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My First Jazz Vocal Album

Discussion in 'General Jazz Discussions' started by Mr. P.C., Oct 2, 2016.

  1. Mr. P.C.

    Mr. P.C. Active Member

    I haven't been around for some time, but I have stayed in touch with David Leech (we did a gig in Venice Beach last year). I'm happy to announce that I've recorded my first album as a jazz vocalist, a tribute to Johnny Mercer. It's available online as a download from iTunes, Amazon, Google Play and the distributor, Loudr, as well as streaming on Spotify, Apple Music and Deezer. I've only done a short run of CDs for promos and gig sales. Here's one of the tunes followed by the press release. I hope everybody's doing well.

    Mercerized! Jazz Singer & Writer Peter Cherches Sings Johnny Mercer with a Twist

    Brooklyn, New York - August 25, 2016 − Singer, lyricist and fiction writer Peter Cherches has just released his first jazz vocal album, Mercerized! Songs of Johnny Mercer. But in addition to Mercer's brilliant lyrics, Cherches has added his own words, primarily vocalese, to the performances. Cherches writes, "In some cases my new lyrics paraphrase Mercer's original, sometimes they continue or respond to the story, and sometimes they're playful parodies. In all cases, my new lyrics are shared with the utmost respect for Mercer, whom I consider the greatest poet of the Great American Songbook."

    Vocalese is, traditionally, the practice of adding lyrics to recorded instrumental jazz solos, and on "Too Marvelous for Words," Cherches has written words to a J.J. Johnson trombone solo. On other tunes, however, he has penned what he refers to as "original vocalese," where Cherches writes both the words and the solo melody. And on "Autumn Leaves" he performs a new lyric based on Jacques Prevert's French original before launching into Mercer's version in a rendition inspired by the famous 1958 recording by Miles Davis and Cannonball Adderley. Most of Cherches' lyrics riff off of Mercer's, but in "Laura" he sings of his youthful crush on that film's lovely star, Gene Tierney.

    For Cherches, choosing to focus on Mercer's lyrics also gave him the opportunity to sing songs written with an amazing array of the greatest American songwriters, including Harold Arlen, Hoagy Carmichael, Henry Mancini, Jerome Kern and Jimmy Van Heusen, as well as jazz composers Duke Ellington, Lionel Hampton and Ralph Burns.

    On Mercerized!, Cherches is joined on piano by his long-time accompanist and collaborator Lee Feldman, a noted singer-songwriter in his own right. Bassist Dave Hofstra joins the two on a number of tunes.

    Called "one of the innovators of the short short story" by Publishers Weekly, Peter Cherches has maintained parallel careers in music and performance since the 1980s. He co-led the "avant vaudeville" band Sonorexia with multi-instrumentalist and composer Elliott Sharp, performing at such legendary venues as The Mudd Club, Folk City and CBGB. In 1984 he began working on music and performance projects with Lee Feldman.

    On Sunday, October 9, at 6pm, Cherches and Feldman will present music from Mercerized! at New York City's Cornelia Street Cafe. Cherches' new book, Autobiography without Words, will be published by Pelekinesis in March of 2017.

    Mercerized! is distributed for digital download by Loudr, which offers direct sales of high-resolution files (Apple Lossless, FLAC and 320kbps mp3). The album is also available in standard formats from all major online retailers, including iTunes, Amazon and Google Play.

    Mercerized! can be purchased directly from Loudr at http://www.loudr.fm/release/mercerized-songs-of-johnny-mercer/wanfM

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