Quincy Coleman
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Quincy Coleman

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The best kept secret in music


"Nothing Old-Fashioned"

Quincy Coleman is a singer/songwriter with a sound that evokes New Orleans bordellos, country roadhouses, Parisian jazz bistros and even vintage cartoons. Despite historic points of reference, however, there is nothing old-fashioned about Coleman, and herein lies her across-the-board appeal. With a second independent release, Come Closer, plus songs in films, placements on network television and regional tours, Quincy Coleman is poised for the proverbial "big leap." She now has two committed managers meeting with major labels, and a publicist helping strategize her moves. But up until now -- like many up-and-comers -- this performer has done everything entirely on her own: booking, placements, assembling a band, recording two CDs, and generating a buzz. In this exclusive interview, the artist explains to MC how an unwavering work ethic has made her aspirations a reality. "If you constantly put it out there, there's no way it's not going to happen," she says. "It's like rolling the dice at a casino. If you stay there and roll them long enough, you're going to win. But a lot of people give up because it's exhausting."

One distinct difference between the new Come Closer and Coleman's debut, Also Known As Mary, is festivity. "My first record was analytical, peeling the layers of the onion and really looking at myself in the mirror with my dark side and realizing I had to understand and get comfortable with the darkness in order to celebrate the light," she explains. "It was heavy, therapeutic. I was introducing myself to myself and whoever was going to listen. With the new record I wanted to have fun and not talk about myself so much."
Coleman notes that the music's eclecticism mirrors her own tastes. "Most of my CD collection is represented on my second record. Jazz, swing, bop, gypsy, Italian, Brazilian, New Orleans, dixieland big band, classical. And five percent of my music is a small section of pop music, such as Peter Gabriel, Radiohead and U2."
On record and in performance, Quincy Coleman, who plays acoustic guitar, is supported by the jaw-dropping dynamics of a masterful band who mix and match a storehouse of instruments encompassing lap steel, upright bass, clarinet, accordion, trumpet, banjo and percussion. "They should all be paid much more," Coleman laments. "Again, they're doing it because they love it. They've expressed their support and have been awesome, loyal and generous with their gifts."
The new CD was co-produced by Brad Gordon (who also performs with Coleman) and Jim Bianco, an artist/songwriter who Coleman first met at an open mic at ...

The complete Feature Story can be found in the July issue of Music Connection magazine. - Music Connection Magazine

"Sampler With A Mission"

Quincy Coleman "Mary"
We recently raved about this gifted singer-songwriter's forthcoming album, Come Closer, but we're hardly the only ones showering her with accolades. No less than Dolly Parton praised her expressive pipes, while Nic Harcourt - host of SoCal NPR outlet KCRW's acclaimed "Morning Becomes Eclectic" show - has given her his benediction. No doubt she's being discovered by myriad renters of the Crash DVD at this very moment, as she appears on the soundtrack of Oscar's 2006 Best Picture. "Mary" is a pop treasure bejeweled with old-timey musical touches like swing-era clarinet, pocket trumpet, C-melody sax and Hot Club banjo, but it's the gorgeous, bittersweet melody that gets under your skin - along with Coleman's understated but heartbreaking vocal. - Editorial Emergency

"Round & Shiny Choose Wisely, and Other Recommendations"

Having won the admiration of hipster oracle Nic Harcourt (of public-radio bellwether KCRW) and mainstream icon Dolly Parton, as well as Richard Glasser, the music supervisor for Best Picture contender Crash, eclectic chanteuse Quincy Coleman is bound to win a flock of new admirers with her exquisitely rendered sophomore disc, Come Closer. Coleman stakes a musical claim far off the beaten path courtesy of a cinematic sonic goulash that embraces Beale Street trumpet bleats, Parisian plaints, speakeasy slink, gin-soaked rumba, Hot Club banjo and high-lonesome heartbreak. Best of all, her dusky delivery navigates the shifting territory with aplomb. Coleman's feel for the swoony tropes of yesteryear at times recalls Maria Muldaur and Van Dyke Parks, though her voice is closer to the knowing, rootsy timbre of Shelby Lynne. Still, Coleman is no mere musicologist; the razor-sharp arrangements always serve the emotional thrust of tunes like the ragtime-gospel gem "Mary," the rousing, Carole King-by-way-of-Tin Pan Alley ditty "Take a Chance" and the revival-tent shuffle "Don't Go Away," which, I swear, have been hovering in the ether forever.
- Editorial Emergency

