World Village/harmonia mundi proudly announces the release of vocalist Catherine Russell’s Inside This Heart Of Mine on April 13, 2010. Her third album for the label, Inside This Heart Of Mine is a collection of 13 songs -- tied together by the special place these songs hold inside the heart of Catherine Russell.
It's a heart that's warm and effusive, bluesy and erudite, bold yet vulnerable, passionate yet ethereal. Just listen to Cat's masterful reading of “Troubled Waters”, a seldom heard tune scored by the Duke Ellington Orchestra for both Ivey Anderson and Mae West, performed here as a sultry meditation. Then there's “We The People”, a never before covered Fats Waller tune from an originally unreleased recording, a tongue-in-cheek populist manifesto from the previous Great Depression, which implores legislators to provide “syncopation” as the surest way to “please the people.” The Spencer Williams languid blues melody, "Slow As Molasses", was originally recorded as an instrumental by Luis Russell in 1929 with his band The Jungle Town Stompers. Wordsmith Rachelle Garniez added lyrics just for these sessions, allowing Cat’s evocative vocal spin on the new creation, some 80 years following her Dad’s original version.
This decades spanning collection of songs, originally performed by the likes of Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Peggy Lee, Maxine Sullivan, Howlin’ Wolf, Wynonie Harris, Fats Waller, and Catherine’s father, Luis Russell, draws from Vaudeville wit, Tin Pan Alley tune craft, New Orleans swagger, Swing Era sock, the European Cafe, Jump Blues jive, modal Delta Blues, and Django-esque swing, with an immediacy and a timeless quality that’s refreshingly oblivious to current “trends”. Here in you’ll find works by Hall of Fame Songwriters, like Andy Razaf, Harold Arlen, Ted Koehler, Alec Wilder, and Willie Dixon, as well as being introduced to newer Contemporary songs with an old-time vibe by Rachelle Garniez and producer, Paul Kahn.
For the sessions, Musical Director/Arranger/Guitarist/Banjoist, Matt Munisteri (Holly Cole, Little Jimmy Scott, Brock Mumford), assembled the cream of New York City based players, including trumpet great Jon-Erik Kellso, who contributes arrangements, trombonist John Allred, and saxophone/clarinetist Dan Block. The rhythm section includes players from Catherine Russell’s road tested band, including stride and swing connoisseur Mark Shane on piano, Lee Hudson on bass, and Brian Grice on drums (Count Basie Orchestra, Eartha Kitt). Additional players on the album include legendary hipster Howard Johnson on tuba, Rachelle Garniez on accordion, Sara Caswell on violin, Neal Miner on bass, and Rob Garcia on drums.
Catherine Russell is a New Yorker, born into musical royalty. Her father, the late Luis Russell, was a native of Panama who moved to New Orleans and then New York City, becoming a pioneering pianist/composer/bandleader, and Louis Armstrong's long-time musical director. Her mother, Carline Ray, an outstanding bassist and vocalist, has performed with Mary Lou Williams and International Sweethearts of Rhythm. Considering her roots and family pedigree, it’s no surprise that Catherine Russell is a one-of-a-kind singer and musician. Cat is in demand as a backing singer and multi- instrumentalist, having performed and recorded with artists including Steely Dan, Levon Helm, David Bowie, Cyndi Lauper, Paul Simon, Jackson Browne, Michael Feinstein, Carrie Smith, and Rosanne Cash.
Of her debut album "Cat", (World Village/Harmonia Mundi), she made critic and Sinatra biographer, Will Friedwald's top 10 list who stated "She is a fresh and original voice. The most exciting debut album I've heard in a long time." "It's a delight to hear the real thing in Catherine Russell", wrote the dean of jazz writers, Nat Hentoff, in The Wall Street Journal.
Catherine Russell's second album on World Village, "Sentimental Streak", was released in 2008 to universal acclaim, hitting the Billboard and I-Tunes Jazz Charts, and JazzWeek and Living Blues Radio Charts. Cat was a guest on "Late Night with Conan O'Brien" and NPR's "Fresh Air". She won the prestigious German Record Critics' Award in the Jazz category and Living Blues magazine's 2008 critics' poll as "Artist Deserving More Attention." L'Acadamie du Jazz in France chose "Sentimental Streak" as finaliste for Prix du Jazz Vocal 2008, while Grammy Award winning writer and jazz critic Francis Davis picked "Sentimental Streak" as Vocal Album of the Year in the 2008 Village Voice Jazz Critics Poll.
Since the release of her albums, Catherine Russell has performed on three continents. She's been the surprise hit at major events including the Chicago Blues Festival, Montreal Jazz Festival, Bern Jazz Festival, Rochester International Jazz Festival, Tanglewood Jazz Festival, Lotus World Music Festival, I Love Jazz Festival in Brazil, Panama Jazz Festival, and at premier venues like The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., Scullers Jazz Club in Boston, The Dakota in Minneapolis, and Yoshi's in San Francisco. All Music Guide says, "Russell emerged as a retro old school vocalist for the ages."
Catherine Russell's "Inside This Heart of Mine" is a personal selection of gems from the 1920s through the Present; vital interpretations, bursting with soul and humor. Deepening the approach of her previous recordings -- an off-the-beaten-path song selection, sparkling small group acoustic swing, and a stunning vocal approach -- with "Inside This Heart Of Mine", vocalist Catherine Russell joins the ranks of the greatest interpreters and performers of American Popular Song.
Catherine Russell CD Release Party
Monday April 12
at Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola
at Jazz at Lincoln Center, Broadway at 60th Street,
(33 West 60th Street)
NY, NY 10023