If vocalist Shaynee Rainbolt had followed the advice of Russell Garcia's tune, Go Slow," her new project - Shaynee Rainbolt SINGS Russell Garcia with Russell Garcia & His Four-Trombone Band - may never have happened. However, when a fellow vocalist gave her a copy of Julie London's rendition of the tune, Shaynee went full speed ahead to learn who wrote it and to secure the rights to record it. Her search uncovered the names Russell Garcia and Ned Kronk. Well aware of Garcia's legendary film scores, a high-speed chase led her to the website for The Time Machine," perhaps Garcia's most renowned score. She not only learned that he and his wife/songwriting partner, Gina, live in New Zealand, Shaynee also found a photo of the Garcias and an e-mail address. She fired off a note to them and soon she had a lead sheet to Go Slow" and dozens of other Garcia songs.
It is not often that you can reach out to someone and know you are touching nearly a century of musical history. But, that's what happened with Shaynee Rainbolt. The legendary composer/arranger/conductor, his music and overwhelming generosity literally charmed her. It was as if Shaynee and the Garcias were meant to meet and collaborate. After falling in love with the music he sent her, Shaynee learned the Garcias would be in Los Angeles at the same time she was scheduled to perform at Catalina's Bar & Grill. Serendipity continued when the Garcias invited her for an evening of dinner and their favorite blueberry pie, which turned out to be at a restaurant where Shaynee holds warm memories of sharing blueberry pie with her father. She invited them to her performance at Catalina's and Russell and Gina loved her voice, her style and the way she told the stories not only in their songs, but in everything she sang.
Eventually, Shaynee got up the nerve to ask if she could do a complete project of their music. The songwriting team was thrilled by the opportunity to have their work in the hearts and minds of jazz fans through Shaynee's CD. What followed is Shaynee Rainbolt SINGS Russell Garcia, a beautiful recording of 16 Russell Garcia originals, featuring the Russell Garcia Four-Trombone Band, arranged and conducted by Garcia himself.
There were a few things that I had to include," says Shaynee. 'Go Slow,' of course, because that was the song that started it all. But, also 'The Time Traveler,' which is the theme from 'The Time Machine' film, and 'When I First Saw You,' the theme from 'Atlantis: the Lost Continent'."
I also chose some instrumental pieces such as 'Flyin' Free' and 'What To Do.' I was already thrilled to be working with Russell; but when he asked me to partner with him on a song, I was honored and more than a little scared. We penned 'I Remember.' Writing with this legend definitely created a lifetime memory for me," added Shaynee, who was awarded the 2008 Mac Award for Song of the Year for I Remember."
Sounds in the Night," Come Home Again," Soft Warm Lips," After Winter," When I Go, I Go All The Way," Haunted By Desire," Livin' in Harmony," Five A.M.," Warm and Wonderful" and Charmed Life" round out the CD.
Hear the music live when Shaynee Rainbolt SINGS Russell Garcia with Russell Garcia & His Four-Trombone Band at The Jazz Bakery, 3233 Helms Avenue, Los Angeles, CA, on Monday, September 8, at 8:00 pm; Yoshi's, 510 Embarcadero West, Oakland, CA, on Monday, September 15, at 8:00 pm; and Highline Ballroom, 431 West 16th Street, New York, NY, on Tuesday, September 23, at 8:00 pm.
Still working regularly in New Zealand and around the world, at 92, Garcia's life is far from the glamorous world of Hollywood. However, he has been active in every area of the entertainment world - from radio and television to theatrical films and recordings - since the late '40s. His early '60s scores for George Pal's The Time Machine" and Atlantis: the Lost Continent" virtually created the music template for the many science fiction films that followed. His jazz arranging and composing can be heard on recordings by Stan Kenton, Roy Eldridge, Stan Getz, as well as a classic version of Porgy and Bess" featuring Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong. When describing the orchestral sounds that emerged from the West Coast jazz scene during the '50s, the name Russell Garcia always comes to mind. Not only did he provide arrangements for many singers and instrumentalists, he recorded more than 60 albums under his own name. As if all that wasn't enough, his book, The Professional Arranger-Composer, has been a valued tool for both beginners and veterans since it was written in the mid-'40s.
Always an innovator, Russell Garcia is a living legend, and his music deserves to be heard by a new generation. His unexpected and groundbreaking Four-Trombone Band with famed brass players Frank Rosolino, Tommy Pederson, Maynard Ferguson and Herbie Harper led him to use this instrumentation to great success in collaborations with singers Frances Faye and Anita O'Day, and he now brings it back to us in this new collaboration with Shaynee Rainbolt. Having arranged for Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, Mel Torme, Julie London, Oscar Peterson, Stan Kenton, Andy Williams, Judy Garland, Henry Mancini and numerous others, Russell has chosen to entrust his originals to Shaynee, one of today's rising jazz singers.
With two solo albums behind her - From This Moment On" and At Home" - Shaynee Rainbolt is a gifted storyteller who is equally at home singing jazz standards or Broadway tunes. A West Coast transplant, Shaynee moved to New York two years ago. Since planting roots in Manhattan, she has performed at Iridium, Jazz Standard, The Metropolitan Room, The River Room of Harlem and Charley O's. Before changing coasts, she was a staple on the San Francisco Bay Area music scene, working at The Empire Plush Room, Jazz at Pearl's, The Purple Onion and the new Rrazz Room in the Hotel Nikko. She also has taken the stage in Los Angeles, New Orleans, London and other cities around the globe.
The first thing that grabs you about Shaynee Rainbolt is her voice - a warm, rich, multi-hued sound that can range from the intimacy of a sensuous whisper in your ear to a sexy strut down Fifth Avenue," says Don Heckman, jazz writer for the Los Angeles Times, who also penned the CD's liner notes. It's a voice that one can imagine hearing from a ballroom bandstand, caressing a ballad, surrounded by the lush timbres of a swinging big band. It's just as easy to conjure up a vivid audio image of Shaynee redefining the lyrics of a sophisticated Cole Porter trifle, wittily delivering the multi-layered whimsy of a sardonic Dave Frishberg line or arching her way through a thicket of Jon Hendricks vocalese. She is, in other words, a singer for all seasons, underscoring her constant musical eclecticism with the subtleties of jazz-inflected phrasing and a sumptuous tone."