RITA Edmond
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RITA Edmond

Los Angeles, California, United States | SELF

Los Angeles, California, United States | SELF
Band Jazz Adult Contemporary


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"All About Jazz, CD review"

Los Angeles mainstays Ricky Woodard, Nolan Shaheed, and Fritz Wise all lend a helping hand to augment Rita Edmond and her trio: pianist Joel Scott, bassist James Leary, and drummer Quentin Dennard for the singer's Sketches of a Dream. Edmond has chosen a quality program for Sketches of a Dream, 16 strong selections that feature various unique qualities of Edmond's graceful approach and soft vocals. "You'd Be So Nice To Come Home To" is highlighted by Scott's uptempo piano solo, which propels Edmond to new heights backed by Woodard's romantic tenor. Woodard's Hank Mobley-esque stylings on "Dindi"
are perfect pairing with Edmond's dramatic vocal elevations. Edmond's treatment of "Body and Soul" is poignantly moving. She reminds us why a song written over seven decades ago still has uncanny staying power and why everyone from Coleman Hawkins to Sarah Vaughan have all interpreted its allure. An easy going "All the Way" features Shaheed's gorgeous flugelhorn. A spirited and nimble "My Romance" is another opportunity for Edmond to showcase her versatility and command of her musical range. Edmond's animated voice really gives the Rodgers and Hart classic some added kick. A hushful "Just in Time" intro allows Edmond and her trio to really bring the song to an energetic acceleration and really bring out something new from the familiar standard. But that is just it, Edmond, her trio, and her soloists sign a new lease on the great American songbook and in the process have created an album full of wonderful surprises. Look for Edmond and her trio performing around Los Angeles. She is worth the effort. - Peter Sanchez,

"Scott Yanow CD Review"

One of the top jazz singers based in Los Angeles area. Rita Edmond is on the brink of greater success. Her debut jazz CD, Sketches Of A Dream, is full of superb singing, subtle surprises and swinging performances. With the assistance of some of Southern California’s most skilled jazz players (including pianist Joel Scott and tenor-saxophonist Ricky Woodard), Ms. Edmond is heard throughout in inspired form.

The singer always puts a lot of herself in the music. She improvises with taste and sensitivity, keeping the songwriters and lyricists’ original intentions into account but also feeling free to express herself and make the standards sound fresh and new. Sometimes the tempos are different than expected, most notably the ballard “My Romance” which is taken at a cooking pace, and at other times the singer alters the melody line in surprising and satisfying ways. Whether it is a powerful version of “Dindi,” a medium-tempo “All The Way” or joyful “Almost Like Being In Love,” the music is consistently exciting and fun, full of high quality jazz singing.

Sketches Of A Dream is an impressive debut by the very talented Rita Edmond.

Scott Yanow
Author of nine jazz books including Jazz On Record
1917-76, Jazz On Film and Trumpet Kings - Scott Yanow

"JazzTimes CD review -October 2008"

Sketches of a Dream (T.O.T.I. Music)

It’s not often that a debut vocal album suggests the near-certitude of future greatness, but Rita Edmond’s Sketches of a Dream, for which she also shaped all the arrangements and served as her own producer, is of that rare ilk. Backed by a four-octave range and years of gospel-ignited seasoning across North America and Europe, Edmonds recalls two of the all-time greats, reflecting the vocal power and majesty of Sarah Vaughan, the impeccable timing and phrasing of Carmen McRae, and the intense, natural musicality of both. Put in more contemporary terms, she should, in time, become the equal of Dianne Reeves. Not that this collection of 16 standards is entirely flawless. Her percolated treatment of “All the Way” feels inappropriate (or perhaps it’s simply that, given Sinatra’s definitive version, it’s impossible to appreciate it any way other than his), and her “Almost Like Being in Love” comes across a little too urgent and shrill. But such are minor quibbles. The 14 remaining tracks are ideally realized and exquisitely crafted, particularly an unexpected but effective reading of “My Romance” considerably bouncier and more ebullient than most.

