Datri Bean
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Datri Bean


Band Alternative Jazz


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"Performing Songwriter- Top 5 Albums of 2006"

Slow Down Summertime was chosen as one of the top 5 releases of 2006 by DIY music editor Mare Wakefield for Performing Songwriter. - Performing Songwriter

"The Stranger"


Aside from the shortcomings (e.g., low wages, poor medical benefits) common to most skilled professions, being a music journalist doesn't have many downsides. But there is one of note. Because writers receive forthcoming albums long before they go on sale to the public, we can't share our excitement about a new release simultaneously; by the time a record I raved about (in a review submitted for publication 60 days prior) finally reaches the store shelves, my short attention span has moved on.

A few days ago, I received an advance of Springtime Can Kill You, the third full-length from Jolie Holland. It is magnificent. But how can I take joy in praising this title now, when it won't hit stores until May 9? By raving about the next best thing—a record that is not only available already, but is being showcased with a CD-release party, at Conor Byrne Pub on Saturday, March 4: Slow Down Summertime, by local artist Datri Bean.

Featuring 10 original compositions, the jazzy Americana of Slow Down Summertime should delight fans of Holland, as well as Norah Jones, Nellie McKay, and Rickie Lee Jones (in her less outré moments). Bean's unpretentious voice is casually complemented by her laid-back piano style, brushed snare drums, and clarinet; her interaction with the latter is especially beguiling, at times recalling the dynamic between Billie Holiday and Lester Young. "My favorite vocalists are Nina Simone and Billie Holiday, for their phrasing and sincerity," confirms the singer-songwriter. "I like the laziness of Leon Redbone's voice, as well."

Oddly enough, Bean had limited exposure to jazz in her youth. "I grew up in a land of commercial country radio," she recalls. "Cheyenne, Wyoming, where I grew up, has no live music, except in the summer, during their large rodeo, Cheyenne Frontier Days. I saw all the big, sappy stars, in all their glitzy glory. I even got Wynonna Judd to autograph my cowboy hat when I was 7 years old."

Unlike those Nashville stars, Bean developed a unique voice, as a vocalist and a songwriter, too. Her arrangements may be modest, but she embraces experimentation, dabbling in blues on "This, Like Every Other Sunday," and integrating instruments like mandolin and melodica without sounding twee. Her tunes are memorable, but not instantly so, reflecting her appreciation for Duke Ellington and Hoagy Carmichael. And she knows how to spin a good yarn, setting the poignant "Jim's Giant Truck Stop" in the restroom of an interstate gas-and-grub.

In light of McKay's recent record-company drama (her label, Columbia, dropped her on the eve of releasing her sophomore album), Bean holds no illusions about graduating beyond the DIY realm. "I don't think the majors are a great place to look if you want to hold on to your artistic independence, or do something unusual," she concedes. "I've been listening to Randy Newman lately, and I keep thinking, 'This guy is brilliant, but he could never get a deal these days. He's just too weird.'"
- Border Radio, Roots and Americana

"Seattle Times"

If you can use a break from the norm, check out Datri Bean, a talented, off-the-beaten-path singer. She'll perform songs — including the leisurely, evocative title track — from her self-produced "Slow Down Summertime" at 9 p.m. Saturday at Ballard's Conor Byrne Pub ($5). Bean, who says she was "raised in a rodeo family on the plains of Wyoming," ranges from Americana to classic jazz.

She came here from Austin, and this delightful anomaly (sounding very 1920s, at times) is another nice addition to the Seattle soundscape. For a listen, go to www.datribean.com.

Tom Scanion, Seattle Times - Tom Scanion

"Seattle P.I."

Bean describes her music as "Southern-fried vintage jazz," and with its languid melodies and sultry vocal lines, it does sound as if it could have floated off a Georgia porch and landed by accident in rainy, cold Seattle. Bean's vocals recall Billie Holiday, only with sheer joy replacing all that pain. "Summertime" makes occasional excursions toward comedy ("Honey Wine" is a chipper love song to an odiferous "you" one can only hope is an elderly dog), but it truly shines when Bean settles down for slow-burning, serious numbers, such as the weary, troubled-relationship ballad "Not Enough Winter" or the spiritual "Mother."

QUOTE: "My songs are very personal and quite autobiographical. In terms of the music itself, I just play and it works or it doesn't. When it works, it's more like listening than it is like speaking."

