Thursday, January 28, 2010
Over the past few weeks we’ve referred to JaLaLa, Laurel’s trio with Janis Siegel of Manhattan Transfer and Lauren Kinhan of New York Voices. Well, just in time for the centennial celebration of Johnny Mercer’s birth they’ve come out with the perfect gift. That Old Mercer Magic, produced by the formidable Miss Siegel, blends their dreamy harmonies with the work of one of America’s great tunesmiths. As they have a few gigs coming up in early February (check out Where in the World are the Redheads to the right of this column for details) we thought it was the perfect time to post the group’s official bio and a track from the album. Don’t forget, we’re giving away a copy of this very album next week, all you have to do is guess our Monday Mondegreen and you’re eligible to be chosen at random for your very own copy.
Janis Siegel and Laurel Massé, founding members of the vocal group The Manhattan Transfer, have long shared a love of the great girl groups of American pop music like the Boswell Sisters, the Ronettes, and Goldie and the Gingerbreads. In 2000, they banded together briefly with fellow Transfer singer, Cheryl Bentyne, to form Moxie, selling out a weekend engagement at New York's famous Birdland and quickly developing a devoted following. But the Transfer touring schedule and Massé's solo career (she left the Transfer in 1979) made scheduling difficult, and when Bentyne and her family moved to Los Angeles, the three decided to part company. The dream of a close-harmony female trio stayed very much alive, though, and in 2006 Laurel and Janis welcomed New York Voices' Lauren Kinhan into the group. The three singers began to meet often to sing through arrangements of classic American standards and original material, but once again, the scheduling of performances proved difficult. With the Transfer, the Voices, and Massé actively touring, it seemed that there might never be a moment when the three women would all be available at the same time to perform together.
Then, Siegel was approached by Dare Records in 2008, and asked to produce a CD of Mercer tunes. She took the assignment, and finally the calendars aligned. This was the opportunity that had been so elusive, and That Old Mercer Magic became a showcase and tour-de-force for the new girl trio, now called JaLaLa (for Janis, Laurel, and Lauren).
JaLaLa, the collaboration of three extraordinary singers who each have formidable group and solo singing talents, is performing selected dates in the U.S. in February and June, 2010. Their debut CD, That Old Mercer Magic, is available through Itunes ,Amazon and other outlets.
Monday, January 25, 2010
It’s been a while since we’ve delved into our pile of fabulously misheard lyrics, and on this damp and squishy January Monday we could all use a good laugh. The year was 1995, and that’s all we’re going to tell you. We want you to tell us the title of the song, the artist, and the correct lyric. Post it in our comments section by February 5th and you will be entered into a random drawing for our fabulous prize of the month. We’re giving away a copy of JaLaLa’s new release That Old Mercer Magic. JaLaLa is Miss Laurel’s trio with Janis Siegel of Manhattan Transfer and Lauren Kinhan of New York Voices, and they’ve got a gigs or two coming up in February. Check out the calendar to the right of this post for more info.
And now…our lyric…
Is that you, baby, or just a pig in this pie?
We can’t wait to see your answers!
Thursday, January 7, 2010
Happy New Year!!!! In case you haven’t heard, it’s absolutely arctic here on the East Coast. The result of this, aside from the usual sniffling, snuffling and frozen parts, is that your Redheads spent most of the holiday season curled in their respective beds and respective homes under layers of blankets warming themselves by the glow of the electric hearth. All in all, it's not so bad to spend the time, as one decade passes into the next, watching old favorite videos and acquiring new ones. Amongst our new jewels would be the film It Might Get Loud about guitar players Jimmy Page, The Edge and Jack White. Redhead spawn, Ashton, a nascent guitar player himself, pronounced it “inspirational”. His mother Wendy Lane, and Auntie Laurel would tend to agree with that assessment (it was Auntie Laurel who, having seen the film on the big screen, forced the Baileys to acquire the DVD). Especially since said spawn went immediately to his room and began to try out some of the things he heard in the film. There were smaller pleasures to be had, as well, such as this video of Bobby McFerrin demonstrating the wonders of the pentatonic scale. We hope it gives you a jolt of inspiration to start out 2010.
World Science Festival 2009: Bobby McFerrin Demonstrates the Power of the Pentatonic Scale from World Science Festival on Vimeo.