Amanda Brecker Pays Homage to Carole King and James Taylor on New CD BLOSSOM, Set for Release 2/26
Singer-songwriter Amanda Brecker pays homage to Carole King and James Taylor, and commemorates the 40th anniversary of 'Tapestry', with her beautiful new CD 'Blossom', produced by Grammy winner Jesse Harris (Norah Jones, Madeleine Peyroux, more,) and featuring musicians from the original 'Tapestry' recordings.
The 12 song collection, set for a February 26th North American release on Decca, is a breath of fresh air in a noisy pop world - Brecker shows a graceful respect for the seminal music, infusing each track with a sweetness and a delicate touch that is matched by Harris' understated production. From 'You've Got a Friend' to 'So Far Away' to 'It's Too Late,' 'Blossom' is filled with beloved songs that hearken back to another era. A Bonus Track, Brecker's original 'You Were Mine', rounds out the winning collection. Listen to audio samples HERE.
'Blossom' Track listing:
2. So Far Away
3. You Can Close Your Eyes
4. Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?
5. Sweet Baby James
6. It's Too Late
7. Don't Let Me Be Lonely Tonight
8. Long Ago and Far Away
9. Something In the Way He Moves
10. Natural Woman
11. You've Got A Friend
12. You Were Mine (Amanda Brecker)
In a serendipitous twist, Carole King will be honored with the Recording Academy's Special Merit Award -- a Lifetime Achievement Award to be presented in early February and acknowledged at the 55th Annual Grammy Award Ceremony on February 10th.
Brecker is no stranger to the music world - her parents are respected jazz artists, Brazilian pianist/singer Eliane Elias and trumpeter Randy Brecker - and she's been an active participant in the recording studio since she was a child. Over the past four years, Brecker has built a name for herself as an award-winning singer in Japan, releasing a series of albums and ultimately signing with Universal Japan, with 'Blossom' as her label debut. The album now sees its North American release via Decca. A full bio is below.
Amanda Brecker will support the release of 'Blossom' with a series of U.S. tour dates. Initial appearances in New York are confirmed, with more cities to be announced soon:
January 12 Caffe Vivaldi (APAP Showcase) New York, NY
January 15 Rockwood Stage #1 New York, NY
January 16 Zinc Bar New York, NY
January 22 Caffe Vivaldi New York, NY
February 5 Caffe Vivaldi New York, NY
February 26 Rockwood Stage #2 (CD release night) New York, NY
March 14 Birdland New York, NY
Brecker comments on the inspiration behind 'Blossom':
'Blossom' is dedicated to two of the greatest singer/songwriters of our time, James Taylor and Carole King, who through their timeless music have touched the hearts of millions all over the world. I'm thankful to Hiroshi Aono (Universal Japan) for proposing the idea of this tribute album, which also celebrates the 40th Anniversary of Carole King's "Tapestry." It's with great admiration and respect that I celebrate the music of these two legendary artists.
Contributing musicians on 'Blossom' include Russ Kunkel (drums) and Lee Sklar (bass,) two renowned performers who were part of the original "Tapestry" recording sessions. 'Blossom' was recorded and mixed by Darrel Thorpe (Charlotte Gainsbourg, Radiohead, etc.) in Los Angeles, and mastered by Greg Calbi at Sterling Sound, NYC.
Amanda Brecker is a singer-songwriter from New York City. In 2008, she signed her first record deal with "Birds Records" in Japan and recorded and released her first album, "Here I Am." Shortly after, her composition "Novo Lugar" became the theme song on the Japanese Television Series, "Giants of Beauty." The album "Here I Am" received the "Gold Disc Award" by Swing Journal, Japan, and was the #1 Best selling Jazz Vocal CD in Japan in the Summer of 2008. Amanda also received the "Best New Talent Award 2008″ by Swing Journal, "New Star International Prize" by ADLIB Awards 2008 and "2008 New Star Award" by Swing Journal (all in Japan).
Amanda's second album, "Brazilian Passion," was released in Japan in 2009. This album is a blend of Brazilian and American music, which represents Amanda's background. Most of the songs on the album are influenced by Brazilian rhythms and features four of Amanda's original compositions. Amongst covers, the album includes special guest, Brazilian legend Ivan Lins, who sings on two of the tracks with Amanda. The CD "Brazilian Passion" received the Gold Disc Award by Swing Journal, Japan 2009.
In November 2010, Amanda signed with Universal Music Japan. She then recorded her third album, "Blossom", which was produced by the Grammy Award winning songwriter/producer Jesse Harris. "Blossom" is a tribute album to James Taylor and Carole King. It was released in Japan in May of 2011 in celebration of the 40th Anniversary of Carole King's "Tapestry."
Amanda's talent was notable at a very young age. She is the daughter of Brazilian pianist/singer Eliane Elias and the trumpeter Randy Brecker, two very prominent artists on the Jazz scene. When she was 8 years old, Amanda sang on Eliane Elias' album "Fantasia," interpreting Milton Nascimento's "Ponta de Areia", a performance that brought the composer to tears. Following the recording, Amanda performed live with Milton Nascimento in Paris when she was 9 years old. Prior to starting her solo career, she sang on several of Eliane Elias' albums and performed live with her mother on various occasions.
Amanda began writing songs on the piano when she was fifteen years old. She picked up the guitar two years ago, which opened up a whole new perspective for her as a songwriter. She is currently working on new material for a next album.
Photo Credit: Juan Patino