1. Take Five
2. The Duke
3. Easy as You Go
4. Far More Blue
5. In Your Own Sweet Way
6. There'll Be No Tomorrow
7. My One Bad Habit
8. Summer Song
9. Strange Meadowlark
10. Weep No More
11. Trav'lin Blues
Karla Harris Vocals
Ted Howe Keyboards, Piano,
Tom Kennedy Bass (Acoustic and Electric)
Bob Sheppard Alto
Dave Weckl Drums
First-Ever Studio Recording Featuring the Vocal Songbook of Dave and Iola Brubeck!
This project, authorized by the Brubeck estate, intends to pay homage to Brubeck's distinctive musical styling and gorgeous melodies while shaping each arrangement based on the story the lyrics tell.
In her Summit Records debut, Karla Harris Sings the Dave and Iola Brubeck Songbook, vocalist Karla Harris brings something rarely heard in a Brubeck tribute: Lyrics. This new release is the first-ever studio recording featuring the vocal songbook of Dave Brubeck's music with lyrics written by the person who had an especially close insight into the iconic jazz pianist's music-his wife of 70 years, Iola Brubeck.
Harris, a marvelous singer who gained a strong presence on the Pacific NW jazzscape after living for years in Portland, is poised to enter the national stage with this contemporary, respectful and musically innovative tribute. Not since a 1961 live recording of the Dave Brubeck Quartet with guest vocalist Carmen McRae has there been an album of vocal versions of this music, and no one has ever gone into the studio to record and release the Brubeck Songbook as a dedicated vocal project.
The project is the brainchild of Los Angeles-based producer, arranger and pianist Ted Howe, whose previous recordings include chart-topping tributes to Gershwin, Elton John and Ellington. Howe, a lifelong Brubeck fan who remembers the first time he heard the pianist in 1954 ('his playing floored me,' he recalls) cites Brubeck as a major inspiration in his own career, and has long wanted to produce a vocal tribute of the composer's music.
Impressed with Harris after working with her at a 2013 concert he produced in Atlanta, Howe approached the singer with the idea.
'I loved the concept immediately. It was intriguing, to say the least,' Harris says. 'I had no idea words existed for so many of the songs Dave Brubeck composed or that Iola wrote so many of those lyrics. They've really gone largely undiscovered.'
Work got off the ground when Howe, through the Brubeck estate, received a copy of a rare, out-of-print Dave Brubeck songbook published more than 30 years ago-a copy provided by Iola herself in early 2014 for this project, shortly before her passing.
'It felt like we were uncovering hidden treasure,' Harris says of looking through the music for the first time. 'There was as an opening verse to 'Strange Meadowlark,' for example, that we didn't know even existed. And there was Iola's name listed as lyricist on tune after tune, making it clear this songbook belonged to them both.
Karla tends to take the stage by storm and doesn't let go till it's all over. --Jazz Society of Oregon
A powerful singer at ease in any setting. --Ross Gentile, Standard In Jazz WSIE-FM
Anyone who sees and hears this gorgeous woman, at once striking and modest, will be enchanted by her performance and personality. --Positively Entertainment