Trisha O’Brien announces the release of her new CD, Out Of A Dream on Azica Records (1/26/2010).
Out Of A Dream features O’Brien’s thoughtful interpretations of 14 love songs, revealing a confident presence as a musical storyteller. She is accompanied by a trio of jazz greats including Shelly Berg on piano, who contributes imaginative arrangements, fine tuned to support O’Brien’s pitch perfect, silky tone. The rhythm section is completed by Peter Washington on bass and drummer Lewis Nash. Ken Peplowski blows tenor saxophone on three tracks. Out Of A Dream was produced by Grammy Award winner, Elaine Martone.
On Out Of A Dream, O’Brien digs into (mostly) the Great American Songbook, proving the timelessness of classics like Berlin’s “Let’s Face The Music and Dance,” Mack Gordon and Harry Warren’s “I Had The Craziest Dream” and “Let’s Get Lost” from Loesser and McHugh. She ventures into contemporary territory with a first-class version of Joni Mitchell’s “Help Me,” floating Mitchell’s idiosyncratic lyrics on Berg’s rhythmic, ethereal cloud.
Trisha O’Brien developed her poise through extensive performing experience. She got her start in her hometown of Cleveland working with contemporary pop ensembles. “Then I started to sing the songs of Irving Berlin, the Gershwins, Jobim, Legrand, Cole Porter…,” says O’Brien, “and I was drawn to them like musical short stories, full of beautiful melodies, irony, whimsy and euphemism. It brought me inexplicable joy!” She quit her career as a social worker to pursue jazz singing, and “promote hope and healing through music.” Trisha became a favorite performer on the scene, at Nighttown and other jazz clubs, performing at The Cleveland Museum of Art Courtyard, and private events and concerts across the U.S. and Europe. In 2003, O’Brien self-produced her debut CD, They Say It’s Wonderful, with a sextet, and featured Gene Bertoncini on guitar. She now lives in New York City and Palm Beach, and has recently played engagements at Feinstein’s at the Regency, The Cornelia Street Café, Theater For The New City, The Royal Room at The Colony Hotel in Palm Beach, as well as venues from Paris to Amsterdam.
Trisha O’Brien is one of those rare artists who understands just how wonderful the Great American Songbook really is.
That love of standards once performed by such giants as Nat King Cole and Frank Sinatra is evident on O’Briens new CD, “Out of a Dream.” This lush tribute to the joys of romance comes right on time – just before Valentine’s Day.
The songs on “Out of a Dream” are beautiful interpretations of jazz standards. They all have moving melodies and heartfelt lyrics and each song is delivered with a sense of passion.
They are also performed with a Dream Team of musicians, many of whom share O’Brien’s roots from Cleveland, Ohio, where she first started performing at small cafes before building a devoted following that remains to this day.
The Cleveland connection for “Out of a Dream” includes such jazz heavyweights as pianist and arranger Shelly Berg and tenor sax standout Ken Peplowski. Add Peter Washington on bass and Lewis Nash on drums and you have a legitimate Dream Team.
Berg has earned raves from throughout the jazz world, including Dave Brubeck, who called him “A great jazz pianist.” Berg has played with the Count Basie Orchestra on the Ray Charles hit “Ray Sings, Basie Swings.”
Fellow Cleveland native Peplowski has played with Rosemary Clooney and Peggy Lee and earned raves from none other than Mel Torme, who said, “The man is magic, a charismatic entertainer.”
Washington has worked with Bill Charlap and various Blue Note artists, including Nash, who toured with Betty Carter and worked with jazz immortals Sonny Rollins and Stan Getz. Both musicians are members of the highly regarded group Blue Note 7.
Another Clevelander, Elaine Martone, is Recording Producer for “Out of a Dream.” Martone is a Grammy Award-winning producer formerly with the Telarc label. Robert Friedrich recorded, edited, mixed and mastered the CD.
The CD is being distributed internationally by Azica, a company with a fresh look at recording stressing a collaboration between artists and staff. Azica’s aim is to put the listener in the jazz club and reshape the way people listen to music.
“Out of a Dream” was recorded in New York City’s Avatar Studios. The completed project is a vivid look at love, from the opening strains of Nat King Cole’s “Darling Je Vous Aime Beaucoup” to the late night ambience of Sinatra’s classic “In The Wee Small Hours of the Morning.”
In between are other timeless songs such as “Let’s Get Lost,” “It Could Happen To You” and “Everybody Loves My Baby.” O’Brien’s wonderful medley of “I Had the Craziest Dream/You Stepped Out of a Dream” sets the tone for the CD.
Two well-known songs get new arrangements: Alan and Marilyn Bergman’s “It Might Be You,” a hit for Stephen Bishop, and Joni Mitchell’s “Help Me.” Both versions celebrate the originals while incorporating inventive additions.
