The Casablancas
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The Casablancas

Toronto, Ontario, Canada | MAJOR

Toronto, Ontario, Canada | MAJOR
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Music

Press


"Lily Frost swings for Ray, Billie"

One of Toronto's coolest vocalists...Frost is the stage name of the woman who led Vancouver's cocktail lounge craze of the late 1990s with the Colorifics. As a solo star, her music has been heard on Grey's Anatomy. - Canoe


"Recalls the romance of ballrooms, jazz clubs & candelit dinners."

A string-filled “Solitude” dropped me to my chair. As a breathy tenor sax warms up Frost's musings, the arrangement recalls the romance of vacant ballrooms, smoky jazz clubs and candlelit dinners for two. - Eye Weekly


"Lily Frost didn't warm up to Billie Holiday overnight"

Frost needed a little time to be convinced of Holiday's talents. When she first listened to Lady Day's music, she thought "everything sounded the same."

"And then I tried to sing along and I realized she has a completely unique phrasing style that was almost impossible to imitate," said Frost.

"I started to get a grip on how she just lays back on the beat. She takes a big breath before she digs in. I tried to apply that to the record (Lily Swings: Lily Frost Sings Songs of Billie Holiday) in a way because I'm more anxious. I will come in with the beat or, to honour her style and respect her thing, I try to give it a bit of that in the performances. It was a big learning experience." - The Sault Star


"It takes guts to cover such a legendary artist"

Toronto-based chanteuse Lily Frost isn’t known for making bold moves, but that’s going to change with her new disc of Billie Holiday covers. It takes guts to cover such a legendary artist, especially memorable tunes like "Crazy He Calls Me" and "I Cried For You", but it’s even ballsier to turn these jazz standards into alt-country-tinged ditties. Frost does just that on Lily Swings, and does it well.

"Lover Come Back To Me"’s subtle slide guitar complements the blues bar piano on this sweet song, while Frost’s vocals bring Holiday back to life on the slow-moving "Willow Weep For Me". Lily Swings honours the legendary singer’s legacy and also showcases Frost at her best. - Now Magazine


"The Cool, Intoxicating Effect of a First-Class Cocktail"

Sassy versions of “Them There Eyes” and “Lover Come Back to Me” have the cool, intoxicating effect of a first-class cocktail. - Hello! Magazine


"Infectious and Charming"

Whatever bias I had going in, expecting variations on vocal themes stamped out by Billie … within a few bars I was able to sit back and enjoy hearing a songbird twirl and play with phrases and songs as fresh as linen in a summer breeze. A beautiful record. - FYI Music


"Lily Frost pens a love letter to Lady Day"

Lily Sings features country and swing versions of little-known gems by Holiday sung by Frost in her own style -- which is what makes the album such a delight. - Toronto Sun


"Not an imitator...well developed sound, style and manner of covering songs. She blends well with traditional jazz musicians, the band swings and Lily Swings to her own beat. A tribute to be proud of."

The recording consists of eleven standards (Billie Holiday standards), a group of outstanding musicians, including strings, some wonderful arrangements and an overall polished and well produced performance. This record swings, the vocalist swings as the moods swing from an upbeat country feel to a laid back - cool jazz - Jazz Review


Discography

Lily Swings (2008)

Photos

Bio

Infectious and charming are the best words to describe The Casablancas, fronted by Canada's own indie pop songstress Lily Frost. The talented singer-songwriter, whose original music has been heard on TV shows such as Grey’s Anatomy, brings new and fresh interpretations to classic songs from the great American songbook made famous by the legendary Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughan, Ella Fitzgerald and more. The arrangements recall the heyday of swing – peppered with the slightest hint of western swing - which blends a period feel with a contemporary sensibility. The Casablancas appeal to both veteran jazz fans and a young contemporary audience. The show features energetic renditions of this old time music with clarinet and lap steel trading solos in these exciting arrangements. The full band is the most exciting but the music works as a four or five piece as well. With Lily's voice bouncing nimbly on top, the group is classic and fun and works best at parties, corporate functions and celebrations of any kind.

A Word from Lily:
The concept for The Casablancas came to me in a flash; “Lily sings Billie for Ray.” Ray Condo was my friend as well as a mentor and great performer. He passed away April 15th, 2004, at the age of 53. He died from inhaling life with all its pleasure and pain and exhaling spirited music to all his fans and loved ones. He loved Billie Holiday as much as I do, and is very missed.