Luxury Experience - The Online Resource for the Discerning Consumer
Home | Testimonials | Who We Are | Contact Us | Subscribe | Links | Media Kit
Home
Destinations
Hotels and Resorts
Spas
Restaurants
Chefs' Recipes
Liquor Cabinet
Wine Cellar
Music Scene
Adventures
Fashion
Arts and Antiques
Performances
Luxury Products
Publisher's Notes
Awards
Events
Gastronomy
Travel News
Subscribe
Site Search


Rita Coolidge Interview PDF Print E-mail
Written by Debra C. Argen   

Rita Coolidge release - And So Is LoveInterview with Rita Coolidge prior to her performance at Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola in New York City.

 

 

Rita Coolidge released her first jazz CD since the 1970’s, “And So Is Love”, on June 28, 2005, on the Concord Records label, which Edward F. Nesta reviewed in July 2005. On Monday, September 12, 2005, I had the pleasure of interviewing Ms. Coolidge at the offices of Miller Wright and Associates, while she was in New York for performances at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola on September 14th and 15th. Edward and I followed up the interview with listening to Ms. Coolidge perform on September 14, 2005.

Edward F. Nesta, Rita Coolidge, Debra C. Argen
Edward F. Nesta, Rita Coolidge, Debra C. Argen

Debra:

Ms. Coolidge, you have had an amazing and exceptional career and with your latest release on Concord Records, And So Is Love, you are well positioned to win over new fans. What was the inspiration for this release? Why a jazz genre?


 

Rita:

I have wanted to do a jazz CD as long as I’ve been singing. In the 1970’s I recorded a jazz CD with Barbara Carroll on the A&M label that was released in Japan. After many, many years of everyone saying that the time wasn’t right, I finally got to do another jazz CD! When Jeff Neben of Axis Management asked me what I really wanted to accomplish, I told him I wanted to do a jazz release, and he said yes.


 

Debra:

I met Jimmy Haslip in November 2004 when the Yellowjackets were performing at Ronnie Scott’s in London, and he told me about this project. How did you come to select Jimmy Haslip and John Burk as the producers for your project?


 

Rita:

John Burk came with Concord Records, and he had a particular interest in this project. Jimmy Haslip came from Nellie and Jeff Neben’s relationship with the Jackets (Jimmy’s jazz band, the Yellowjackets). I love Jimmy, love his energy; he is an amazing man.


 

Debra:

How did you select the songs for “And So Is Love”?


 

Rita:

John Burk is a song man, he knows all the jazz standards, and he is a great source. I had songs that I wanted to sing, plus John had a list of songs to contribute.

 

Debra:

You had some great musicians on this release including Herb Albert and Russell Ferrante of the Yellowjackets.

 


Rita:

Yes, I did. When I went to the studio to record Estaté, the piece cried out for Herb, who was a friend from my old A&M Records days. During that time, whenever I would pass Herb’s door, he always had a story and a smile. Jimmy recommended Russell for the project. I only wish that Jimmy could have played on this release as well.

 

Debra:

What is your greatest music challenge at present?

 

Rita:

This CD has been my greatest challenge easily. Jazz has different melodies than pop, Indian, blues or anything else that I have done. I would wake up nervous everyday, and my husband would tell me just to trust that it would be great. When I would get to the studio, I’d look into Jimmy’s eyes and I knew that it was going to be okay.

Jazz is kind of an elitist world, so I am happy that I can get my foot in the door on jazz radio. It is amazing to watch how well “And So Is Love” is doing on the charts, and to actually be watching the charts! I think this is my favorite thing I have ever done. Up until now, my favorite record was the one that I had done with Barbara Carroll.
Also, performing jazz at Lincoln Center is a thrill, as I am the only female performing there that isn’t a seasoned jazz singer with a jazz pedigree. My friend, Barbara Carroll performs there at the end of September 2005.

 

Debra:

You have had many wonderful achievements during your career, including winning 2 Grammy Awards, starring in the musical Smokey Joe’s Café, and performing at the 2002 Winter Olympics. What’s next? Another jazz project, movie, stage?

