57 Minutes, Laura Marks CD

“57 Minutes” comprises twelve of the band’s favourite tunes,
recorded at Noble Street Studios October 30 and 31, 2012.

 

Laura Marks has described the theme of her debut CD as “Songs that we like to play”, and she further explains, “Mark, Ross, Ben and I have played together on and off since July, 2010 and Chris and Reg joined us in 2012. 57 Minutes was recorded over a two day period at Noble Street Studios, Toronto with many “first takes” having been included in the project to ensure as spontaneous and real an outcome as possible.

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The Musicians:

Laura Marks

Laura Marks

Laura Marks sings with the same quiet intensity and sensuality that informs her paintings. Her cool, restrained style draws the listener into a shared intimacy. Coming from an artistic family, she has been singing all her life and was exposed to classical music, jazz, folk, rock and blues at a very early age. It’s in her blood. Over the last few years Laura has performed jazz and Latin music at various clubs around Toronto including The Rex, The Reservoir Lounge, Hugh’s Room, Lula Lounge, The Trane Studio and Ten Feet Tall.

Mark Kieswetter, Keyboard

Mark Kieswetter

Versatile pianist Mark Kieswetter has performed alongside jazz greats including Zoot Sims, Jack Sheldon and James Moody. For over three years, he was the musical director for the legendary Jon Hendricks, working with him in developing the large vocal ensemble “Vocalstraâ”, and performing at such venues as the International Association of Jazz Educators in New York and the Sorbonne in Paris. He has recorded two recent albums with bassist, Ross MacIntyre. Mark is responsible for the elegant and evocative arrangements of the music on “57 Minutes”.

Ross MacIntyre, Bass

Ross MacIntyre

Torontonian, Ross MacIntyre is one of the most lyrical and virtuosic bass players around. He’s in great demand both as a performer and as a studio musician. He plays regularly with singer, Shannon Butcher and he’s toured internationally with Matt Dusk, Elizabeth Shepherd and Emily Clare Barlow among others. He and pianist Mark Kieswetter have recorded two CDs as a duo.

Ben Riley Drummer

Ben Riley

A graduate of York University, Ben Riley has played alongside Bruce Cockburn, Holly Cole, Michael Burgess, Molly Johnson, Joe Sealy, Doug Riley, Jake Langley, NOJO, Marc Jordan, Amy Sky, Moe Koffman, Domenic Troiano, Joshua Nelson, Matt Dusk, Wynton Marsalis and Gary Burton among others. Ben co-leads an original soul/R&B project in Toronto, Planet Earth, which has opened for Maceo Parker as well as for the Toronto International Film Festival. Ben has toured extensively throughout Canada, Europe, the U.S., China and Japan with many highly acclaimed acts. He has played on countless albums and hundreds of commercials, as well as music for film and TV.

Chris Gale

Chris Gale

After graduating from Mohawk College, Chris studied at McGill in Montreal and later at the University of Toronto. Since moving to Toronto in 1994, Hamilton born saxophonist Chris Gale has recorded extensively and toured internationally. His talents as a composer and jazz artist can be heard on his debut CD Strays Stays. He’s recorded and toured with Canadian singer-songwriter Colin James, Blue Rodeo, Ron Sexsmith, Brandi Disterheft, Richard Underhill, and Michael Kaeshammer, and performs regularly in clubs around Toronto.

Reg Schwager, Guitar

Reg Schwager

Reg has toured extensively across Canada and worldwide with George Shearing, Diana Krall, Peter Appleyard, Rob McConnell and many others. He appears on over 80 commercially released recordings with such artists as Junior Mance, Gary Burton, George Shearing and Mel Tormé. He’s released several CDs under his own name including his latest in collaboration with David Restivo, “Arctic Passages”.

 

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The Tunes

 

1. Whisper Not

Benny Golson, saxophonist, composer and arranger wrote Whisper Not in 1956 when he was with Dizzy Gillespie’s Big Band. Jazz writer, Leonard Feather wrote the lyrics. Anita O’Day recorded the first vocal version of the song in 1958.

2. A Felicidade

Composer Antonio Carlos Jobim collaborated over the telephone with poet Vincius Moraes, who was in Uruguay at the time, to write the song A Felicidade for the haunting 1959 film Black Orpheus, adapted from the play written by Vincius Moraes based on the Greek myth Orpheus and Euridice. In the film the story is told in the context of a favela, or shantytown of Rio De Janeiro during Carnaval.

SHOW/HIDE LYRIC TRANSLATION

A Felicidade

Sadness never ends but happiness does

The happiness of the feather that floats on the air,

It floats so lightly, but its life is brief

because it needs the wind to keep it aloft.

The happiness of the poor

seems to be the great illusion during carnival.

People work the entire year

for that one moment of fantasy:

that they are a king or a pirate or a gardener

but everything’s over by Wednesday.

Happiness is like a dewdrop on the petal of a flower.

It shines, still,

then shivers and falls like a tear of love.

My happiness is dreaming

In the eyes of my girlfriend.

It is like this night

passing, passing

in search of the dawn.

Speak low, please

so she wakes up joyful as the day

offering love kisses.

Sadness never ends

3. Ghost Of A Chance

I Don’t Stand A Ghost Of A Chance With You is one of the top jazz standards of all time. The music was written by Victor Young, lyrics by Bing Crosby and Ned Washington in 1932. It’s the quintessential expression of unrequited love.

4. Eu Vim Da Bahia

Written by Gilberto Gil Moreira; singer, guitarist, composer, innovator, former Brazilian Minister of Culture. It’s a love song to his home province of Bahia in northeastern Brazil.

