This outstanding album features eighteen songs by preeminent composers John Adams, Samuel Barber, William Bolcom, Paul Chihara , Aaron Copland, John Corigliano, David Del Tredici, John Harbison, Leon Kirchner, Wynton Marsalis, Ned Rorem, William Schimmel, Stanley Silverman, and Bob Telson and features seasoned musicians Joel Fan, piano; Xavier Davis, piano; Sherman Irby, saxophone and flute; William Schimmel, accordion; Ron Jackson, guitar; Vicente Archer, bass; Dwayne Burno, bass; and Wille Jones III drums. Lisa adds her imaginative lyrics to instrumentals by Wynton Marsalis,' Sophie Rose-Rosalee and Paul Chihara's, Prince of the City.
Composer Ned Rorem, commenting on Lisa's singing says Like all true singers of song, Lisa takes her vocal expertise for granted and concentrates entirely upon the text. Every nuance of the words- each twist and turn and lilt and sob and smile- contains, and expresses, the experience of She Who Was There. She performs from the inside out. Prima la parola... the shading seems inevitable, and the diction flawless.
And Ron Della Chiesa of WGBH has said, It's a musical revelation to hear what Lisa does with her voice. A sound imbued with sophistication, beauty, and style so rare to hear ...one of today's most talented and gifted singers." Lisa Kirchner's previous albums on Albany Records have garnered praise from jazz critics worldwide. Lisa has appeared in concert, on radio, records and television, and in lead and featured roles as actress, singer and dancer off and on Broadway. She has been the invited singer to Gracie Mansion and to the White House. On television Lisa wrote her own songs for her on camera appearances on NBC's Another World. She has played the New York circuit of jazz clubs and cabarets.
In her articulate liner notes, Lisa tells the story of the album. I am also fortunate in having had personal associations with almost all of the composers on the album...the reason for these life-long connections, was my father, composer Leon Kirchner It has been thrilling to unite ...composers and performers who have had a profound impact on my own passage through folk, theatre, jazz, pop and classical music."
A long time colleague of my father's, Ned Rorem was my fellow performer one night on a pop gig" with Judy Collins at Carnegie Hall... for this album he suggested Early One Morning, set to a poem by Robert Hillyer and depicting a Paris morning brimming with possibilities and young love. The mellifluous tune riding a ¾ waltz with a subtle layer of dissonance evokes a sense of passage."
From among John Corigliano's works, I chose, Fort Tryon Park: September, from The Cloisters, an alluring song in mixed meter Its melody begins with pure soprano, but moves to a dustier register as modern tragedy darkens an idyllic medieval scene."
John Adams studied with my father at Harvard and was a welcome visitor to our house. Leila's Song, from I Was Looking at the Ceiling and Then I Saw the Sky, ...is an intimate confession of longing for partnership in love...the song evolves with subtle meter variations and melodic leaps into a cathartic emotional self-realization in the aftermath of an earthquake in Los Angeles."
David Del Tredici, a long-time colleague of my father's, brightened our house from my teen years and on." The theme of Acrostic Song from Final Alice, is the subliminal love story (Lewis Carroll's longing for Alice)unrealized, but relived eternally in tales to eager children... conjured by languorous music of halcyon days that mushrooms into expanded notes fading out of sync into a hallucinatory dream."
Bob Telson, a student of Del Tredici, came to Harvard after his studies with Nadia Boulanger in Paris.... Telson's evocative nuances inflect the song Barefoot, which he wrote with K.D. Lang for the film, Salmonberries." It is an expression of extreme love in the frozen climate of Alaska, where forbidden harmonies wail in parallel with dogs and icy wind over a vast and surreal blanket of weather and longing."
I asked my dad to write a jazz tune for me (and) he wrote the song, now called Lily and added it to his opera of the same title." This song, Lisa says, spurred the album concept. The slightly atonal tune is underscored by high speed chromatic runs and some lush major seventh chords. The song's ironic protagonist swings on her emotional trapeze through a nostalgic ballad of 1970's self awareness for the entertainment of guests at a cocktail party."
I heard Wynton Marsalis and his group perform his Sophie Rose-Rosalee at Versailles, outside of Paris... this ethereal and elegant tune...seemed to tell a story...(Marsalis) kindly agreed to my writing and performing lyrics for this popular instrumental.
This innovative CD is an elixir of melody offering 70 minutes of art song, jazz, cabaret and classical melodies that swing in an album by an artist who delivers vocal magic" proving once again that she has an adventurer's idea of repertoire" and impeccable taste in music and musicians. A superb album !
Of her singing, Christopher Loudon has said in Jazz Times, ..."admiring Lisa Kirchner's all- American elegance, you expect to hear lady-like delicacies done up with vanilla frosting. Instead, out pours this astonishing mix of ash and gravel that combines the talk-sing sophistication of Mabel Mercer with the gutsy appeal of Dee Dee Bridgewater."
Lisa Kirchner voice Joel Fanpiano Xavier Davispiano William Schimmel accordion Sherman Irbyalto saxophone, flute Ron Jacksonguitar Vicente Archerbass Dwayne Burnobass Willie Jones IIIdrums