How did your new album "Pretty World" come about, and what were your goals and intentions around it?
Tom (my husband and producer) and I wanted to bring together the type of songs that reflected our live performances, our love of Brazilian jazz, and great songwriting in general. We’ve both had a great deal of experience playing backup and recording with other artists, so we wanted to find a voice of our own with songs that felt somewhat unified without being limited to a single genre. Our good friend Joe DeRenzo really encouraged us, and wrote lyrics to 3 songs that helped set the mood: Pat Metheney’s “So May It Secretly Begin,” the late Don Grolnick’s “Pools,” and Keith Jarrett’s “My Song.” Joe’s idea for penning lyrics to these tunes really gave “Pretty World” a different spin. Probably the strongest unifying feature for this CD are the lyrics. With “Pretty World” we wanted to musically express some of the complexities of life in a beautiful but fallen world.
How do you feel about your new album on a personal level, as compared to your previous work, and its potential appeal to music fans?
This project is definitely a true reflection of who we are as artists, and the most musically satisfying album I have put out thus far. The response from radio stations and fans in general has been very positive. While I’m aware we make music for others to enjoy and relate to, it has to come from our heart and satisfy us. It’s encouraging when you take chances and put your vision out there, and people respond “yes.”
Going as far back as you can remember, what was the first song you heard that still registers with you today?
“Bridge Over Troubled Water” My mother played it incessantly. I love that whole album to this day, and I still want to record that tune.
Who would you say has been the biggest single biggest influence in your life in getting you to where you are now in your career?
I’ve had a lot of musical influences from Ella to Elis Regina, but as far a life influence, my father has always been my hero. He’s encouraged me to follow my heart and his strong commitment to his family and to serving others (he’s a teacher) is really an inspiration.
Who are some of your current favorite artists, Smooth Jazz or otherwise?
Pat Metheney, Tierney Sutton, Kevyn Lettau, Ivan Lins, Lani Hall, Barbara Streisand, Elise Regina, Ella Fitzgerald, Dinah Washington..
What personal non-music goal would you most still like to achieve in your lifetime?
I’d like to lighten up, be more calmly active and actively calm. I’d like to become a master gardener - gardening helps me unwind, and listen. I can see God’s creation and realize that in so many ways, it is a pretty world.