 

Rita:

I am narrating and singing in Billie & Me, which will take me up until my Christmas Tour begins. The 2005 dates for Billie & Me include New York’s Carnegie Hall (Nov. 10); Chicago’s Orchestra Hall (Nov. 11); Pittsburgh’s Byham Theater (Nov. 17); Eisenhower Auditorium in State College, Pennsylvania (Nov. 18); and The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. (Nov. 19).

 

Debra:

When you relax what type of music do you like to listen to?

 

Rita:

It really depends on what day it is, where I am, etc., but I like Native American flute music, Luther Vandross, who was a dear friend, love Barbara Carroll of course, also Cold Play, the Eagles and Don Henley. At home, I also like to just listen to nature, to the hawks and the hummingbirds. One day I was walking my dog and suddenly I heard a whooshing over my head, and there was a red tailed hawk about 4 feet above my head, and I could feel his wind in my face.

 

Debra:

What artist or artists past or present have influenced your music style?

 

Rita:

Peggy Lee influenced me from the time I was 3 years old. Her voice never left me. Finally my aunt went to Nashville and bought me Peggy Lee’s record when I was 4 years old. I listened to it over and over again. I learned all I could about her, and was fascinated by her style, about her art of subtlety, how she had it down. I finally had the opportunity to meet her when I was about 35 or 40 years old. She had an incredible story; she was a diverse woman, actor, singer, arranger and writer.

 

Debra:

Is there anything that you haven’t done yet, that you would like to try?

 

Rita:

I would have loved to sing with Ray Charles. I would love to sing with Tony Bennett. I dream of going to South America to perform, and I would love to visit some of places that I have always wanted to go.

 

On September 14, 2005, Edward F. Nesta, our friend, Eloa Maria de Oliviera and I went to hear Rita Coolidge perform at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola, located at Jazz at Lincoln Center, Broadway at 60th Street, in New York. After listening to her CD, “And So Is Love”, we were really excited to be able to hear her perform live. As wonderful as an album can be, hearing a live performance always adds another layer of complexity, and Ms. Coolidge was clearly ready for a new challenge.

Against a gorgeous backdrop of Central Park and the New York Skyline, Ms. Coolidge took the stage and clearly shined as she opened her set with “Come Rain or Come Shine”, followed by a Nancy Wilson song, “Save Your Love”, and “Cry Me A River”. She talked about her respect for Peggy Lee, and why she sings. She said, “I don’t sing because I’m a great singer, I sing because I love it,” and then broke into the Peggy Lee song, “Fever”, which set the audience on fire, followed by Bozz Scagg’s “We’re All Alone”, which she said is always a joy for her to sing. The Bossa Nova song, “Estaté”, really got the audience moving in their seats, followed by a Rosemary Clooney song, “More Than You Know”. She said that she loved Rosemary Clooney, loved her timbre, and texture of her voice, which moved her emotionally with her voice and her heart. “Sentimental Journey”, followed by “The Masquerade” also a Nancy Wilson song, were both well executed, but it was a Peggy Lee song, which she wrote with her husband, Dave Barbour, “I Don’t Know Enough About You”, that she really showed her jazz mettle. Rita was cooking on this song, and the audience was right there, loving every minute of it. She followed that with a slower number “Don’t Smoke in Bed”, which she said was one of her favorite Peggy Lee songs. She ended with “Come to Me”, until the audience pleaded to hear her sing just one more song. Ms. Coolidge came back to oblige with “Your Love is Lifting Me Higher”, which clearly lifted the audience. Although jazz may be a new genre for Ms. Coolidge, I think she has clearly delivered the goods, and is here to stay in the jazz world.

© December 2005. Luxury Experience. www.LuxuryExperience.com. All rights reserved.

 
< Prev   Next >
Home Performances Luxury Experience Company
Destinations Hotels and Resorts Spas Restaurants Chefs' Recipes Site Map...
Liquor Cabinet Wine Cellar Music Scene Adventures Fashion Arts and Antiques
Luxury Products Publisher's Notes Awards Events Gastronomy Travel News

Luxury Experience Company
Luxury Experience - Like Us On Facebook

 

 

 


All copyrights reserved, Luxury Experience Company.
44 Amogerone Crossway #1573, Greenwich, CT, 06830, USA +1.203.358.9701
Luxury Experiences, Products, Services
A Host Matters Website