notes Holly. “I’m not afraid to do that as a songwriter.”
A select group of collaborators -- including Nashville/L.A. veteran Warren Sellers, Music City luminary Marc-Alan Barnette (Shelby Lynne, David Ball); the late tunesmith Marty Martin (a prime architect in the Los Angeles “Breakout” songwriters group), and James Grey (Tyrone Wells) and Rascal Flatts/Sara Evans songwriter, Kevin Fisher --worked with Holly on crafting the songs that constitute "Butter & Chocolate." Holly co-produced with Randy Emata, whose resume includes marquee artists like Chaka Khan and Aaron Neville.
Holly smiles enigmatically when asked why this project, now. “It is so if someone important, or someone from the music industry asks me, ‘Do you have an album?’ I’m prepared.” Moreover, she concludes with this these thoughts: “I wanted to kill every bird with one stone. To create a vehicle that would act as an introduction to other songwriters and to listeners. But most of all, I needed to pour my heart into the emotions of these songs.”
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
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