Anna Givens

Anna Givens: Skylark

$14.74 $17.98
Artist: Anna Givens

Artist: Anna Givens
Title: Skylark

The plant closed in July 2007. Anna decided it was time to sing and she started sitting in at little jazz clubs, meeting people, learning tunes, looking for some 'old guys' who could offer the real 30's-40's jazz she wanted to sing. One of her new friends took her to Toledo to meet Claude Black who had been Aretha Franklin's pianist during her initial climb from obscure Detroit jazz singer to Queen of Soul in the mid 1960's. He had grown up in Detroit playing big venues from his early teens with people like Billie Holiday and the guys who would later form the foundation of Motown as the Funk Brothers. Now, in his late seventies but still playing six nights a week in Toledo, Claude and his bass player were shocked at first that there was a young woman who could really sing (and looked good, too) that they didn't know - they knew everybody from Detroit to Cleveland and suddenly, as the bass man put it later, 'You fell out of Heaven onto our stage'. She asked if she could come in to sing (for free) on their slow nights to learn the tunes and whatever else they could show her. 'Well, I guess you could come in on Tuesdays, and well, yeah, maybe you could come in on Wednesdays, too', was the answer and so began two years of tough love learning how to be one of the cats. Claude had played with and was friends with many of the greats - Miles Davis, Oscar Peterson, and Wes Montgomery for example, and he took a little time before he allowed that Anna had the goods. He started taking her along to sing a few tunes on field trip gigs to Baker's Keyboard Lounge in Detroit and some of his other shows around the Ohio-Michigan border country. By the end of their first year together, they had formed a musical partnership that produced music that stunned the few patrons willing to risk the funky downtown Toledo neighborhood to hear them. In November of 2008, Anna, Claude, and their friend, pianist Calvin Hughes, recorded several tunes, including the version of 'Solitude' on the album. All first takes, no overdubs. Within weeks, Suzanne Carroll added 'Solitude' to the rotation on her popular Sunday morning jazz radio show just because it sounded so good. Everybody realized they ought to record some more, but it took the next six months for Anna and Claude to record the rest of the tunes. SkyLark is what happened.

1.1 Don't Explain
1.2 East of the Sun
1.3 Easy to Remember
1.4 A Flower Is a Lovesome Thing
1.5 Goody Goody
1.6 It's Crazy
1.7 Lover Man
1.8 Skylark
1.9 Solitude

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