Vocalist Calabria Foti Releases 'In the Still of the Night'
CALABRIA FOTI is one of music's best-kept secrets. She is a jazz/pop vocalist with a lush, silky voice and impeccable intonation, a recording artist who's shared the spotlight and the microphone with TV's Seth MacFarlane (and garnered a Grammy Award nomination). She's also an active studio musician who has played violin on recordings for some of the top names in music (Barbra Streisand, Paul McCartney, Daft Punk, and many others), and her voice has been featured on television and movies. Legendary singer, Johnny Mathis, gushed upon hearing Calabria's CD, A Lovely Way to Spend an Evening, "Listening to a beautiful voice is one of my greatest pleasures in life. Listening to this recording of Calabria Foti's voice is some of the most beautiful and artistic music I have ever heard."
IN THE STILL OF THE NIGHT is Calabria's third album release. It demonstrates and amplifies what the pros have known for a long time - that Calabria Foti is one of the finest jazz/pop vocalists on the scene today.
IN THE STILL OF THE NIGHT is comprised of 11 songs by Cole Porter. Known for his witty and sometimes risqué lyrics and unusual melodies, Porter has had a lasting impact on the jazz idiom. Calabria worked with pianist Michael Patterson, who arranged and produced the CD to capture Porter at his most introspective, heartfelt and vulnerable.
Patterson is a Grammy and Emmy Award winning composer who has worked across multiple genres and instrumental ensembles, including orchestral and chamber music for concert halls, jazz arrangements and original compositions for big bands and solo artists, and scores for television and film. For this project, he enlisted a roster of A-list musicians, including clarinet virtuoso EDDIE DANIELS, Gene Bertoncini on guitar, RICHARD LOCKER on cello, BOB MCCHESNEY on trombone, IKE STURM on bass, and Jared Schonig on drums.
As he assembled the personnel for the project, Patterson wanted someone very special, someone who could best convey the intimacy of his arrangements while staying true to the honesty of Porter's lyrics. He conferred with Daniels, who also knew Calabria's singing and musicianship, and the two agreed that Calabria Foti was the perfect choice, with her pure tone and musical depth, to bring the delicate sensibilities of Cole Porter's music to life. As Daniels says, "I love Cole Porter. His songs are so heartfelt and the sound of Calabria's voice just touches me. I can't help it . . . I love it."
Calabria was excited to work with Patterson and the all-New York based ensemble. She relates, "The chamber band setting allowed me to really explore the haunting lyrics of each song. If I had to use one word to describe this record, it would be 'sexy.' Each song is very subtle and sensual, leaving space for me to tell the story that Cole Porter wanted told. The feel of the record is almost as if one is a voyeur peeking into Porter's soul, listening to the stories of his life. I really fell in love with these songs. You can hear and feel in a very visceral way Cole Porter's voice in each of these songs . . . a little lonely, yet still longing for love, blatantly wearing his heart on his sleeve."
The CD is stylistically diverse while maintaining a consistent, intimate tone. From beautiful bossa novas like "Night and Day" and the opening tune "Just One of Those Things," featuring lush guitar and clarinet work, to soulful ballads like "What Is This Thing Called Love" and "Miss Otis Regrets," which starts off with an almost classical introduction on the cello, then delves into the blues, to the gently swinging tunes "Get Out of Town" and "It's Alright With Me," to the spare and wistful rendition of the final song "In the Still of the Night," in which Calabria is accompanied only by piano and cello, Cole Porter's music is performed with exquisite artistry.
Only a handful of musicians have been both composers and lyricists, and Cole Porter was among the best to share that distinction. He was a genuine craftsman whose songs were elegant yet had a kind of sophisticated, cool detachment that was both charming and poignant. It takes a singer with Calabria's gorgeous voice and sensitive interpretations, Patterson's captivating arrangements, and top-notch musicianship to capture the essence of Cole Porter's music while creating something new and thoroughly engaging.
ABOUT CALABRIA FOTI
Calabria Foti has been called a "master of improvisation and interpretation." An accomplished singer, violinist, composer, author and educator, she's equally at home performing musical theatre, jazz, cabaret, or her own original songs. Her voice has graced several major motion picture and television soundtracks, she created the jazz violin sound for Fox TV's Lisa Simpson, and most recently was a featured soloist in the film Muppets Most Wanted.
In 2014, the single, "Let's Fall in Love," which she recorded with TV's Seth MacFarlane, received a Grammy nomination. She also has two highly acclaimed CDs, A Lovely Way To Spend An Evening and When A Woman Loves A Man that are heard regularly on adult standards and jazz radio formats all over the world.
Born into a family of musicians and music educators, her father was a professor, and her mother was a pianist who taught vocal music. Calabria was exposed to classical, jazz and popular music at a young age when she set out to become an orchestral violinist. She fell in love with standards and show tunes and started performing from the time she was 12 years old. Passionate about movie musicals and classic films of the late 1920s on, Calabria calls herself a "throwback," in love with the songs of the Great American Songbook and the films from The Golden Age of Hollywood.