Say Yes La Tanya Hall
- 1All You Need to Say05:44
- 2Because I Told You So06:31
- 4Poor Butterfly06:12
- 5Whisper Not05:26
- 6Softly as in a Morning Sunrise03:52
- 7Jitterbug Waltz05:41
- 8Ev'ry Time We Say Good-Bye04:52
- 9Well You Needn't03:08
- 10Pannonica / Con Alma05:56
- 11Fiddle and the Drum04:26
Info for Say Yes
There’s something beautiful about an artist finally embracing and taking command of her own musical vision and deeper artistry after years of bringing vocal perfection to the music of legends. After enjoying accolades while singing, performing and touring with icons in numerous genres as a support artist, La Tanya Hall re-emerges as a multi-faceted jazz vocalist and interpreter extraordinaire with her new full length album, Say Yes, set for release November 8th, 2019.
Though her gorgeous, emotionally intuitive vocals take center stage, the expansive collection is, at heart, a collaborative effort with Unison, a newly formed NYC trio led by Hall’s husband Andy Milne on piano, featuring John Hebert on bass and Clarence Penn on drums. Say Yes was produced and arranged by Milne, a distinct and respected voice at the heart of NYC’s creative jazz scene for over 20 years.
While Say Yes is technically a follow-up to La Tanya’s 2009 recording, It’s About Time, she sees Say Yes as the first project that is a true reflection of her artistic spirit. Fans wondering why it took her so many years to return to the studio can look to her busy schedule touring these past seven years with Steely Dan – and her 10-year career as an instructor, passing along her experience and expertise to the next generation of singers as Associate Professor of Jazz Voice at Oberlin Conservatory and at The New School in NYC.
Over the years, La Tanya’s versatility in a multitude of genres has made her a first-call vocalist for some of music’s most celebrated artists, including Diana Ross, Bobby McFerrin, Harry Belafonte, Michael McDonald, Burt Bacharach, Quincy Jones, Aretha Franklin, Rob Thomas, Patti Labelle, Michael Feinstein and Steve Tyrell. Developing her solo artistry, she has performed in recent years at some of New York’s most renowned venues, including Jazz at Lincoln Center, Birdland, Symphony Space, Iridium, and Feinstein’s/54 Below. In addition, she has appeared as a soloist with the American Composer’s Orchestra, the Colorado Symphony, the Jefferson Symphony and the St. Louis Symphony.
“I have been busy singing with everybody else,” La Tanya says, “and even though my first album received critical acclaim, it featured arrangements that I couldn’t fully immerse myself in vocally and as an artist. So, with Say Yes, I was eager to present material that would support and showcase my disposition and broad range of musical tastes. Working so closely with my husband afforded me a trusting, collaborative dynamic that allowed me to sing as fully and as freely as I could.”
Besides her exquisite vocal tone and Milne’s elegant arrangements and piano work, the most remarkable aspect of Say Yes is La Tanya’s unique choices of material – a set list that truly reflects her deep musical curiosity, spanning generations and many genres. She reaches outside the jazz realm with lush re-imaginings of folk-rocker Jonatha Brookes’ “Because I Told You So” (which the singer calls “the most personal song on the album to me”) and Joni Mitchell’s “The Fiddle and the Drum” – a Vietnam era tune whose poetry resonates perfectly in response to today’s intense socio-political climate.
Another remarkable theme that La Tanya develops with this recording is the decision to re-interpret classic jazz pieces that originated as instrumentals before lyrics were added later. These include “All You Need To Say,” which first appeared as the instrumental “Never Say Yes” on Cannonball Adderley’s 1961 album with Nancy Wilson; Benny Golson’s “Whisper Not,” whose lyrics were added later by Leonard Feather; “Pannonica,” Thelonious Monk’s tribute to elusive “patron saint of jazz” Pannonica de Koenigswarter, with lyrics added later by Jon Hendricks; another Monk-Hendricks classic, “Well You Needn’t”; and Clare Fischer’s “Pensativa,” whose lyrics were later penned by Norma Winstone.