WHERE TO LISTEN: Sound clips are available at www.datribean.com An interview with Datri Bean may be heard at www.seattlenoise.com

-- Tizzy Asher - Tizzy Asher

"Eugene Weekly"

Southern Fried Vintage Jazz
Datri Bean

Datri Bean is not a performer who woke up one day and decided to try out revival music. Her songs ring with the authentic tone of an artist who was raised on the rootsy rumblings of early jazz and Americana. Slow Down Summertime, her debut album, includes several whisky-swirlin', toe-tappin' ditties intermixed with a few livelier tracks and occasionally slowed with a stark ballad. The opening song, "Sweet Tea," sets a sexy, engaging tone for the record, backing Bean's raw, sultry vocals with a slinky jazz-clarinet melody provided by Asylum Street Spanker Stanley Smith. "Jim's Giant Truck Stop" stands out as the songwriting triumph of the album, transporting Bean's listeners to a Nebraska diner with gut-wrenchingly vivid images of a woman taking stock of the reality of a place in life she never expected to find herself. Bean's ability to fuse jazz piano, horns and folk music and her incredibly talented band should not be underestimated, but it is her "sepia toned vocals" that move her work beyond simply an enjoyable experiment in making the old new again and classify her as both a talent and a visionary.

Rounding out the old-timey ticket is Sassparilla, a bluesy jug band originally from Chicago. Sassparilla boasts a markedly different sound (think washboard instead of clarinet) but a similarly delightful ability to nod in the direction of old blues and ragtime without mimicking artists of the past (although they do a killer version of "Ain't Nobody's Business" that fans of Billie Holiday would likely endorse).

Datri Bean and Sassparilla play at 9 pm Sunday, Aug. 27 at Sam Bond's Garage. 21+ show. $5. — Adrienne van der Valk - Adrienne van der Valk

"Vigilance Magazine"

Datri Bean creates a sound that makes me imagine a sunny, country afternoon sipping mint julips on an old screened porch, the air moving ever so slightly under the ceiling fan. It's a nice place to be. I was fortunate to obtain a three song EP from Ms. Bean last month and I must admit it is in my player more than anything else these days. Tori Amos, Sarah Slean and Nellie McKay may have made piano accompaniment popular, but Ms. Bean takes it a step further by bringing it back to basics -- just her pure, full, emotive voice lilting over her impressive skill on the ivories. Jazzy, bluesy, country, folksy -- it's all there. And not only is her voice perfect for the sound, her writing is as well. If Billie Holiday were alive today, she'd want Datri Bean writing her material.

Originally from Wyoming, Ms. Bean currently resides in Seattle, honing skills in Boston and Austin along the way. She's played the piano all her life, writing songs and singing almost as long. She was recently selected as one of a handful of performers chosen over hundreds to play at the Kerrville Folk Festival New Folk Concert in Texas later this month, a tribute to her talent. The only complaint I have is that the EP is much to short -- a tease, if you will. I am anxiously awaiting the CD she promises to release later this year and will review it as soon as I can get my paws on a copy. Until then, she's got us covered by offering complete downloads of all three tunes on her website at www.datribean.com.

(This review ran in both Vigilance Magazine and the F-Word E-Zine) - Kristin Hubbard

"The Source Weekly"

Now lodged in Seattle via a life of music-laden leisure in Austin, music school in Boston, and a childhood on the plains of Wyoming, jazz singer-songwriter-pianist Bean has drawn apt comparisons to the late, great Billie Holiday. Her 2005 album, Slow Down Summertime, is a deliberate, dreamy journey into bluesy happiness. - The Source Weekly

"Victory Music Review- Acoustic Music Magazine"

Datri Bean makes luscious jazz, oozing with emotion and unnerving observations. Quoting a few lines here won't begin to do the record justice, but take these as proof that this is one of the best-written records you're likely to hear: "We walk around on dirty feet" and "This holy roller town ain't got no bars... old time religion and great big cars" from "Sweet Tea." "We both forget to do all the things that we were kind of supposed to be doing" and "We'll be out in an hour or five" from "I Saw Your Sign." "I'd like to fill my little house with prayer candles, but it's such a mess of laundry" from "It's Raining in Texas." "Where do I stuff in the hairpins, the embarrassment of my existence?" from "This, Like Every Other SUnday." The tunes themselves are marvelous, old-school jazz-pop creations reminiscent of the standards of the '40s and '50s, played with great assurance by Bean herself on the piano. She's backed by a small combo that throws in a tinge of country from time to time with a little mando and pedal steel. Ooooo, this is good! Go get it so you can hear the rest!

