Jazz artist Liza Lee’s new CD, Anima, has been released for only a few weeks and fantastic reviews are already coming in.
It is joining radio station playlists across the country and selling out at online retailers with more CDs on their way. Most important though, Liza’s ultimate personal mission is being accomplished. One hundred percent of the proceeds from Anima are being donated to The Society For Women's Health Research (SWHR), a non-profit organization whose mission is to improve the health of all women through research, education and advocacy www.womenshealthresearch.org).
Reviews from fans speak volumes. CD Baby customers Steve Miller’s comment on Anima says it well, “Liza Lee has assembled a collection of songs that exercise the mind as well as the ear.” Furthermore, Dave Allen adds, “Superb musical accompaniment and sympathetic production have yielded an album to savor...again and again.”
Paul POP! From firstcoastnews.com sums Liza’s new CD up, “She has once again proven herself to be an amazing talent capable of anything…Her creativity, perseverance, and talent are reflected on each of the songs on Anima and that's what makes this record such a pleasure to listen to.”
Although Liza’s mission is to assist women’s health research, clearly it’s the selection and execution of the music that is her primary objective as an artist. Her message is clearly rendered through her fresh, unpredictable and innovative approach to the music. As Bob Donovan, North East In-Tune Magazine, said, “(Liza is) a great vocalist that puts her own style on everything she touches.”
Liza assembled a remarkable group of musicians for the album who donated their time. They include Bruce Barth, David Cook, Art Hirahara, Michael Kanan (Piano), Pat O' Leary (Bass), Michael Petrosino, Eric Halvorson, Jim Clouse (Drums), Scott Robinson, Jim Clouse (Tenor Saxophone), Adam Kolker (Soprano Saxophone, Alto Flute), Scott Robinson (Bass Clarinet), Kelsey Warren, Saul Rubin (Guitar), Rubin Kodheli (Cello), Matthew Szemella (Violin) and Shayna Steele (Guest Vocalist).
Liza’s voice and the musician’s performances meld together seamlessly on Anima. The generous instrumental jazz interludes on various cuts are iconic and only perform to enhance and reinforce Liza’s messages. Standout performances include pianist Art Hirahara on “Sweet Potato,” Scott Robinson on “Silver Dagger” and “Calling You,” Adam Kolker (soprano sax) and Bruce Barth (piano) on “A Thousand Kisses” and David Cook’s piano solo on “Leather” and Michael Kanan (Jane Monheit’s pianist) playing on “Good Morning Heartache” displays duo work at it’s best.
Exploring the theme of Anima, the feminine whisper inside of a patriarchal society, most of the songs were composed or co-composed by women including Joni Mitchell’s “Blue,” “A Thousand Kisses Deep” by Leonard Cohen and Sharon Robinson, Tori Amos’ “Leather,” Rachelle Garniez’s “Quality Star,” Michelle Shaw’s “Good Morning Heartache” and “And Love Is All There Is” and Kate Bush’s “Wow.” Liza is particularly haunting on folk standard “Silver Dagger” and presents a unique, humorous and memorable interpretation of the Peggy Lee hit “Is That All There Is?” She makes each song her own.
Regarding her song selection for Anima from various music genres including pop, rock, folk as well as jazz, Wilbert Sostre, of JazzReview.com states, “Liza shows her ability to turn any song into a Jazz standard...She puts her soul in every word and note on this CD… Liza reaches down deep for the emotions that provides the listeners an extraordinary experience.”
Liza co-wrote “Revolving Mattress” with New York writer, arranger, producer and pianist David Cook and penned “Sorry Child” and “Lay We Down” with bassist and composer Pat O’Leary. These haunting original compositions reinforce the talent she has shown as a songwriter with her first CD and self-written title song, Scarlet Mark. The risks she has taken with the subject matter of these songs only strengthens the fact that Liza continues to be an important voice of the 21st Century.
Released on the Jazz Doll Records label, Anima, is an extremely personal CD for Liza. In 2006 her promising jazz career as a recording artist, performer and composer was taking off with the breakout critically acclaimed release of her first CD, Scarlet Mark, when 29-year-old Liza suffered a stroke. Anima, was inspired by her three and a half year struggle through the medical system with her various health issues. By personal experience, she learned that astonishingly little research is done on how illness, disease and medications uniquely affect women’s bodies.
Liza Lee has compounded her mark on today’s jazz scene with the release of Anima.. Her continual evolution and development, which are uniquely displayed on Anima, are fascinating to hear and her thought- provoking music is always memorable.
In addition to 2009 U.S. appearances, Liza will be touring Europe and Japan this summer as well as recording and performing in Australia at the beginning of 2010. Stay tuned for new developments of this extraordinary talent.