Perspective is everything. While presently some see the world as a chaotic mess, others glimpse wonder and beauty in abundance and the infinite possibilities created when rooted in love. As demonstrated on her debut jazz-adult pop album, Pretty World, vocalist Anne Walsh falls into the latter category.
The gorgeous collection of idyllic songs that thematically chronicle the complexities of love spanning happiness, yearning, suffering and hope will be released June 16th by A To Zink Music. Walshs husband, Thomas Zink, produced and arranged the dozen tracks that consist of buoyant Brazilian jazz grooves and poignant heart-tugging ballads.
While Pretty World is comprised of cover versions of standards (Cole Porter, Rogers & Hammerstein), Brazilian jazz (Sergio Mendes, Antonio Carlos Jobim) and adult pop (Suzanne Vega, Kevyn Lettau) cuts, compositions by Pat Metheny (So May It Secretly Begin), Keith Jarrett (My Song) and Don Grolnick (Pools) were given original lyrics penned for Walsh by Joe DeRenzo.
Zink, who played piano, keyboards and synths, fostered a live sound during the recording process by utilizing live musicians and granting the gifted players the freedom and ample space to improvise and spontaneously interact while never obstructing the spotlight brightly focused upon Walshs angelic vocals. The exquisite production leans organically acoustic and is graced with warm embraces from a lush string section that added a range of emotion. Impressive is the fact that Zink successfully managed to orchestrate intricately produced tracks that sound sparse and airy.
To add authenticity, contributing their talents to the record was an accomplished bunch that has played with Mendes including noted guitarist Oscar Castro-Neves (Jobim), bassists Carlitos Del Puerto and Jerry Watts, percussionist Tiki Pasillas, and saxophonist-flautist Gary Meek in addition to multidimensional bassist Brian Bromberg.
Much of the music on Pretty World was written in the 1970s when there was an exciting fusion of so many great musical forces.
Theres something brave about these songs and I wanted to be a part of the music from that era. There was a real musical freedom to explore, and we set out to capture some of the crazy diversity that resulted. Im drawn to songs that feel good, groove, communicate a truth, express an emotion or tell a story. As a performer of songs written by others, Tom & I felt that we owed it to the music to add something unique. We wanted that to come through on both the vocals and the arrangements. I hope the album paints a picture of beauty, love, joy, pain, heartbreak, blessings and the mystery of relationships while celebrating and honoring the composers of some of my favorite music.
Walsh was raised in Worchester, Massachusetts where a large Brazilian population dwelled, and as a child her vivid imagination was initially captured by songs ranging from Broadway productions like The Sound Of Music to the distinctive jazz-pop stylings of Brazil '66. She studied music extensively, eventually earning a Masters degree after moving West. Walsh performed in light operas and musicals, all of which helped shape her unique musical identity.
Now residing in Long Beach, shes on staff teaching young vocalists at the American Musical & Dramatic Academy in Los Angeles. Previous releases include concept albums of lullabies (the Parents Choice award-winning Baby Mine) and sacred music (Be Still My Soul). She performs regularly with her band and has upcoming shows scheduled in Southern California at Spaghettinis in Seal Beach (April 29) and at the famed Jazz Bakery in Culver City (May 3).
So May It Secretly Begin
Waters of March
In The Still Of The Night
Night And Day
My Favorite Things
He Loves You