Kristine Mills
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Kristine Mills

Houston, Texas, United States | SELF

Houston, Texas, United States | SELF
Band Jazz Singer/Songwriter

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“”Pass away or Piss me off”, according to Kristine Mills, are two sure fire ways to get her to write a song about you. Kristine performed Wednesday night, June 27 at the Metropolitan Room in New York City. The evening was composed of all original songs written and performed by the artist. This award-winning native of Houston, Texas delighted the audience with the path of her music’s journey.

Her presentation of “Patch of Green” was a powerful tribute to her abilities. The song has been selected as a semi-finalist in the songwriting contest sponsored by The Concert for City Greens. It had its first public outing as she was a featured guest at TCCG’s. It was written at the suggestion of Beck Lee, publicist at the Metropolitan Room, with only a two-day lead time. “Patch of Green” is, without question, impressive as it expresses the beauty and calm city greens bring to society.

She continued to engage the audience in stories that led her songs. There was the story of her friend who lost her long and hard fought battle with cancer. The song that followed, “Charlotte’s Waltz,” was a riveting and heartfelt arrangement beginning with guitar and bass, then the drums with a death march rhythm that was elevated to inspirational with the addition of the piano.

“Silhouette” was another highlight of the evening. Its origin was the relationship between Charlotte and her sister. Kristine’s lyrics share the pain and loss of realizing what you had after it is gone. “Silhouette” was released on May 22 on iTunes. (All proceeds from the download will benefit the Holly Rose Ribbon Foundation, a charity for uninsured cancer patients to provide reconstructive surgery.) This beautiful lament is an indicator of the passion and promise of Kristine and her material. She is a refreshing artist with a contagious spirit that reaches out to her audience with witty and welcoming warmth. She makes her guitar sing like a mockingbird on steroids. Her accompanying style easily goes from gentle to ferocious. She is a force to be reckoned with. Her evening of songs went from Southern gospel, samba funk, jazz, to a brief tribute to the Beatles in “It’s Just Another Day.”

Kristine was accompanied on piano by LaFayette Harris, Jr. I can only say he is a magical musician. David Dunaway on bass proved to be a sensational emotional back-up for many of the arrangements and Jacob Melchior on percussion was the perfect complement to the music.

Kristine Mills is a powerhouse writer and performer. She knows where she wants to go and how she plans to get there. This lovely lady’s efforts to move her career into the international arena should be a journey well worth following. I suppose that to have her write a song for you the most effective way would be pissing her off. The other is a little extreme! - The Times Square Chronicle, NYC


To say that Wade Wilson is just a gallerist is akin to saying that Mozart composed pretty music. A good friend to artists of all genres, it's not uncommon to run into Wilson partying it up at black tie galas, bid calling at live auctions and donating big-money to causes near and dear to him.

It was no surprise to find a packed house at his Sixth Anniversary Party at Wade Wilson Art. Located in the heart of lower Montrose, the gallery rotates exhibitions almost monthly. But on this particular social affair, the cool venue morphed into a swanky jazz club where more than 100 stylish guests raised the roof to bluesy tunes of white-woman-with-rhythm, Kristine Mills, and quartet.

And what a show it was.

?In "Silhouette," Mills opts for love and beauty rather than the darkness of the health struggle, bringing about smiles in the faces of the captivated audience.
Engulfed by Libbie Masterson's "Nuit," a collection of French nighttime and early morning photographs that's part of FotoFest 2012, Mills rocked the house with Duke Ellington Orchestra's pianist Tommy "TJ" James. The duo had returned recently from a New York City gig at the Metropolitan Room, where they jammed tunes from A Collector's Waltz, the original soundtrack to Michel Muylle's documentary exploring Houston artists, their colorful fans and collectors — which includes Wilson — which is scheduled for release this spring.

The soundtrack includes "Wade's Waltz," an instrumental number nodding to Wilson that escapes its triple meter framework to imbue the free soundscape with chic yet friendly harmonies.

Alongside bassist David Craig and drummer Vernon Daniels, Mills was pure entertainment joy, shaking those egg maracas like they were going out of style and belting her own comfortable soulful melodies with such warmth. The musicale went beyond just a concert.