In addition, La Tanya reaches back to 1944 and revamps Cole Porter’s classic, “Ev’ry Time We Say Goodbye,” incorporating a Pablo Neruda poem which adds new life to the already powerful lyrics, to 1942 for a fresh, bourbon-soaked spin on Fats Waller’s “Jitterbug Waltz,” and to 1916 for the Raymond Hubbell tune “Poor Butterfly,” – the latter of which is a part of La Tanya’s Sarah Vaughan tribute show.
La Tanya Hall, vocals
La Tanya Hall
is poised to take her place as one of the foremost jazz vocalists in the world today. Her ability to reinvent the Great American Songbook is amassing glorious reviews from around the globe. It’s About Time (Bridge Records 2008), Hall’s debut recording, has been heralded as “an impressive debut from one of jazz’s brightest stars,” [Popjournalism.com/February 2009]. Jazz.com describes her as “a woman ripe with talent [whose] interpretative skills are a marvel.”
Her versatility in a variety of musical genres has allowed her to collaborate with some of music’s most celebrated artists, including Diana Ross, Bobby McFerrin, Harry Belafonte, Michael McDonald, Burt Bacharach, Quincy Jones, Aretha Franklin, Rob Thomas, and Patti Labelle. And she has appeared as a soloist in her own right with the American Composer’s Orchestra, the Colorado Symphony and the St. Louis Symphony.
She has and continues to appear with an equally diverse range of musical icons: the boundary-less vocal avatar Bobby McFerrin; the master of the Great American Songbook, Michael Feinstein; the crooner and producer Steve Tyrell; pop star Rob Thomas; and toured this past summer with the legendary Steely Dan.
Her work with Bobby McFerrin is very special to her. She appears on Bobby’s new recording, SpiritYouAll [Universal Music 2013], and is prominently featured on his 2010 masterpiece recording “Vocabularies” [Universal Music]. Since 2002, she has been a member of and toured the world with McFerrin’s 12-voice ensemble, “Voicestra.”
“That’s some of the most creative and fulfilling work that I’ve ever done,” she says, “Everything is totally improvised – we don’t use written or pre-set music of any kind. Sometimes we have gotten to places so deep musically that I’m actually in tears on the stage.”
When ASCAP recently mounted an All-Star Tribute to Quincy Jones, she was on stage for virtually the entire evening, singing with nearly every big name pop and soul star who was ever produced by that legendary impresario.
In the beginning stages of her career, Hall toured with Harry Belafonte for five years almost continually; this was the last period when the great star was still touring heavily, doing an average of 150 shows a year. She filled the same role in his group that the acclaimed jazz vocalist Dianne Reeves had occupied a decade or so earlier, and was a featured duet partner with Belafonte on the song “Skin To Skin,” both on the recording and PBS special, “An Evening with Harry Belafonte and Friends.”
When Belafonte began phasing out his touring operation, Hall accepted two engagements that furthered her standing in industry: she headlined in the final road company production of the smash hit musical show Dreamgirls and also toured with the legendary diva Diana Ross. After working with Ross, LaTanya also did several gigs with the no-less legendary Aretha Franklin.
Raised in Texas and Colorado, Hall first began singing professionally at age 13 with her father, a jazz pianist who performed all over the world. “Mastering the standards was invaluable training for me,” she says. “I learned from my father to create my own style and not be afraid to take chances vocally.” That influence can be heard throughout her music.
Hall’s voice has been described as “powerfully sensuous,” “a show stealer” and “beautifully musical” in a number of reviews from around the world. And her stage presence has been touted as “brilliant” and “extremely engaging.” It’s easy to get caught up in vocal extravagances when you’ve got a voice like La Tanya Hall, but she tastefully refrains. She lets fly when the time comes, but isn’t afraid to hold a note.
Hall continues to be an in-demand session singer and an accomplished actress, having lent her skills to numerous recording projects, Broadway shows and television and movie appearances. She was most recently seen in the dramatic role of Sabine Winston on the critically acclaimed CBS show, “Blue Bloods.”
This album contains no booklet.