Emilie-Claire Barlow
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Emilie-Claire Barlow

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Toronto, Ontario, Canada
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Toronto Jazz Chanteuse EMILIE-CLAIRE BARLOW Releases The Beat Goes On October 12th, 2010

Upcoming Performances Announced

The Beat Goes On, Emilie-Claire Barlow’s 8th studio album, finds Barlow diving into new territory as she draws inspiration from one of the most inspired and colourful decades – the 1960’s. The result is a wonderfully varied collection of classic songs given new life by Barlow’s inventive arrangements and signature vocal style. The Beat Goes On is set for release on October 5th, 2010.

Recorded at the Doane LeBlanc studio, Barlow’s husband, Daniel LeBlanc, a noted composer and producer, took on co-production, engineering and mixing roles. Barlow herself had full control of the arrangements, and assembled an A- team of top local players to work with. The lineup includes her regular band of guitarist Reg Schwager, bassist Ross MacIntyre, saxophonist Kelly Jefferson and drummer Davide Direnzo, as well as a number of other all-star musicians recruited for the sessions.

The high caliber of musicianship is fully captured on this warm and often musically witty album. Barlow can move from playful Sunshine Superman to poignant Will You (Still) Love Me Tomorrow and Until It’s Time For You To Go with graceful ease, thanks to a voice that convincingly portrays the whole gamut of emotions.

“By recasting these gems in different musical settings, the listener will get to see them in a new light,” says Barlow. And her well-developed skills as an arranger certainly showcase this notion. Her inventive blend of The Beat Goes On and Quincy Jones’ Soul Bossa Nova, is a prime example of how Barlow can take an infectious tune, have fun with it and make it her own.

Another song given a radical facelift is Bob Dylan’s Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright. “Dylan gives you a clean slate, as his version was just voice and guitar,” says Barlow. “We took liberties with the melody on that one, adding a Latin groove that took it to a different place.” Sweet guitar, melodic horns and gentle scatting are featured on a version that will seduce even hardcore Dylanophiles.

It is this kind of musical imagination that sets Barlow apart from her female jazz singer peers. The potent combination of well-honed vocal and musical chops and a charming stage presence has earned Emilie-Claire Barlow two Juno nominations and a sizeable and loyal following in Canada.

Says Barlow, “This record is a direct reflection of where I am in my life, personally and musically. What people see is really me.” For Emilie-Claire Barlow, the beat goes on, and we’re the lucky recipients.

The Beat Goes On Tracklisting:

Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head
Sunshine Superman
Breaking Up Is Hard To Do
Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright
He Thinks I Still Care
The Beat Goes On / Soul Bossa Nova
These Boots Were Made For Walkin’
Until It’s Time For You to Go
Little Boat (O Barquinho)
Comme Je Crie, Comme Je Chante
Will You (Still) Love Me Tomorrow?
Yester-Me, Yester-You, Yesterday
T’es Pas Un Autre

Upcoming Tour Dates

Aug 20 – Sylvan Lake, AB – Stevenson Performing Arts Centre
Dec 15 – Quebec, QC – Grand Theatre de Quebec
Feb 26 – Sherbrooke, QC – Centennial Theatre
Mar 17 – Moncton, NB – The Capitol Theatre
Mar 24 – Whitehorse, YK – Yukon Arts Centre
Mar 25 – St.Albert, AB – Arden Theatre
Mar 27 – North Vancouver, BC – Capilano Performing Arts Theatre
May 14 – Toronto, ON – Queen Elizabeth Theatre - MVRemix Rock