It was a delightful soiree during which Mills connected with listeners intimately.

Adding to the playbill was "Silhouette," written by Mills with lyrics in collaboration with Brian Spack. The song is an homage to Cindi Rose's sister, Holly Harwood Skolkin, who lost a 15-year fight against breast cancer. In "Silhouette," Mills opts for love and beauty rather than the darkness of the health struggle, bringing about smiles in the faces of the captivated audience.

Toasting to a happy-go-lucky Wilson were Anna Dean, Coco Blaffer, Janet Blocker, gallerist Deborah Colton, Bruce Eames, Michel Muylle and Elina Htun.
- Culture Map, Houston


Brazil has a very special
allure—not only for the
Bacchanalian enjoyment of its
Carnival in Rio, but for artists as
well. Swinging musicians from all
over North America have found the
rhythmic seduction of the samba
and the urbane swish and sway of bossa nova quite
irresistible for decades. Lately, however, North American
musicians appear to have discovered that seduction
alone is not the prerequisite for making music in an
authentic Brazilian idiom, even in the most popular one
of all: the bossa nova.
Houston-born vocalist Kristine Mills is one of those
North American musicians who has shown she can
sashay with the best, with a moving record soaking in
the spirit of Brazil's most popular urban export: bossa
nova. The appropriately entitled Bossanovafied is a short
yet beautiful collection of songs done in the rhythm of
this urban mélange of jazz and samba, made
internationally popular by Joao Gilberto , Vinicius de
Moraes and Antonio Carlos Jobim. Mills and musicians
like her appear to have also been influenced by a slew of
other more contemporary musicians from Brazil's
tropicalia movement.
Mills sings with child-like charm, recalling the guileless
wonder of Blossom Dearie 's annunciation and
phrasing. Despite a flatter, slightly oblique attack, Mills'
lyrical approach is to soak the words and phrases in the
emotion of their poetry. Her sense of tone is sharp, and
she can make subtle changes in inflection to alter the
color of the song, with minute changes in breath or
dallying over end-words or phrases to create just the
effect she wants
"Sweet Sorrow" is a good example of Mills' vocal control.
Turning poetry into music sometimes presents the risk
that the words will lose their imagery to fit the music;
Mills seems well aware of this and makes some pretty
profound lyrics work with her well-crafted music.
"Burned of Choice," "You Are" and "Fallin' in Love" are
moving documents of lyrics and music melded with an
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alchemist's magic touch. But the true test of the record
comes with its concluding song, "Inspiraçao," which
oddly enough employs an all-American cast of musicians
to turn Mills' poetry into song. The Brazilian crew that
graces the seven other tracks is rather good and does
not underplay its hand.
More credit must go to Mills, who is up to the challenge
of exposing a Latin side to her soul. The only thing
missing is Portuguese vocals, which would have made
this project truly magical. - All About Jazz


Upon first listen, Kristine Mills may sound like that comforting voice you
may have heard on AM radio years ago or on an oldies station. With a bit of concentration, she may sound like that “unknown but curious as to who this is” vocalist you may have caught on NPR. Upon first look, you may think “well, is this jazz?” If you throw out perceptions, then you will hear Mills’ voice as someone who can sing anything, from jazz to pop, country to rock, even a bit of folk, even though what you hear on this album are jazz songs.

Bossanovafied (self-released) is a 8-song album that I wish could have
been 4 to 6 songs longer, but this only makes me anticipate more from her in the future. Mills has a grace about her that truly shines, in songs like “That Was Yesterday” and “Fallin’ In Love” (both written by Mills), you hear someone who sounds so comfortable that it truly melts, as they say, like butter. She’s a great jazz singer, no doubt, but what I also hear is someone who would not find it a problem to sing and dabble in other genres. What I hear are shades of Minnie Riperton, Clara Hill, or even a funky and spunky Blossom Dearie, and yet beyond the comparisons you hear someone who is very passionate about her singing and the craft of music and
songwriting. In her case, she had a hand in each of the songs here, with two songs credited solely to her, so you’re also hearing her music, in her space and time, and thus you’re entering her world one song at a time. If today’s pop singers (everyone from Demi Lovato to Selena Gomez bought this album, sat down with it, and truly listened, Mills could easily be a major influence amongst a younger generation. Whatever your age, she is sure to move you, in turn making you Bossanovafied. - REVIEW: Kristine Mills’ “Bossanovafied” | This Is Book’s Music


