Catherine Russell 
Releases Harlem On My Mind September 9 on Jazz Village

National Tour Kicks Off SEPTEMBER 29 at Dizzy's Club at Jazz at Lincoln Center

photo: Sandrine Lee 

photo: Sandrine Lee 

With her sixth album, Harlem On My Mind, Grammy® Award-winning vocalist Catherine Russell journeys to the blue heart of the great African American songbook. Swinging forth with soulful interpretations, Russell taps the golden age of Harlem, as befits this vibrant daughter of jazz. Vocalists Ethel Waters, Billie Holiday, Etta James, and Dinah Washington provide inspiration where tunesmiths like Benny Carter, Irving Berlin, Andy Razaf and Fats Waller once ruled the roost of a renaissance which continues to reverberate. Of the title track, Russell says, “It’s about not forgetting your roots,” which also serves as her modus operandi for the entire collection. “The album is comprised of songs from artists who played at The Apollo in Harlem, where all African American artists of note appeared.”  

Russell is a native New Yorker, born into musical royalty. Her father, the late Luis Russell, was a legendary pianist/composer/bandleader and Louis Armstrong's long-time musical director. Her mother, Carline Ray, was a pioneering vocalist/guitarist/bassist who performed with International Sweethearts of Rhythm, Mary Lou Williams, and Sy Oliver. Russell notes, “My mother was born and raised in Harlem and my father led one of the leading orchestras in Harlem, which was part of the inspiration for this album.”   

iTunes | Amazon | Spotify

iTunes | Amazon | Spotify

Harlem On My Mind showcases Russell’s honey rich voice in a variety of settings. “I love working with saxophonist/arranger Andy Farber,” says Russell, and here Farber contributes five arrangements for tentet, featuring six horns. Her smaller groups swing equally hard, sometimes with fewer horns and sometimes stripped down to her road tested rhythm section, including musical director/guitarist/banjoist Matt Munisteri, pianist Mark Shane, bassist Tal Ronen, and drummer Mark McLean. Don’t Take Your Love From Me features a special guest appearance by tenor saxophonist Fred Staton, of the Harlem Blues and Jazz Band, who was 100-years-old at the time of the recording session, playing beautifully. Throughout, Russell and her band shine, whether serving up dollops of aural comfort food, or go for the rafters explosion of fun.

Select Upcoming Catherine Russell Appearances 2016

 

July 23: Katonah, NY - Caramoor Jazz Festival (Ladies Sing The Blues)
July 28: Brooklyn, NY - BAM R&B Series at Metrotech (Ladies Sing The Blues)
Aug 6: New Orleans, LA - Satchmo Summerfest
Aug 20: Arcadia, CA - Pasadena Pops Summer Concert Series (Michael Feinstein)
Sept 16: Bogota, COLOMBIA - Bogota Jazz Festival at Teatro Libre
Sept 29: New York, NY - Dizzy’s at Jazz at Lincoln Center (cd release show)
Oct 1: Philadelphia, PA - Annenberg Center for Arts, Zellerbach Hall
Oct 4: Oakland, CA - Yoshi’s
Oct 6-9: Seattle, WA - Jazz Alley
Oct 11: Portland, OR - PDX Jazz Presents at Old Church
Oct 13: Sacramento, CA - Harlow’s
Oct 14: Santa Cruz, CA - Kuumbwa Jazz Center
Oct 20: Boston, MA - Scullers
Oct 22: Princeton, NJ - McCarter Theatre - Berlind
Nov 1: Newark, NJ - NJPAC Prudential Hall
Nov 16-19: St. Louis, MO - Jazz St. Louis

Dec 1-18: Various Cities - Big Band Holidays
(Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis)

Agnes Obel's Citizen of Glass To Be Released October 21, 2016 on Play It Again Sam

Singled out as one of Bob Boilen's favorite artists at SXSW, and the receiver of high praise from director and unabashed fan David Lynch ("She has the most beautiful voice, unique and extraordinary"), Agnes Obel returns with shattering beauty on Citizen of Glass, out October 21, 2016 (Play It Again Sam / [PIAS]).  

The new music is absolutely enchanting, with a touch of a bleak but beautiful sadness and an anticipation of something wonderful just around the next corner.  But make no mistake...as she weaves her ethereal vocals through dense layers of strings and keys, Agnes Obel also shows herself to be fiercely feminine and deeply powerful.

Citizen Of Glass was written, recorded, produced and mixed by Obel at Aventine-Neukolln and BrandNewMusic-Studios in Berlin.  The album will be available as a digital download, CD with lyric booklet, and on 180g black vinyl LP + download code in a gatefold sleeve. The album can be pre-ordered now from agnesobel.com  

“The title comes from the German concept of the gläserner berger, the human or glass citizen,” Obel explained.  “It’s actually a legal term about the level of privacy the individual has in a state, and in health it’s become a term about how much we know about a person’s body or biology or history - if they’re completely made of glass we know everything.  There’s an increasing sense in this world that you have to make yourself a bit of glass. To be willing to open up, use yourself as material, and not just if you’re an artist or a musician.

“I worked with the title from the very beginning to push myself to do new things,” she continues. “I wanted to push myself conceptually from the starting point, to push the glass theme throughout the songs in different ways – in the lyrics, in the instruments - to do things in a very new way. As an album, it feels bigger to me, a lot bigger.”

Established as a major star across Europe, Obel has sold more than a million copies of her first two albums, Philharmonics (2010) and Aventine (2013), and has had over 250 million track streams worldwide.  Here in North America, her songs have been featured on Grey's Anatomy (ABC) and Pretty Little Liars (ABC Family),  The Leftovers (HBO) and Parenthood (NBC). Obel has also received singularly stunning critical praise here in the U.S.:

 

“[She blends] pop melodies with classical precision and an air of elegance bordering on art songs.” 
- Boston Globe

“...absolutely sublime.” - KCRW

“Agnes Obel’s sparse, haunting songs shine brightly…”  - Village Voice

“Stunning…mesmerizing…ethereal soundscapes.”  - WXPN/The Key

“Agnes Obel’s atmospheric chamber pop held an audience spellbound…”  - Seattle Times

“A fully-realized and confident artistic vision from an exciting young voice.”
- WNYC’s “Soundcheck” 

 

Agnes Obel will tour North America in 2017.