Julie Mahendran

Julie Mahendran

 Toronto, Ontario, CAN
BandJazzSoul

The smoothness of Sade, the power of Chaka Khan and the sweetness of Ella Fitzgerald- spiced with songwriting influences from Annie Lennox to Fleetwood Mac.

Band Press

Canadian Music Week 2005 Disc Reviews – NOW Magazine, Toronto, Canada

"Maybe it's Julie Mahendran's unabashed love for pop music, like her take on George Michael's Kissing A Fool, that sets this jazz album apart from the overwhelming amount of staunch traditionalist fare out there. Rather than simply imitating past masters like Ella and Billie, the Toronto-based singer offers interesting twists on old standards - check her fun-loving vocals on the Miles Davis classic Freddie Freeloader - and lays the groundwork for her unique original numbers. There's also a groove-based funky feel to a few of the tunes that balances the mellow ballads perfectly. With only drums and acoustic bass as backup, Mahendran has nothing to hide behind, but fortunately, her voice and phrasing are solid enough to pull it off."

Los Angeles Jazz Scene – Los Angeles Jazz Scene Magazine, 2005

"It is difficult not to be very impressed by Julie Mahendran’s Never Do Without You.... The Canadian singer is only accompanied by bassist John Taylor and drummer Daniel Shakun on her set, so the focus is almost entirely on her voice. Sometimes she overdubs herself a couple times to create a vocal choir but the music sounds very spontaneous and is full of chancetaking. The repertoire includes her reading of Jon Hendricks’ vocalese for “Freddie Freeloader” (singing the Wynton Kelly, Miles Davis, John Coltrane and Cannonball Adderley solos), a version of “Like A Lover” that is inspired by Andy Bey, songs by Natalie Cole (“La Costa”) and Holly Cole (“Calling You”), an uptempo rendition of the Billie Holiday-associated “Now Or Never,” a few standards and her original blues “Killer.” Particularly effective is a touching mixture of “What’ll I Do” and “I’ll Be Seeing You” to close the set. Julie Mahendran, who has a flexible and very attractive voice, is a creative performer who is definitely a name to look for in the future."

Zeitgeist e-zine, UK – Zeitgest e-Zine, UK, 2004

"I love this CD....Kicking off with the purest version of 'On The Street Where You LIve' it has ever been my pleasure to hear, this is a delight from start to finish. Fair enough, Julie is still young and the desire to show off is still lurking there, with Jon Hendricks' vocalese version of the Miles Davis tune 'Freddie Freeloader'....And she doesn't need to attract attention that way, not with such a fabulous voice....The other highlights include the self penned 'Killer', a taut piece of sultry noir, which will hopefully encourage Julie to write more songs, a surprisingly effective George Michael cover, 'Kissing A Fool' and the album highlight, a closing medley of 'What'll I Do/ I'll Be Seeing You', which combines Irving Berlin with a Tom Waits feel into a strangely effective new whole."

Douglaz.com, Sweden – Douglaz.com, Sweden, 2004

"Learning that singer Julie Mahendran's studied privately with Manhattan Transfer's Cheryl Bentyne, didn't come as much of a surprise after having heard Mahendran in action. But, where Manhattan Transfer is refined and more than a bit sleep inducing, Mahendran's refined and quite charming in a way that reminds me of the great Jon Hendricks. It's rarely a good idea to delve too deeply into academic jazz studies and here and there you can hear how doing this has affected this former Berklee student, but most of the time she is just plain awesome. Backed only by drummer Daniel Skakun and John Taylor on bass, she treats the listener to a clever mix of standards, covers and originals, among them I'll Be Seeing You, pop artist George Michael's Kissing A Fool and her own standout track Killer. Proving that she too finds Mr. Hendricks well worth honoring, there's an impressive version of his take on Miles Davis' classic Freddie Freeloader. Intricate vocal arrangements, solid backup from the band and nice sound by engineer John Blerot, provides a great backdrop for this gifted Canadian."

She's no jazz standard – The Edmonton Journal, Canada, 2003

“Never Do Without You finds (Julie) tackling her material with real finesse and taste.... Mahendran shows a versatile range in the 10 tunes she brought together, including hints of pop and groove-based music, mostly standard material and one new original piece called Killer. But there's more. The centrepiece of the disc is an impressive nine-minute take on Freddie Freeloader, known to many fans of the Miles Davis album Kind Of Blue.”

BRILLIANT - EXCELLENT – Graham Barclay, Soundwave FM, New Zealand

Many Sincere Thanks for the CD "Lovelight" that you sent us recently. BRILLIANT - EXCELLENT We have enjoyed it immensely, and have added tracks from it to our playlists. Your presentation of music, inside the style and personality reflected in the tracks is very refreshing. Keep it up.

What a great sound you have – Michael Criddle, OZ Radio, Australia

What a great sound you have, we have played several of your tracks to date and plan to schedule more in future programs. [Re. LOVELIGHT]

I really enjoyed this album – Robert Naujoks, KCCK88.3, Iowa, U.S.A.

I really enjoyed this album [LOVELIGHT], but the slower, softer numbers suited "Gentle Jazz" Best. Your version of "I Remember Clifford” is the highlight--clear, direct and heartfelt.

Beautiful music – George Young, Country Club Productions, Australia

From the opening track (A great cover of Rich Girl that the listeners love also) we were compelled to listen to the whole disc and were not disappointed by the beautiful music. There Must Be Disco is yet another stand out track. [Re. LOVELIGHT]

A beautifully soothing album – Michelle Bork, SFU Radio, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.

Thank You again for sending us a copy of your CD [LOVELIGHT]. I really enjoyed listening to it. The vocals and music intertwined to form a beautifully soothing album for the most part (especially in such songs as You Have Placed a Chill... and I Remember Clifford).

It was nice however, to also have some slightly more lively songs such as Rich Girl, which I also enjoyed as I remember the originally fondly. Overall a wonderful album that I will definitely be encouraging my DJs to add to their appropriate playlists.