"Under the Radar"

Qunicy Coleman is the definition of a songbird. Mixing jazz, swing, country, salsa, and just about every other style of music invented before 1950. In the Patsy Cline influenced "Indeed in Love," her voice is delicate and saccharine, while in the jazz/pop of "Want Me Back" and "Never Happy," perhaps the album's highlights, the command in Coleman's voice recalls Cyndi Lauper. Ultimately, Coleman is more than adept at tackling any genre she wishes. Not only has God graced her with a gorgeous voice, her songs are undeniably catchy, which, matched with flawless instrumentation, Makes Come Closer an absolute gem. - American Songwriter

"A Woman In and Out of Her Time"

Singer-songwriter Quincy Coleman is like many a musician running around Los Angeles, trying to find a way into the complex labyrinth of the music business while keeping artistic integrity intact.

Apart from actively playing clubs in and out of town -- including on a five-artist bill at SOhO on Tuesday -- Coleman has had her songs hit the screen, both big ("Crash") and small ("Dawson's Creek"), and gotten the stamp-of-airplay approval by the influential KCRW in Santa Monica.

One thing that separates Coleman from the pack is that she's conspicuously gifted, as both writer and singer, and also has an ear for music your mother -- or mother's mother -- should know. Her impressive and natural-sounding song set off of "Come Closer," her second album, was officially released this week, and it deserves to make some noise.

The album brims with eclectic references to music of earlier vintages, going back to the '20s and genres outside the standard brand American pop jukebox. Banjo, Salvation Army-style horn parts, slithering clarinets and snaky electric guitar weave naturally into the music's fabric. An echo of things Mexican, Parisian, C&W-ish and pre-old-school soul somehow trickle through the tracks as if it were a natural way for a 21st century singer-songwriter to sound and behave.

And, in Coleman's case, it seems to be. Is she a history buff, musically speaking?

"Well, no, actually," she says, on the phone from her home in L.A. "I think it's a little more past life. I don't know what made me gravitate toward this music, but I have since I was a kid. It wasn't necessarily just what was in my parents' music collection. Frank Sinatra was my hero when I was little."

As I got older and listening to the jazz station here in L.A. year after year, my collection would just build and build. My main influences, say 90 percent of my CD collection, is gypsy swing and jazz and Brazilian music, French music and classical music."

For Coleman, music of early, pre-rock 'n' roll vintage "just has so much character and is so rich. The '20s through the '50s were so packed with quality. I feel like we're ready for that stuff again. I see that through the response that the record is already getting. People are loving it. It's so wonderful and so great to be able to revive some of that throwback music."

Comparing her first album, "Also Known as Mary," with the new one, Coleman notes that her debut "has more of my pop influences, like Peter Gabriel and Radiohead and Daniel Lanois and U2. It's got the pretty melodies and the textures, and it's pretty atmospheric. It still had a little flavor of country. I think the through-lines of the two records are a little splash of country and my voice.

"Even lyrically, they're very different. The first record was internal and self-analytical and the second record is very outward, and more about other people. It's a little sassier and much more fun. They're both very intense, but I think the first one made people cry and the second one's making people smile," she says with a laugh.

Any stereotypes about an L.A. native being more industry-oriented or career-oriented, as opposed to about music for music's sake, peel away in the face of Coleman's example.

"I've never really been anything-oriented," she says, "except oriented toward listening to my heart. I've been like that my whole life. I've never felt stuck in a box and I've never felt like I needed to be outside of one. I just am. I do what my heart tells me to do."