SHOW/HIDE LYRIC TRANSLATION

Eu vim Da Bahia

I come

I come from Bahia, singing

I come from Bahia country.

There’s so much that is beautiful

in Bahia, which is my home.

It has my ground, got my sky, my sea,

Bahia, that exists in order to show you

how to live.

Where we do not have to eat

but do not die of hunger.

because the Bahian mother has Lemanjá *

On the other hand the Lord of Bonfim **

helps the Bahian living to sing, to dance samba for real

to die of joy in street party in samba

on the night of the moon, in the corner of the sea.

I come from Bahia

but I return there.

I come from Bahia

*Lemanja or Yemanja is the mother goddess of the sea from the African religion, Umbanda that blends with Catholicism and Spiritism in Bahia. She represents the feminine principle of creation and motherhood and she is the protector of children.

**Senhor Do Bonfim is “Our Lord of the Good End” represented by the crucified Jesus in the moment of his death. The tradition of Senhor do Bonfim has its origins in both Catholicism and Candomblé, a religion from Yoruba, West Africa.

5. Drinking Again

Composed 1962 with music by Doris Tauber (one of the three composers of Them There Eyes) and lyrics by Johnny Mercer.

6. The Lamp Is Low

The music was written by Peter DeRose and Bert Shefter, adapted from Pavane Por Une Infante Défunte (Pavane For A Dead Princess) a piece by Maurice Ravel. The lyrics were written by Mitchell Parish. Mildred Bailey made the first notable recording of the The Lamp is Low in 1939.

7. Dos Gardenias

Composed in 1947 by Isolina Carrillo, daughter of an orchestra leader from Havana and member of a successful 1950’s era Cuban three girl singing group. The song enjoyed a relatively recent revival after it was recorded in the 1990s by The Buena Vista Social Club with Ry Cooder.

SHOW/HIDE LYRIC TRANSLATION

Dos Gardenias

Two gardenias for you.

With them I want to say

I love you; I adore you; my life!

Focus all your attention on them

as they represent your heart and mine.

Two gardenias for you

that will have all the heat of a kiss,

of those kisses that I gave you

and that you will never find

in the fervour of another love.

By your side they will live

and they will talk to you

as if you were with me

and you will even find yourself thinking

that they are telling you, “I love you”

but if one evening at dusk

the gardenias of my love die

it’s because they have discovered

that your love for me has ended

because another love exists.

8. You Leave Me Breathless

Lyrics by Ralph Freed, music by Frederick Hollander. The song was first heard in the 1938 film Cocoanut Grove, starring Fred McMurray and Harriet Hilliard. You Leave Me Breathless has been recorded by many artists including Mildred Bailey, John Coltrane, Ella Fitzgerald, Carmen McRae, Nat King Cole, Mel Tormé, Lee Wiley, and Nat Adderly.

9. Quizas, Quizas, Quizas

Quizas, Quizas, Quizas was written by Cuban radio and television host, Osvaldo Farrés in 1947 and popularized by Nat King Cole in his Cole Espanol album of 1958.

SHOW/HIDE LYRIC TRANSLATION

Quizas, Quizas, Quizas

I am always asking you

When, how and where?

You always tell me

Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps.

The days pass this way

And I am despairing

And you, you always answer

Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps.

You are wasting time

Thinking, thinking

what you want most

Until when? Until when?

The days pass this way

and I am despairing

and you, you always answer

Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps.

10. Body and Soul

While in London in 1930 Hollywood songwriter/conductor Johnny Green wrote Body and Soul for Gertrude Lawrence. Three writers: Frank Eyton, Edward Heyman and Robert Sour collaborated to pen the lyrics. Body and Soul appeared in the Broadway revue, Three’s a Crowd in 1930. The song was banned from radio for nearly a year because of its suggestive lyrics. As many as fourteen different recordings were made of it in the 1930s and 1940s. Louis Armstrong was the first jazz artist to record it.

One of the most famous and influential takes was recorded by Coleman Hawkins in 1939. Because Hawkins only hinted at the melody and improvised throughout the recording it’s considered to be one of the first examples of early be-bop. The song is the most covered jazz standard of all time.

11. My Heart Stood Still

With music composed by Richard Rodgers and lyrics by Lorenz Hart, My Heart Stood Still was first introduced in 1927 for the London Revue One Dam Thing After Another. It became well known as a favourite of Edward, Prince of Wales who later briefly reigned as Edward VIII. The song was so popular that Rodgers and Hart bought the American rights and inserted it into the Broadway show A Connecticut Yankee. The 1949 film starring Bing Crosby was an adaptation of the novel A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, written in 1889 by American humourist and writer, Mark Twain. The film was scored by Victor Young (I Don’t Stand A Ghost Of A Chance With You) to replace the original Rodgers and Hart music from the stage play due to copyright problems. The refrain is interesting because it’s comprised entirely of one syllable words.

12. Someone To Watch Over Me

Written for the musical Oh, Kay in 1926 with music by by George Gershwin and lyrics by Ira Gershwin and Howard Dietz. Howard Dietz was called in when Ira Gershwin fell ill with appendicitis while writing the lyrics for Oh, Kay. Dietz contributed lyrics and came up with the name Someone To Watch Over Me. Dietz, a publicist for Goldwyn and MGM film studios and a lyricist wrote the lyrics to several Jazz standards such as Alone Together, You And The Night And The Music and Dancing In The Dark. George Gershwin originally intended Someone To Watch Over Me to be an up-tempo tune, but one day when he and Ira were working together he played it slowly and they agreed that it worked better as a ballad.

 

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The Paintings:

Click on the paintings below for further information.

Band at the RexSelf-portrait, 2002

LilliesSelf-portrait, 2002