La chanteuse de jazz Emilie-Claire Barlow sera à la salle Octave-Crémazie du Grand Théâtre, le 15 décembre prochain à 20 h, pour y présenter son spectacle The Beat Goes On.
Récipiendaire du prix Artiste féminine de l’année aux National Jazz Awards en 2008, elle a également été nommée à trois reprises au gala des prix Juno, dans la catégorie Album jazz vocal de l’année avec Tribute (2002), The Very Thought Of You (2008) et Haven’t We Met (2010). Emilie-Claire Barlow offrira les chansons lumineuses de son huitième album, The Beat Goes On, soutenues par des arrangements musicaux brillants, en compagnie de Reg Schwager (guitare), Kelly Jefferson (saxophone), Ross MacIntyre (contrebasse) et Davide DiRenzo (batterie).
Cette Torontoise à la voix intemporelle remet à jour l’un des répertoires les plus riches des dernières décennies en proposant, entre autres, une sélection des plus grands airs, certains en français, qu’ont vu naître les trépidantes sixties.
« [...] un album d’une richesse inouïe [...] »
Le Soleil
« Certaines sont irrésistibles telles These Boots et Sunshine Superman de Donovan. The Beat Goes On va plaire assurément. »
Journal de Québec
Extrait audio :
http://www.grandtheatre.qc.ca/spectacles/emilie-claire-barlow-1234.html?date=2010-12-15
35 $ et 29,50 $ (étudiants) – Frais de service en sus
Spectacle accessible au forfait FOULE COOL : 3 spectacles pour 49 $
Billets disponibles à la billetterie du Grand Théâtre de Québec, dans le réseau BILLETECH, en téléphonant au 418 643-8131 ou au 1 877 643-8131 partout ailleurs ou en naviguant sur le site grandtheatre.qc.ca
Photo : courtoisie - Quebec Spot Media


The beat really does go on.

When it’s a Bono who has written the title track on a Canadian jazz singer’s album, that might not sound a note of surprise.

But when it’s the late Sonny Bono, not the U2 guy, well that is cause to go “lah de dah dee dee, lah de dah dee dah.” In a good way.

Toronto’s Emilie-Claire Barlow has revisited the 1967 Sonny & Cher hit The Beat Goes On and other fun choices from the 1960s’ hit parade on her new album by that name. These Boots are Made for Walkin’. Sunshine Superman. Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright. Breaking Up is Hard to Do. Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head.

“I just felt it was time to do something a little different from the last two records,” Barlow says. “I started looking at the songs of the ’60s and they really struck me. This is not an attempt to sum up the ’60s or call these the best songs of the decade. These are songs that hit me in some way, sparking ideas of how to re-

create them as my own.”

As someone who heard many of the Barlow choices by the original artists back in the day, I can only smile at her way with these songs. The Wonder Who (aka the Four Seasons) had a lot of fun with a raucous cover of Bob Dylan’s Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright. But they never turned it into a Latin-tinged work.

“Dylan gives you a clean slate, as his version was just voice and guitar,” says Barlow. “We took liberties with the melody on that one, adding a Latin groove that took it to a different place.”

Nancy Sinatra’s These Boots are Made for Walking was a does-she-mean-it? fire-back in 1966. Barlow’s arrangement uses Ross MacIntyre’s bass to keep the song moving a la Peggy Lee’s Fever. When Barlow finally sings, “Start walking,” it’s a cue for terrific solos from sax player Kelly Jefferson and guitarist Reg Schwager.

MacIntyre, Jefferson and Schwager and drummer Davide DiRenzo join Barlow at Aeolian Hall on Friday. They perform as part of Sunfest’s World Music & Jazz 2010-11 series.

Barlow is the album’s singer, arranger and co-producer with her husband Daniel LeBlanc. The album also has room for a Buffy Sainte-Marie song, a francophone number, a George Jones hit and more.

Barlow is one of several fine Canadian jazz singers who have performed in London under the Sunfest banner. When she was here before, she was using material from the Great American Songbook.

With The Beat Goes On, she joins a list of Sunfest’s Canadian jazz divas who have found choice songs in some off-beat places. Carol Welsman has a Peggy Lee album that goes way beyond Fever and Kellylee Evans channels Nina Simone on her recent release. Bria Skonberg has visited Janis Joplin’s Mercedes Benz and Frankie Lymon’s Why Do Fools Fall in Love. Pianist-singer Brenda Earle covers Crowded House’s Don’t Dream It’s Over.