For all the confidence of her singing, which can bear a resemblance to Linda Ronstadt's full-voiced power and Shelby Lynne's seductive, country-soul cool, Coleman has had a slow path to life as a singer-songwriter."

I loved doing musicals all through my school years and was a dancer for 10 years. I just love performing. But I didn't really commit to pursuing this as a career until way later, after college."

She found herself inspired by the example of her brother and other friends who were pursuing music. After having written songs for herself and friends, as "little diaries," Coleman pushed herself into a more public life.

"Finally, watching people sharing their music with strangers and fans and rooms full of people reignited my childhood fantasies. It was a little bit weird, but when I make a decision, I'm pretty committed. It was basically just one more person who said 'I wish you would share your music with the world and blah blah blah.' I finally said 'You know what? OK.' I just totally switched gears and went for it 2,000 percent. It was nerve-racking. My first year of performing was just a nightmare and now, my favorite place to be is onstage.

"Now entrenched in the act and the art of music-making, Coleman has an assured vision of what she'd like to do in her unfolding career.

"I want to make records. I want to collaborate with other artists and continue performing for the world -- literally, I want to travel the world and bring - Santa Barbara News Press

"Now Hear This"

"Come closer baby, read between my lips/You drive me crazy, I can feel it in my hips," Quincy Coleman beckons on "Calling Your Name," the sinewy, shuffling opening track on her self-released sophomore CD, "Come Closer."

The Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter grew up Tinseltown elite as the daughter of actor Dabney Coleman and actress Jean Hale Coleman, but her songs draw on such universal themes as desire and unrequited love. The melodies are pop, but the arrangements-with organs and horns bursting out of nowhere-elevate the tunes far above the ordinary. Following Coleman's return from an East Coast tour, noncommerical KCRW Santa Monica, Calif., will host a release party for the singer May 9 at Hotel Cafe in Los Angeles.

Her music, which was heard in "Dawson's Creek," is also featured on the "Crash" soundtrack. Look for it in the upcoming Jason Alexander movie, "How to Go on a Date in Queens." - Billboard

"Spotlight the Best of Local Music"

Standing outside of the well-guarded door to the Mint a few weeks back, it was evident that I've been missing something. Frequently squeezing into Eastside venues like the Echo, Spaceland, and El Cid over the past few years, I'm used to bearded noise assaults and an equally hairy crowd that thinks "buzz" is a four-letter word. Well, outside the Mint, with a crowd of 50-or-so people waiting patiently to get through the shut door of the over-capacity venue, "buzz" became way more than a vague, industry concept. I could taste it, feel it pushing against my back, and hear it vibrating one word into my ear over and over: "Quincy."

Quincy Coleman isn't one of those artists we hear about much over here. Or if we do, we see a cute girl on the cover of a CD and write it off as "some chick singer-songwriter." She comes from a family of actors and musicians, spent some time overseas playing in bars throughout Europe, caught the ear of KCRW's Nic Harcourt one day, and has been plugging away locally ever since. And until that night at the Mint I never, ever felt guilty about tossing a CD from an artist like that in the "I'll probably listen to one day" bin. But as I finally exploited my connection and forced my way through the door surrounded by people peeking through the now-open crack, I felt like maybe I'd been wrong.

I weaved my way through the packed house to a soundtrack of drunken ragtime tunes being poured out by a full band (horns included), accompanied by the sweet, smoky, sultry vocals of Quincy Coleman. Every eye in the house was drawn to the stage as Quincy and friends took the audience on a sloppy carnival ride of lighthearted, jazzy songs, full of brass and bouncy rhythms and Quincy's casual, teasing voice. And as the incredibly full house smiled along with Quincy in a way that made it clear this was not their first-or even second-exposure to her sonic stylings, I felt a tinge of guilt for letting a singer like this sit on the shelf for so long. It's artists like Quincy that let me wet-dog-shake off those multiple layers of preconceived notions every year or so. And for that I thank her. - Los Angeles Alternative

"Quincy Coleman to play World Cafe Live tonight"

The World Café Live will play host to a treat tonight as Quincy Coleman takes the stage. This unsigned artist could surely be listed among some of the great female singer-songwriters of our generation. Her silky voice and expressive singing style have endeared her to audiences from her Native Los Angeles to New York City. She will be playing an intimate duet tonight with Adam Levy, who is most famous for accompanying Nora Jones.

