Lucky So And So Music Notes

LUCKY SO-AND-SO NOTES

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It was time in my career to get back into the studio. In thinking of who to work with, Phil Dwyer came immediately to mind as I’d been wanting to work with him for some time. To have Phil produce, arrange and play on this CD has been tremendous.  Returning to the studio this time under Phil’s direction has been the best fun.

Melinda Whitaker - Lucky So And So

Melinda Whitaker – Lucky So And So

Phil’s arrangements are in my mind both fresh and rivaled by few in the industry. I recall the first day I approached him. Armed with a legion of prospective album tunes; I bombarded him with favourites I’d wanted to record for a long while. Surprised, he replied, “Melinda, you’re talking three albums!” And so began our quest for the nine songs I ultimately recorded.

To work with musicians Ken Lister, Brad Turner, Julian MacDonough, Ian McDougall, Pat Coleman, and Phil Hamelin has been a dream.  They’re such pros and at the top of their game. Together, I feel that we are ‘inside’ these incredible tunes.

Throughout my career, I’ve primarily worked as a session vocalist during the day, singing standards in jazz clubs at night.  Television series, specials and tours required that I perform whatever genre the project demanded, from television and radio commercials to rhythm and blues, rock, pop – in short, I was a working musician.  With Lucky So-And-So! I have finally recorded an album where I live.  A no holds barred jazz album with some of the top musicians in the country.  I’m home!

My sincere hope is that you enjoy Lucky So-And-So! as much as I loved making it!

TRACK ONE ~ The Song Is You

I first heard Nancy Wilson sing this tune on her LP “Yesterday’s Love Songs” and it’s been in my DNA ever since. Nancy has always been an inspiration. There was no doubt in my mind I would record The Song Is You. Phil makes it sparkle!

TRACK TWO ~ My Foolish Heart

This gorgeous song soars with Phil’s arrangement. I recall the exact moment I heard the first mp3 he sent to me and thought: “This is crazy beautiful;  can’t wait to get in the studio to lay it down!”

TRACK THREE ~ I’m A Lucky So-And-So!

I knew from the outset Lucky So-And-So! had to be on this CD, but it was Phil who suggested we do it just as Duke Ellington originally wrote it. I love the freshness of Phil’s arrangement and the horns totally make it happen.

TRACK FOUR ~ Overjoyed

As a waltz, the seductive sensuality of Stevie Wonder’s Overjoyed is compelling, and Phil’s treatment of it is masterful. The wave steadily swells with both nuance and power through a series of modulations, then resolves, gently lapping at your feet.

TRACK FIVE ~ A Felicidade 

I fell in love with the brilliant poetic imagery of this Jobim composition after hearing Susannah McCorkle’s exquisite translation.  It plays itself so effortlessly and is now one of my favourite tunes.

TRACK SIX ~ I Guess I’ll Hang My Tears Out To Dry

Accolades go to Phil who suggested I listen to Tears, and for which I am so thankful.  Personally, this tune is all about the spaces between the notes; giving them room, letting them breathe. When I sing this lovely Styne & Cahn song, I make sure Tears lives in those spaces.  Love it!

TRACK SEVEN ~ Creepin’

Stevie Wonder again hits the visceral with a groove that won’t quit. ‘The pocket’ and Stevie are synonymous. With Phil’s sumptuous horns what came immediately to mind was, “off the hook!”.

TRACK EIGHT ~ Just Friends

Like many in the industry, Just Friends has been in my songbook forever, but I was aching to put a new spin on it. Still, nothing prepared me for Phil’s treatment. Now THAT’S an arrangement!

TRACK NINE ~  You’ve Changed

Gut-wrenching yet strangely cathartic, we recorded You’ve Changed in one take. With lyrics that never fail to rip my heart out and throw it at my feet, this tune had to be on the album. In that breathless space that follows the last note, Phil’s words to recording engineer Rick Salt still resonate, “I sure hope you got that.”

–oOo–