February 21, 2006

The incomparable Kim Nalley

It requires all of the discipline within me to come in out of the sunshine of Santa Clara (sweet beard of Zeus, it is a gorgeous day here) to post up what I had in mind for today. Well, actually, I have a meeting in 20 minutes so I had to come inside. That and the sunburn I was starting to get. My lilly-white skin is not used to these climes anymore.

Anyways, a lovely perk of my visit here is that the cosmic timetables were smiling upon me and I coincidentally picked the same week to come visit that the incomparable Kim Nalley is performing at the free Music at Noon series at SCU (tomorrow, Wed the 22nd, at noon in the Music & Dance building). If you are in the area, she gets my strongest recommendation of someone that you should see live at all costs. I guarantee you will be entertained &/or impressed &/or tap your toes. It is not my normal style of music, but she converted me into a fan within about 30 seconds of seeing her live.

Kim Nalley sings jazz & blues like nobody’s business, strongly reminiscent of legends like Billie Holliday, Nina Simone and Dinah Washington. Her voice is strong and distinctive, and she really knows her stuff. Plus she scats. Who does scatting anymore? Seriously. It is a lost art.

In addition to being a regular performer at SCU’s Music at Noon (lucky us!), Kim has performed on both a national and international level at many of the world’s major jazz and blues festivals including the Umbria Jazz Festival in Italy, the Monterey Jazz Festival, the Mississippi Valley Blues Festival, and the Du Maurier JazzFest in Vancouver and Jazz Festivals in British Columbia, Victoria and Edmunton.

Kim Nalley has just completed a tribute album to Nina Simone, called She Put A Spell On Me. It is getting some good reviews. You can read more about it on CDBaby, preview the tracks, and possibly decide to order it. The record release party festivities are Feb 22-25 at Nalley’s nightclub in San Francisco, Jazz At Pearl’s. Should be a fabulous series of shows. Read what this San Francisco guy thought after seeing Kim live.

Here are two great tracks from her 2003 album Need My Sugar. The title track makes me blush, because, you know, ladies don’t sing about those kinds of things, do they? Ha. She sings like an angel, but she gets down and racy. See what you think.

Need My Sugar” – Kim Nalley

I Was Telling Him About You” – Kim Nalley
(aforementioned scatting)

“Nalley sounds a little like Billie Holiday and a little like Dinah Washington, but ultimately she sounds like no one but herself, and she is spectacular.” -Eric Fidler, Associated Press

“A trip to San Francisco is often said not be complete without hearing Kim Nalley perform. Glamorous, garrulous and dramatic like a diva of the 1950′s, Kim evokes an era when women were classy and brash.”

“God, this woman can sing!”
-Blues Access Magazine

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Bio Pic Name: Heather Browne
Location: Colorado, originally by way of California
Giving context to the torrent since 2005.

"I love the relationship that anyone has with music: because there's something in us that is beyond the reach of words, something that eludes and defies our best attempts to spit it out. It's the best part of us, probably, the richest and strangest part..."
—Nick Hornby, Songbook
"Music has always been a matter of energy to me, a question of Fuel. Sentimental people call it Inspiration, but what they really mean is Fuel."
—Hunter S. Thompson

Mp3s are for sampling purposes, kinda like when they give you the cheese cube at Costco, knowing that you'll often go home with having bought the whole 7 lb. spiced Brie log. They are left up for a limited time. If you LIKE the music, go and support these artists, buy their schwag, go to their concerts, purchase their CDs/records and tell all your friends. Rock on.

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