Quincy Coleman has been playing music for as long as she can remember. Her eclectic style of music is rooted in some of her earliest influences. When asked to describe her music, she chooses "throwback" to describe her own unique style. Initially, influences such as Billy Holiday, Shirley Temple, and John Denver may not seem like they have much in common. However, Quincy manages to tie all of these into her warm, rustic style. Her voice seems to come from a different time, with its depth, and bite she is reminiscent of singer in a swing band. She also ties in a few rock and country elements, with pangs of Lyle Lovett creeping into her faster paced numbers.

Her latest album, Come Closer will be released on May 9. It's a well constructed showcase of her great talent. The album explores all of Quincy's versatility. From tracks like "Want Me Back" which seem to bear resemblance to some sort of French folk song to "Indeed In Love" which has (I might be stretching it) a Spanish guitar feel.

Quincy takes her performance tonight in stride. "A show is a show, whether its three or three thousand people. I just hope I can make people leave feeling satisfied. I just want to have a good time." Her attitude speaks of an artist who is truly committed to her music, and who will let her material speak for itself.

Though she remains unsigned, Quincy says that she is "100 percent" interested in joining a record label. She recognizes that she will have to deal with the pressures and artistic conflicts that come with signing to a label, but she remains optimistic. "If that does happen I'll just have to deal with it and make the right decisions."

According to her Myspace profile, Coleman has already gained notoriety in the industry. She has garnered praise from industry greats such as Dolly Parton, who describes Quincy as having "...all the goods, a beautiful voice, such sweet emotion and tenderness... beautiful CD...very talented." Perhaps she will turn more heads when she arrives in Nashville in the next few months.

The performance at the World Café Live will be an intimate one, a special opportunity to see the artist at her roots. Her and her accompanying guitarist will presumably play stripped down versions of her songs, as many in the audience experience them for the first time. Quincy Coleman is on her way up for sure, so this performance will transform into bragging rights later on for those who find themselves at the venue at 7:00 tonight. If you're looking for something different to do tonight, you might just be able to catch a rising star. - The Hawk

"Club Reviews"

The Hotel Café

Contact: Meredith Sloane/Melon Media, 310-482-3462;
Web: www.quincycoleman.com
The Players: Quincy, guitar, vocals; Ian Walker, bass; Aaron Sterling, drums; Brad Gordon, keys, accordion, clarinet, BGV; Geoff Pearlman, electric guitar, banjo, ukulele, BGV; Stewart Cole, trumpet.

Material: Combining Americana and rockabilly with old-fashioned
country, amid tejano rhythms, Quincy is a cross between Dwight
Yoakam, Chris Isaak and Norah Jones. Quincy is a favorite at local
indie station KCRW 89.9 and has been receiving airplay. Her songs
are catchy and lodge easily in your memory, instinctively making you want to whistle them, while the toe-tapping, infectious melodies
are extremely engaging.

Musicianship: Quincy's ensemble of musicians is incredible. Of particular note is the guitar, banjo and lap steel of Pearlman, which set the tone for the music. Adding to that is the rich accordion, clarinet and keys of Gordon, which are bright without being overpowering. Walker's bass and Sterling's drums lay a solid foundation and Cole's trumpet fills in nicely, giving the music an old-time radio feel. Quincy's simple guitar playing and rich voice are the icing on the cake of this musical treat.

Performance: Performing for a large crowd at the Hotel Café, Quincy and her band displayed a perfect blend of instruments and
voices, which resulted in a pleasing sound, especially on "Heart Wide Open." The crowd was enthusiastic and Quincy's inviting bravado triggered enthusiastic audience interaction. The a cappella song, "Jo Jo," exemplified her confidence and versatility as a vocalist.