Of them all, Barlow may be the most determined in reshaping that unusual material.

In making sure The Beat Goes On goes where it should, she looks to a dynamic jazz duo of big band drummer Buddy Rich and his daughter, Cathy.

“My inspiration was the Buddy and Cathy Rich version of The Beat Goes On, not Sonny & Cher’s,” she says. “It’s definitely groove-oriented, and that gave me the inspiration of melding it with (Quincy Jones’) Soul Bossa Nova.”

James Reaney is a London Free Press arts & entertainment columnist and reporter.

E-mail james.reaney@sunmedia.ca, read James's blog or follow Jamesatlfpress on Twitter.

IF YOU GO

What: Concert by Canadian jazz singer Emilie-Claire Barlow and her band: Reg Schwager, guitar; Kelly Jefferson, sax; Ross MacIntyre, bass; Davide DiRenzo, drums.

When: Friday, 8 p.m.

Where: Aeolian Hall, 795 Dundas St. (at Rectory)

Details: aeolianhall.ca $30 in advance, $35 at door, plus applicable charges. Visit sunfest.on.ca or aeolianhall.ca or call 519-672-1522 or 519-672-7950. - By JAMES REANEY THE LONDON FREE PRESS


Discography

The Beat Goes On (2010)

1. Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head
2. Sunshine Superman
3. Breaking Up Is Hard To Do
4. Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright
5. He Thinks I Still Care
6. The Beat Goes On/Soul Bossa Nova
7. These Boots Were Made For Walkin’
8. Until It’ Time For You To Go
9. Little Boat (O Barquinho)
10. Comme Je Crie, Comme Je Chante
11. Will You (Still) Love Me Tomorrow?
12. Yester-Me, Yester-You, Yesterday
13. T’es Pas Un Autre

Haven’t We Met? (2009)

1. All I Do Is Dream Of You
2. C’est Merveilleux
3. You’re Driving Me Crazy
4. Comin’ Home Baby
5. Haven’t We Met?
6. I’m Glad There Is You
7. Chez Moi
8. Is You Is Or Is You Ain’t My Baby?
9. Jardin d’Hiver
10. La Vem A Baiana
11. Will You Still Be Mine?
12. You Make Me Feel So Young
13. You Must Believe In Spring

The Very Thought Of You (2007)

1. The Very Thought Of You
2. Almost Like Being In Love
3. O Patp (The Duck)
4. Les Yeux Ouverts
(Dream A Little Dream Of Me)
5. Pennies From Heaven
6. What A Little Moonlight Can Do
7. Surrey With The Fringe On Top
8. My Time Of Day/I’ve Never Been In Love Before
9. C’est Si Bon
10. De Conversa Em Conversa
11. The Boy Next Door
12. So Many Stars

Winter Wonderland (2006)

1. What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?
2. Winter Wonderland
3. Sleigh Ride
4. Santa Baby
5. Christmas Time Is Here
6. Baby It’s Cold Outside (feat. Marc Jordan)
7. Little Jack Frost
8. I’ve Got My Love To Keep Me Warm
9. Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!
10. Angels’ Lullaby

Like A Lover (2005)

1. Like A Lover
2. On The Sunny Side Of The Street
3. Someone To Watch Over Me
4. A Time For Love
5. So Danco Samba
6. The Things We Did Last Summer
7. (I’ve Got) Just About Everything I Need
8. Retrato Em Branco E Preto
9. Our Love Is Here To Stay
10. Blame It On My Youth
11. Like A Lover (remix)

Photos

Bio

You could say that The Beat Goes On finds Emilie-Claire Barlow going back to the future. You see, the Toronto jazz chanteuse’s acclaimed previous two albums, 2007’s The Very Thought of You and 2009’s Haven’t We Met? (both nominated for Juno Awards) drew upon the Great American Songbook and tunes from the ‘30s and ‘40s. Here, she looks forward to the ‘60s for her repertoire, and the result is a charming album that does real musical justice to that most colorful of decades.