-Christopher Loudon- JazzTimes - Christopher Loudon


CD - Sketches Of A Dream,

To date, Sketches of a Dream has enjoyed airplay on over 145 radio stations in the United States & Canada and airplay in many overseas markets, including Australia, Japan, Denmark, Luxembourg and The Netherlands.

Reached Top Ten Status on the following station:

CHMR- St. Johns NL Canada - for 3 weeks

CILU - Thunder Bay ON Canada - for 5 weeks

CSCR - Scarborough, ON Canada - for 6 weeks / Also reached #1 status for 2 weeks

KBUT - Crested Butte, CO - for 17 weeks / Also reached #1 status for 2 weeks

KZSC - Santa Cruz, CA- for 5 weeks

WPTC - Williamsport, PA - for 1 week

WRFR - Rockland, ME - for 3 weeks

WRGP - Miami, FL - for 2 weeks

KSAU - Nacogdoches, TX - for 7 week

KRFP - Moscow, ID - for 2 weeks

KRZA - Alamosa, CO - for 2 week

Montco Radio - Blue Bell, PA - for 3 week

Sketches of a Dream was listed as one of the 5 most added CDs for two weeks in the CMJ (College Music Journal) Music Report Magazine.

Received Syndicated Radio Airplay on Georgia Public Radio

Feature on WCLK Atlanta & WSHA Raleigh, NC




During an era when there are many female singers who are attempting to sing jazz, Rita Edmond stands apart from the crowd. A California-based vocalist who is making quite an impact on the Los Angeles jazz scene, she has a very appealing voice, a four-octave range, and is able to express a wide variety of emotions. Rita swings at every tempo and does justice to the lyrics that she is singing but is also a classy and spontaneous improviser who is not shy to stretch herself or to take her music in unexpected directions whether interpreting up tempo swing, sensuous blues or a heartbreaking ballad.

Blessed with a powerful voice, Rita started singing lead in the junior choir of her church when she was five. At 15, she trained with the highly respected vocal teacher Evangeline Seward, one of the best in the business. Her sultry voice contributed to various producers and songwriters for BET, Warner Chappell Publishing, MCA Records and Motown. She also worked in Las Vegas and throughout Europe including Nice, Cannes, Monte Carlo (where she opened for Prince), Italy, Paris and all over the South of France. When Rita was with the Keith Edwards Agency, she sang at private parties for Hollywood notables and, at the Beverly Hills Hotel, she opened for Cleo Laine.

After performing all over the Los Angeles area during the past year, Rita Edmond recorded her debut CD, Sketches Of A Dream. "The title of the CD has a meaning and a story," says Rita. "I am sketching out a lifetime dream of what I want to do vocally. I love jazz and the standards are some of the most beautiful songs ever written. Jazz is the most liberating free form of music there is; I call it free flowing music. You are free to be who you want to be, do what you want do and mostly sing the way you want to sing, without restrictions. Most, of my life I have sung somewhat outside of the norm. Sketches of a Dream is the culmination of all my experiences, good and bad, and my dream to overcome it all and be true to myself, singing with a free flowing vocal style."

Joined by a quintet comprised of pianist Joel Scott, bassist James Leary, drummer Quentin Dennard, tenor-saxophonist Ricky Woodard and trumpeter Nolan Shaheed, Rita Edmond gives 16 of her favorite standards a fresh outlook with inventive interpretations that are full of plenty of excitement. Among the many highlights are a passionate "Dindi," cooking renditions of "My Romance" (which is usually a ballad) and "All The Way," and joyful versions of "You'd Be So Nice To Come Home To," "Day By Day" and "Almost Like Being In Love." While she pays respect to the original intentions of the songwriters and lyricists, Rita also feels free to use her creativity to alter melody lines, swing hard and fully express herself so as to make each song her own.

For the future, Rita says, “I look forward to recording more, performing at all the jazz festivals, working with orchestras and big bands in addition to singing and performing aboard." It is obvious, listening to Sketches Of A Dream, that Rita Edmond is a superior jazz singer who is on the brink of great success. Few today are on her level.

Scott Yanow,
Author of nine jazz books including Jazz On Record 1917-76,
Jazz On Film and Trumpet Kings