In addition to paying homage to the Oscar and Emmy-award winning Bergmans, O’Brien also includes another of her favorite songs -- Michel Legrand’s “I Will Wait For You.”
With 14 songs and a running time of 63 minutes, “Out of a Dream” leaves the listener with a lasting connection to music that has endured for generations. Each song is delivered with a magical sense of purity and passion.
“These are charming, joyful songs,” said O’Brien. “With warm and subtle storytelling, they convey what it’s like to be blissfully in love.”
O’Brien’s unique insights into these wonderful songs come as a direct result of her appreciation of the music during her early years. She grew up with early influences such as Chet Baker, Nat King Cole and Ella Fitzgerald and was also attracted to the music of George Gershwin, Antonia Carlos Jobim and Johnny Mercer.
She began singing pop songs such as Smokey Robinson’s “Tracks of My Tears” and James Taylor’s “Close Your Eyes” as the lead singer for Cleveland area bands. One of her favorite venues was the aptly-named Rick’s Café, where entranced customers were transported in time by listening to O’Brien’s takes on American classics.
Since then, O’Brien has played at the Cleveland Art Museum, Feinstein’s at the Regency in New York City, the Colony in Palm Beach and at jazz clubs in Paris and Amsterdam. She will return to Cleveland’s Nighttown, one of the world’s top jazz clubs, for a highly awaited appearance later this year.
Congrats on your new disc..I just received it and gave it a listen...Wonderful selection of songs and quite a band complimenting you. Above all you are well on your way.
You really sound great. Best of luck in your career.
WXEL fm 90.7 NPR
Trisha O’Brien is in excellent form throughout Out Of A Dream. Joined by pianist Shelly Berg, bassist Peter Washington, drummer Lewis Nash and (on three selections) tenor-saxophonist Ken Peplowski. Ms. O’Brien displays beautiful long tones, a real understanding of the lyrics she sings, and a subtle but solid sense of swing.
Her medley of “I Had The Craziest Dream” and “You Stepped Out Of A Dream” is inspired(as is Berg’s impressionistic playing). She successfully revives both the Nat King Cole hit “Darling,II Vous Aime Beaucoup” and the Dixieland standard “everybody Loves My Baby” (taken a little slower than usual), and comes up with fresh statements on a variety of lightly swinging tunes. Everything works on this Cd.
Reviewed by Scott Yanow for LA Jazz Scene
Beautiful new cd!! Trisha sounds terrific, the band is a mind blower, also outstanding arrangements of these classic songs. Congrats for an outstanding musical contribution on the history of the American Songbook. BRAVO.
Musician, arranger, composer, author
, Out Of A Dream
If you want a satisfying taste of vocal jazz standards, there's already a plethora of recordings out there. If you want a fresh dose however, Trisha O'Brien out of Cleveland has whipped up another good one titled Out Of A Dream. She's a very proficient singer with a soft croon and sincere phrasing, and with a terrific group of musicians backing her up the result is quite nice.
O'Brien has a gentle voice and a sensitive, easy-does-it approach. She never rushes through these proven melodies, she floats from note to dulcet note. I was skeptical of her understated style at first. It's a little mild for my taste, but she is a good singer and it grew on me. The crew of excellent musicians and Grammy-Winning producer Elaine Martone helped seal the deal. Lewis Nash, a familiar name to jazz fans, is a constant highlight. When he plays it's hard to believe his instrument is only percussion. I swear I hear melody and harmony in each rhythmic fill and swinging beat.
Shelly Berg also excels on piano, laying a dusky swathe of tones that flatters O'Brien's sweet voice. On "Deed I Do" he comes up with a bluesy delight of a solo. He improvises like a composer: he builds his ideas to a crescendo and then brings it back down to pass things off to the next player. Berg is also the arranger and he makes good use of traditional flavor without falling into cliché. "Let's Get Lost," a tune made classic by Chet Baker, gets special treatment. The band begins the song in five, flips abruptly to a four-four swing, then finally back to five. I don't know why Berg, or whoever made the decision, chose to switch beats in the middle of a piano solo and then again in the middle of the chorus, but the groove works and I enjoyed listening. Nash plays smooth and tidy in five-four and it's easy to see why he's as renowned as he is. O'Brien does a great job adapting her phrasing to an odd time. She uses the tension of the extra beat and brings the tune to a great crescendo. Ken Peplowski adds his tenor horn effectively to three tracks and Peter Washington makes a great showing on bass.
This is Trisha O'Brien's second recording and she definitely sounds experienced. She's a pro herself and she's chosen an excellent team for Out Of A Dream. Even the best performers need to surround themselves with the right people or their work may fall flat. So if you want to add to your collection of jazz vocalists singing from the 'Great American Songbook,' Out Of A Dream really works.