“I just felt it was time to do something a little different from the last two records,” Barlow explains. “I started looking at the songs of the ‘60s and they really struck me. This is not an attempt to sum up the ‘60s or call these the best songs of the decade. These are songs that hit me, sparking ideas of how to re-create them in my own way”

The ‘60s are a veritable musical treasure trove and Emilie-Claire mines this rich vein with real deftness. The result is a wonderfully varied collection of classic songs given new life by her inventive arrangements and signature vocal skill. The diversity of the song choices on The Beat Goes On came quite naturally, she says.

“It was only when I analyzed it later that I saw this was a good cross-section of puzzle pieces from the musical decade. There is Motown [“Yester-me Yester-you Yester-day”], country [“He Thinks I Still Care”], singer/songwriters like Carole King, Buffy Sainte-Marie and Bob Dylan, bossa nova and psychedelia, with Donovan’s “Sunshine Superman.” That was all completely subconscious.”

On the conscious level came Emilie-Claire’s creative decision-making. She chose the comfortable recording environment of the Doane LeBlanc studio, a facility co-owned by Barlow’s husband, Daniel LeBlanc. Daniel, a noted composer and producer, took on co-production, engineering and mixing roles. “From knowing me so well, he has a good idea of what I’m going for, so the sessions go smoothly. It’s nice to have someone that you trust to bounce ideas off of. And he always tells me the truth!” says Barlow.

She had full control of the arrangements, and she assembled an A- team of top players to work with. “As a producer and arranger, I love getting to make those kinds of decisions. Toronto has so many talented musicians to choose from. The recording process is a magical thing. It feels like a luxury to me to be able to realize these ideas with these great players.”

The lineup includes her regular band of guitarist Reg Schwager, bassist Ross MacIntyre, saxophonist Kelly Jefferson and drummer Davide DiRenzo. “We have developed a real chemistry, and it was so nice to capture that on the recording,” says Barlow. This lineup (minus DiRenzo) shines on a version of George Jones hit “He Thinks I Still Care,” one featuring typically fluent fingering from guitar ace Schwager.

Other all-star musicians recruited for the sessions include William Carn (trombone), Kevin Turcotte (flugelhorn), John Johnson (baritone sax), Tom Sczesniak (accordion), Mark Kieswetter (piano), Bill McBirnie (flute), Jason Logue (trumpet, flugelhorn), and Justin Abedin (electric guitar). “All the players had chemistry and a great sense of humour. That is what I want to be surrounded with in the studio – good vibes.” says Emilie-Claire. “We recorded most of the bed tracks in just three days in March. It was very intense and productive, and also great fun.”

Those good vibes floating around the studio are captured on the warm and often musically witty sound of The Beat Goes On. Barlow can move from playful (“Sunshine Superman,” “The Beat Goes On”) to poignant (“Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow,” “Until It’s Time For You To Go”) with graceful ease, thanks to a voice that convincingly portrays the whole gamut of emotions.

As on previous discs, she moves effortlessly between languages, showing off her charming french accent in a remake of Pauline Julien’s “Comme Je Crie, Comme Je Chante”, and floating along in Brasilian Portuguese on “O Barquinho (Little Boat)”.

Emilie-Claire notes that the challenge of a project like this is that “you want to honour the songs but you want to make them your own.” She does that by recasting these gems in different musical settings, so the listener will get to experience them in a new light. Barlow cites “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow” as an example. “The lyrics are quite melancholy. I wanted to re-harmonize it and have that darkness represented in the chords.” The result is a piano-driven ballad that’s a tender treat.

Barlow’s well-developed skills as an arranger are on vivid display on the title track, an inventive blend of “The Beat Goes On” and Quincy Jones’ “Soul Bossa Nova,” the infectious instrumental tune familiar as both the theme of popular TV game show My Definition and the Austin Powers movie. “My inspiration was the Buddy and Cathy Rich version of ‘The Beat Goes On,’, groove-wise, not Sonny and Cher’s. It’s definitely groove-oriented, and that gave me the inspiration of mel