Gig Seeker Pro


Healdsburg, California, United States | SELF

Healdsburg, California, United States | SELF
Band Jazz Singer/Songwriter


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Makes Me Feel Like I'm Sitting in a Jazz Piano Bar Sipping a Martini"

"This record really makes me feel like I'm sitting in a jazz piano bar sipping a martini.
Wells has a marvelously sexy sultry voice that is perfect for this genre. I really like her original compositions...
This is one talented lady, not only did she write most of these songs, she produced the album and did the lion's share of the arranging as well.
Her piano player, Noam Lemish, is amazing. If you ever wanted to know why they use the term "tickling the ivories" listen to him and I think you'll get it. Great album for those who like a little contemporary jazz to spice up their record collections." - Collected Sounds - Amy Lotsberg

"Sparkling Debut"

“PIECE OF THE LIGHT” is an impressive debut from California singer-songwriter Shea Breaux Wells. Her impeccable vocals are lovely, pitch-perfect, and clear as a mountain stream, wrapping smoothly around her fresh,very poetic lyrics and unusual (yet memorable) melodies. This CD defies genre, as it incorporates elements of jazz (particularly with Noam Lemish's breathtaking piano solos) while staying firmly within the storytelling mode of Joni Mitchell. Warm, heartfelt, sometimes bluesy and sultry (as in the opening track “Soothe Me”), sometimes just downright gorgeous (as in the title track), Wells shows amazing artistry in song writing and also in arranging, as she includes the reworking of three familiar songs “Candy Man” (taken to a minor key to become a steamy ballad), “Blackbird” (presented here with a breezy jazz feel) and “Always Something There to Remind Me”(which may make you forget the Dionne Warwick version completely!). I am a fan!
-Anne Kerry Ford,
Cabaret Performer - CD Baby Review

"Cool, Smoky Vocal Delivery"


A real sense of artistry underscores these songs....
Lyrics are intelligent...
This is a very authentic sounding project. A nice rich voice, nice jazz influenced songs...An acoustic artist with a lyrical and melodic sensitivity in the sound. Cool, smoky vocal delivery...
Feels great and all the players deliver sensitive, supportive performances. - TAXI

"5 Stars! Love it!"


Really nice stuff! Great poetry that really takes me places. Candy Man - Brilliant treatment of the tune, WAY SWEET. Looking forward to more... - CD Baby Review

"A Blind Date Worth Investigating"

I am not sure why Shea Breaux Wells has been such a well-kept secret, but with her “A Blind Date” release, the cat’s out of the bag; this vocalist can not only carry a tune, but do so in such a compelling manner, it is impossible to ignore. Employing such amazing veteran hands like George Cables, Billy Hart, Cecil McBee and Craig Handy, who is sucker-punchingly good, Wells struts through 10 familiars including a brisk version of Hoagy Carmichael’s “Baltimore Oriole,” Jobim’s warhorse “Corcovado,” Irving Berlin’s wonderful “Blue Skies,” Ellington’s “Caravan,” and Benny Golson’s remarkable “I Remember Clifford.” Handy really burns throughout Wells’ own “Dark Matters.” But Wells is the focus, and rightfully so. Her elegant treatment of “Oh Yes, I Remember Clifford” is silky smooth. Cables introduces Miles Davis’ “All Blues,” followed by Handy’s flute and Wells’ vocalese presentation. Wells has an amazing understanding of Miles’ melody. Dizzy Gillespie’s “Night in Tunisia” is also an eye-opener. Upbeat and dramatic, “Night in Tunisia” features Wells’ flawless vocals and Handy’s heavyweight tenor trading off, both making room for David Weiss’ solid trumpet solo. The bossa “Corcovado” with a flute intro from Handy is sung perfectly. Wells naturally sways throughout the Jobim classic, breathing new life into it along the way. Shea Breaux Wells is someone to actively pursue in live performance, because if her album is any indication, she is a blind date worth investigating. Brava! - All About Jazz - Peter Sanchez

"A Formidable Newcomer"

Shea Breaux Wells’ new album is titled, “A Blind Date”, because the jazz singer had not worked with any of the musicians on the album. Flying with no net, they worked out the songs and the arrangements at the sessions. The result is real improvised jazz, establishing Wells as a formidable newcomer.
She certainly has self-confidence, taking on challenging be-bop pieces like Night in Tunisia, I Remember Clifford and Caravan with these superb jazzmen: George Cables on piano, Cecil McBee on bass, Billy Hart on drums, Craig Handy on sax and flute and David Weiss (who also produced the album) on trumpet. She won me over at the start with her sultry rendition of Hoagy Carmichael’s “Baltimore Oriole,” beginning the number accompanied only by McBee before the others join in. Her own composition, “Dark Matters,” featuring a hot sax solo by Handy, is mysterious and sounds like the title song of a movie or television show. Her voice is rich and distinctive and the band members do not hold back. Their accompaniments swirl around while Wells is singing (but never overwhelm her) and then erupt during their solos.