Summary: Quincy makes Americana music seem like it's the coolest sound around. With an original and crafty songwriting
approach, coupled with a distinctive voice, this artist really belongs
on the road and on radio dials. As a chanteuse, Quincy is ready to fly. - Music Connection Magazine


Also Known As Mary
Come Closer


Feeling a bit camera shy



” (Quincy has)...all the goods, a beautiful voice, such sweet emotion and tenderness...very talented." Dolly Parton

With song writer and vocalist extraordinaire Quincy Coleman think Elvis Presley’s power, Edith Piaf’s emotion and the spirit of Django Reinhardt breaking Challa on a Hawaiian island while shooting a scene for a David Lynch, Quentin Tarantino, Fellini collaboration.

Online publication, Editorial Emergency says about Quincy and her sophomore recording “Come Closer”, “her husky delivery navigates the shifting territory with aplomb. Coleman's feel for the swoony tropes of yesteryear at times recalls Maria Muldaur and Van Dyke Parks, though her voice is closer to the knowing, rootsy timbre of Shelby Lynne.” While Paste magazine describes “Come Closer” as “Asyln meets Tom Waits.”

Released independently, the CD includes songs such as “Calling Your Name” which Quincy describes as “an Israeli, surf punk, gypsy swing”. Mix that with “Mary,” “a bittersweet, yet hopeful goodbye” and the sultry redemption song, “Want Me Back” and you have what critics and fans are calling “ready for radio music.” Music Connection Magazine describes the contagiousness of Coleman's songs quite simply as, “catchy and lodge easily in your memory.”

Born into a family of performers, (dad actor and Golden Globe winner Dabney Coleman, mom model/actress Jean Hale Coleman and brother Randy who has toured with Def Leppard and opened for The Who at the Hollywood Bowl) Quincy pursued entertainment dreams throughout high school and college. After flirting with acting in New York and a few TV spots she did the U.S. college student thing and headed for Europe.

“It was in Nice, France where I found myself with someone else’s guitar in my hand on a very small stage at a ‘hole in the wall’ singing a very drunk and a very nervous version of Indigo Girls ‘Closer to Fine’. The owner slammed a pint of beer in front of me and said ’your hired!’” From there to busking in London “(the best $15 I ever made)” she headed back to L.A. and recorded her self-released debut album “Also Known as Mary”. It caught the ear of tastemaker Nic Harcourt, program director of L.A.’s trendsetting NPR station KCRW. In addition to the resultant heavy airplay Coleman was hand picked personally by Nic as one of the four artists showcased at the 2004 KCRW “Next Up” event at the famed Santa Monica Pier.

Quincy not only regularly sells out local Los Angeles venues such as the Temple Bar, The Mint, and the influential Hotel Café, her buzz is expanding beyond Southern California and into the national and international spotlight. The song “Afraid” from “Also Known as Mary” is on the soundtrack for the academy award winning film “Crash.” To kick things off for the new CD internationally, “Give it Away”, from “AKAM” is on a UK compilation called “Beautiful Embrace” which also features Bryan Adams and Sarah McLaughlin. Two songs from “Come Closer”, “Calling Your Name” and “Mary” are on a Japanese compilation released this spring.

New press quotes:

"Not only has God graced her with a gorgeous voice, her songs are undeniably catchy, which, matched with flawless instrumentation, makes Come Closer and absolute gem." ~ American Songwriter

"Check it out; your ears will thank you." ~Performing Songwriter

"The melodies are pop but the arrangements-with organs and horns bursting out of nowhere-elevate the tunes far above the ordinary." ~ Billboard

".........this artist really belongs on the road and on radio dials. As a chanteuse, Quincy is ready to fly. " Music Connection

This unsigned artist could surely be listed among some of the great female singer-songwriters of our generation. -The Philadelphia Hawk