"Kristine Mills' pure jazz has become part of the soundtrack of Houston, which makes perfect sense. Like the city itself, her music combines an elemental strength at its core with an almost brazen sex appeal you have to experience to understand. This woman has mad skills." - Houston Modern Luxury Magazine


“From the first note of her jazzy rendition of "I Love Paris," I was instantly immersed into the music. Listening to her voice, which ranges from throaty and soulful to soft and sensual, you forget about everything else. It's just you, Kristine and her 4-piece band...and of course the other 100 people sitting with you in the room.” - www.KHOU.com


Two things are surprising about Houston jazz singer Kristine Mills's latest release, bossanovafied. One, the bossa nova/samba beat lasts the entire album without growing tiresome. Two, on her third album, Mills wrote or cowrote all the music and lyrics for the first time. Recorded in Rio de Janeiro with Brazilian pianist and collaborator Paulo Midosi, bossanovafied is polished and sophisticated from start to finish. Vocally, Mills goes from fragile, barely-there whispers to unleashed wails and, even among the uniformly excellent tunes, a few still manage to stand out. Most notable is "Sweet Sorrow"; cowritten by David Schneider, lyrics like "I can say good-bye with the best of them / I can learn to love but not too much / I can do these things / Yet still I find I can't get you out of my mind" are Mills's signature blend of delicate and strong, classic and new.

- By Olivia Flores Alvarez Published on April 28, 2009 at 2:24pm Houston Press


Beautiful, bold, and blessed with a set of killer vocal cords, Houston-based songbird Kristine Mills has the whole package. Her latest album, Bossanovafied (released tomorrow), represents a culmination of her astonishing singing and songwriting talents. Crooning soulful lyrics with a sassy, old-school flavor, Mills embraces the classic style of Bossa Nova through this intimate collection of songs.

picture-25In a recent interview with Brilliant, the singer explained the personal nature of Bossanovafied. “It’s a journey,” she revealed. “I don’t jokingly call it ‘the ebb and flow of life and love realized.’” From songs dedicated to her daughter to others chronicling first loves, this album paints a vivid picture of the singer. However, while hearing her story, listeners can find links to their own lives. “I don’t go through anything that’s any different from what you’ve gone through,” Mills asserted, “Whether it’s boyfriends or your girlfriends that make you crazy, or husbands and children or all this stuff that you go through with life—its joys and its disappointments.”

The one thing that really does distinguish her from the rest of us is her dynamic voice—the girl can sing. Even during our interview, despite the fact that she had laryngitis, Mills serenaded me with a breathy snippet of “Corcavado” that instantly transported me to Rio. Whether singing or just chatting, Kristine Mills is utterly magical. For more information about Kristine Mills and her music click here. Bossanovafied is available at CD Baby, Cactus Music, All Records, and on iTunes tomorrow, May 2. - May 1st, 2009 | By lance | Category: bRILLIANT Blog By Courtney Cavender


Discography

Collector's Waltz Film Soundtrack - released October 2012
Patch of Green (single) - released June 2012
Silhouette (single) - released March 2012
bossanovafied - released May 2009
Playing with the Big Boys LIVE - released September 2008
Kristine Mills MUSIC - released May 2007

Photos

Bio

"She is a refreshing artist with a contagious spirit that reaches out to her audience with witty and welcoming warmth. She makes her guitar sing like a mockingbird on steroids. Her accompanying style easily goes from gentle to ferocious. She is a force to be reckoned with."

“Mills Makes Magic at the Metropolitan Room,” TIMES SQUARE CHRONICLES
Sandi Durell - June 28, 2012.

Acclaimed and award-winning singer-songwriter, Kristine Mills is currently recording her fifth CD, “As Yet Untitled,” thanks to funding provided by 2012 Houston Arts Alliance Established, Individual Artist Grant in MUSIC.