- Town & Village - Barry Bassis

"A Fine Voice & Sense of Song"

Singer Shea Breaux Wells manages to sidestep one of the great flaws in jazz albums. She loads her album "A Blind Date" with familiar songs such as "Blue Skies," "Bye Bye Blackbird" and "Night in Tunisia," but manages to give them life. That is primarily because she has a fine voice and sense of song. She also has surrounded herself with a crew featuring pianist George Cables, bassist Cecil McBee, drummer Billy Hart and sax player Craig Handy. She even tosses in an original, "Dark Matters," that fits well into the hard-bop nature of the album. Wells has a strong voice that she is able to restrain nicely on Antonio Carlos Jobim's "Corcovado." Her sense of song also is sincere enough that she is able to put lyrics to "I Remember Clifford" without making them sound hokey. That is true, too, for "All Blues," a song others have butchered vocally. - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review - Bob Karlovits

"Husky and earthy voice"

Meanwhile, California centered Shea Breaux Wells considers herself a part of a band, as she gives lots of freedom and space to the all star post bop quintet of George Cables (p) Cecil McBee (b), Billy Hart (dr), Craig Handy (sax/flute) and David Weiss (tr). This is a formidable band, and play assertively, giving Wells a tough horse to ride, but ride she does, and like Annie Oakley! Her husky and earthy voice delivers a rich reading of “Baltimore Oriole”, with Wells reaching deep into the soil for the root of the piece. She is completely unintimidated by the aggressive support during “Night In Tunisia”, and delivers a muscular and physical tour de force. She’s also able to evoke gentleness, as on the contemplative “I Remember Clifford” and “Bye Bye Blackbird.” I missed her when she was in town earlier this year; I won’t make that same mistake twice.
- George W. Harris - Jazz Weekly

"Wells and her fabulous band more than do justice to all the material here"

Over the past few years, standards have become, well, standard for female jazz singers. And while that formula often produces stale results, it didn’t happen here. Wells’ felicitous choices include tracks by Miles Davis, Duke Ellington, Dizzy Gillespie and Tim Buckley alongside more expected choices like Carmichael and Berlin.
Every choice produces highlights. “A Night in Tunisia” fades in, with the horns and rhythm playing a repeating riff before Wells enters. Her vocal is sly and swinging, and solos by saxophonist Craig Handy and trumpeter David Weiss set it off nicely. On “Corcovado,” Handy’s flute and Wells’ Portuguese vocalizing form the highlights. But a close listen reveals the rhythm section of George Cables (piano), Billy Hart (drums) and Cecil McBee (bass) setting them up. Whether you sample the sensitive and natural “Oh Yes, I Remember Clifford, “ the neatly frenetic sax solo on “Bye Bye Blackbird,” or her original “Dark Matters,” with Cables and Handy taking center stage behind the singer, Wells and her fabulous band more than do justice to all the material here.

- Jazziz Magazine, Ross Boissoneau


A Blind Date - 2008
Piece of the Light - 2006
Smolder EP - 2 songs featured on MTV's Road Rules
Various jazz demos
Full length alternative rock cd with band Forrest Lawn titled "Swallow" - 1994



Shea has a distinct style that fuses jazz with other genres such as rock and singer/songwriter. Originally from Texas, Shea came out to California for school and has been singing here ever since. In Los Angeles, she fronted an alternative rock band and then shifted her efforts over to jazz. Singing both solo and with The Little Big Band, Shea began to build both her repertoire and her appreciation for this fine art form. Shea relocated to Northern California, working on a solo EP called "Smolder" with producer Michael Rosen. After appearing in the Healdsburg Jazz Festival, she came to know its Artistic Director, Jessica Felix. Jessica's deep reach into the jazz community, both locally and nationally, has led Shea into some wonderful musical relationships. With Jessica's introduction to pianist Noam Lemish, Shea was inspired to record her 2006 release, "Piece of the Light", a full-length album of mostly original pieces, with a few covers thrown in. Featuring the legendary Robben Ford on guitar, as well as excellent jazz musicians such as Noam Lemish, David Ewell, Bill Ortiz and Alex Aspinall, "Piece of the Light" was arranged by Shea and co-produced with Oz Fritz, known for his work on Tom Waits' Grammy Award winning "Mule Variations". This album highlights Shea's songwriting skills with her win of Honorable Mention in the 2007 West Coast Songwriters Awards for the song, "Soothe Me".
In 2007, The Healdsburg Jazz Festival again exerted its influence. How's about a jazz recording with some internationally renowned musicians who would be in town for their performance at the Festival? With the 2008 release of "A Blind Date", Shea's embrace of the traditional jazz genre is strengthened. Featuring the mighty work of George Cables on piano, Cecil McBee on bass, Billy Hart on drums, Craig Handy on sax and flute, and David Weiss on trumpet, "A Blind Date" is a raw, diverse romp through standards and then some. Shea contributed an original piece called, "Dark Matters" which lends a haunting, middle-eastern feel to the album. Produced by David Weiss and engineered by Oz Fritz, "A Blind Date" is packed to the gills with electrifying performances from all the musicians. .
Working with such fine musicians has whetted Shea's appetite for even deeper musical exploration. Her present sound is evolving into a unique sound that is indicative of her years tripping the light fantastic.