Tom Petersen - Victory Music Review- Acoustic Music Magazine

"About.com: Tractor Tavern 5/17/06"

I've only seen Bean live on one occasion – when we shared a small, somewhat-impromptu showcase billing at a basically unknown neighborhood coffeeshop. Since then, however, I've become a fan of her latest record Slow Down Summertime, which sets to music perfectly what it feels like to spend a summer in the bayou country of Texas and Louisiana.

Unfortunately, playing the piano doesn't allow for as much bodily freedom as does playing the guitar, but Bean doesn't let that get in the way of her seemingly inate ability to charm a packed house into quietude with infectious tunes about sweet tea and tamales.

When she casually ends her set announcing "That's it," the crowd is able to entice her into an encore – her lovely cover of Randy Newman's "Louisiana." - About.com, Folk Music

"Performing Songwriter"

Part cabaret, part picnic in the park- there's really no better way to describe Datri Bean's latest record. The Seattle resident's sweet, sultry vocals will put a smile on your face before you even decipher the linguistic twister she poses with "Sweet Tea": "Sweet tea, tea and tea, Tijuana tea if you wanna...."

Sparse piano and smooth clarinet dance a dawdling tango while Bean invites you to "sing along with Lady Day" in "Slow Down Summertime." Breathe deep and listen to organ and pedal steel waltz seductively with drums and mandolin throughout the entire album. Bean takes us through bread-scented kitchens, Texas rain and Big Jim's Giant Truckstop in Nebraska, where "Love is God" is scratched in the table, and patrons drink coffee to medicate their brains.

Bean may remind you at times of Suzanne Vega or Edie Brickell, but Slow Down Summertime is a true original, and one that belongs in your collection." - Mare Wakefield


Slow Down Summertime



"(Bean has a) seemingly innate ability to charm a packed house into quietude with infectious tunes about sweet tea and tamales." - About.com

"Southern-fried vintage jazz," ...with its languid melodies and sultry vocal lines, it does sound as if it could have floated off a Georgia porch and landed by accident in rainy, cold Seattle. Bean's vocals recall Billie Holiday, only with sheer joy replacing all that pain." The Seattle Post Intelligencer

Bean was raised in a rodeo family on the plains of Wyoming. Listening to her mother's scratchy Scott Joplin records, at the age of five, she began to study piano. She studied at the Boston Conservatory of Music, but found it a bit stuffy, so she quickly high-tailed it for Austin, Texas. She kicked around here and there, eventually landing in a big house of musicians, hooligans, exchange students and bike mechanics, from whom she learned to play jazz, fix bicycles, speak Russian and drink hooch- all at the same time. Pulled by the love of a very special bicycle mechanic, Datri was dragged kicking and screaming from Austin to Seattle. She soon returned to Austin to record her ten song, all original debut album, Slow Down Summertime.

Shortly after the release of Slow Down Summertime, About.com named her one of the "best folk artists you've never heard of," and Slow Down Summertime was named "One of the Top 5 DIY Releases of 2006" by Performing Songwriter Magazine. She has been sharing the stage with notables such as Leon Redbone, The Ditty Bops, the Weepies, Hothouse Flowers and Po' Girl. She is a three time Kerrville New Folk finalist, and has been honored by Telluride, Sisters and Rocky Mountain folk festivals for her songwriting.

She happily lives in Austin with her husband (the bicycle mechanic), four cats and fourteen chickens. She is currently recording her sophomore release.

"Datri Bean creates a sound that makes me imagine a sunny, country afternoon sipping mint juleps on an old screened porch, the air moving ever so slightly under the ceiling fan. It's a nice place to be." - Vigilance Magazine

Notable venues: Kerrville Folk Festival, High Sierra Music Festival, Sisters Folk Festival, Northwest Folklife Festival, Aladdin Theater, Tractor Tavern. Chop Suey, The Continental Club, Eddie's Attic.

EPK and additional information, including performance history, available at http://datribean.com

High resolution press photos available at http://datribean.com/presskit.html