This collection of Kristine’s 12 all-original songs are being recorded in respected producer/ guitarist, Jake Langley’s, Austin-based studio. Kristine, alongside some of Texas and New York’s A-list jazz and world musicians are working towards a February 5th, 2013 release at Warehouse LIVE in Houston and a March 23rd Release Concert at the Metropolitan Room in New York. Proceeds of this cd will benefit research and support for the PCOS Foundation.

Please consider supporting the crowd-funding campaign with New York-based fiscal sponsorship partners Fractured Atlas/IndieGoGo. Your 100% tax-deductible donations to the campaign will help her complete the As Yet Untitled cd project. Please visit www.indiegogo.com/asyetuntitled for more information.

Kristine Mills returned to New York’s Metropolitan Room stage Thursday, October 18 with a dynamic group of musicians for the CD release Celebration Concert of the Collector’s Waltz Soundtrack. Also premiered in this concert was Collector’s Waltz Abridged a segment of Michel Muylle’s Gold REMI Award-winning documentary. The soundtrack debuted in Houston at Cezanne’s in early October.

These nine original Collector’s Waltz soundtrack songs, all composed and produced by Mills, were performed with Duke Ellington Orchestra pianist and conductor Tommy “TJ” James, and a who’s who of Houston-based classical and jazz musicians. The soundtrack is available for digital download on www.kristinemillsmusic.com, www.cdbaby.com/kristinemills5 and iTunes.

Kristine’s third album, “bossanovafied,” has received international acclaim and airplay across a spectrum of music formats since it debuted at #46 on Jazz Week’s World Music Album Chart in February 2010. The sultry hot bossa nova collection of all original music, was recorded in Rio de Janeiro and was short-listed for a Grammy nomination in the Best Jazz Album with Vocals category. Cuts from the CD made it onto the in-flight playlists of several international and domestic carriers.

This summer, Kristine performed her Concerts for City Greens Songwriting Contest semi-finalist song “Patch of Green” both at the Tudor City Concert for City Green Summer Series and in the “Patch of Green” Concert on the Metropolitan Room stage. Supported by a high-flying coterie of New York-based musicians Kristine performed an all-original set of her new songs. Voting for the songs is live until November 30 on http://www.raissakatonabennett.com/the-concerts-for-city-greens/#Song-Contest.

In addition to several appearances at the Metropolitan Room in New York, Kristine has played sold-out shows in Recife, Rio, and Belo Horizonte for the Brazilian International Jazz Festival, the famed Snug Harbor in New Orleans and Bourbon Street in Sao Paulo. She is a regular at Cezanne’s and The House of Blues in Houston, and she was the longest-running artist-in-residence at the Hotel ZaZa Houston.

“Kristine Mills’ pure jazz has become part of the soundtrack of Houston!” HOUSTON MAGAZINE

“She makes every song have the effect of an aphrodisiac on the senses!” JAZZ INSIDE MAGAZINE

“Songbird Kristine Mills has the whole package! Astonishing singing and songwriting talents!” BRILLIANT MAGAZINE

“Recorded in Rio de Janeiro with Brazilian pianist and collaborator Paulo Midosi, bossanovafied is polished and sophisticated from start to finish. Vocally, Mills goes from fragile, barely-there whispers to unleashed wails and, even among the uniformly excellent tunes, a few still manage to stand out.”

“Kristine Mills”
www.houstonpress.com - Published on April 28, 2009
By Olivia Flores Alvarez

Here’s what the press in Houston has to say about Kristine Mills, coined
“Houston’s Jazz Darling” and now the “Bossa Nova Babe”



“From the first note of her jazzy rendition of "I Love Paris," I was instantly immersed into the music. Listening to her voice, which ranges from throaty and soulful to soft and sensual, you forget about everything else. It's just you, Kristine and her 4-piece band...and of course the other 100 people sitting with you in the room.”

“A little bit of sultry jazz is good for the soul”
Sun, May 03, 2009 | www.KHOU.com
Michelle Ponto, Girl About Town

"Kristine Mills' pure jazz has become part of the soundtrack of Houston, which makes perfect sense. Like the city itself, her music combines an elemental strength