Lisa B

Lisa B: What's New Pussycat?

$12.88 $14.98
Product Type: CD
Artist: Lisa B

Title: What's New Pussycat?
Label: CD Baby

On her third CD, 'What's New, Pussycat?: Tunes & Tales about Cool Cats,' Lisa B explores the magical contrasts embodied by the cat (and personified by humans): "both wild and cozy, passionate and independent, playful and fierce," in her words. The new CD combines original compositions with Lisa B's refreshing take on familiar songs by Burt Bacharach/Hal David, Graham Nash, and Cole Porter. It features the Bay Area's best jazz musicians: Frank Martin and Ben Flint (keyboards), Danny Caron (guitar), Chris Amberger, Troy Lampkins, and John Shifflett (bass), Paul van Wageningen and Alan Hall (drums), and John Santos (percussion). MIDWEST RECORD RECAP: 'Lisa B is a wild ride...let her entertain don't trip over pipes like these everyday.' GIRLSINGERS.ORG: 'The force is strong with this one... creativity on a level that will soar above many.' CAT FANCY: "For her third album, vocalist and poet Lisa B looked to the life of the common housecat for inspiration to convey the deeply human emotions of longing and satisfaction, danger and playfulness. Purr along to her original compositions and classic covers." ALL MUSIC GUIDE: "...musically and vocally, this 2006 release has a lot going for it...Bernstein uses the word cat as a metaphor - as hipster/beatnik/bebop slang - and she is really singing about human situations on jazzy, playful originals like 'Crazy Cat,' 'Slay Me (My Young Cat)' and the salsa-flavored 'Cha Cha de la Gata (Kitty-Cat Cha)'...from Bernstein's own material to an intriguing arrangement of Graham Nash's 'Our House,' 'What's New, Pussycat?' is infectious more often than not...on this generally memorable and clever CD. SOUNDSOFTIMELESSJAZZ.COM: "For all you cat lovers out there, here's the perfect tribute to your mellow feline friend(s). Lisa Bernstein (aka Lisa B) sings a great set that delivers a view into the nine lives and times of a jazz cat... Lisa's voice is flexible and harmonious, beautifully altering between the highs and lows of her sympatico range... Lisa deftly expresses the slinky allure of the cha cha cha with 'Kitty Cat Cha Cha' and does a full rework of Cole Porter's 'Night and Day' by inserting her magical original spoken word arrangement of 'The Cat Goddess' in the middle of the song. No wonder several ancient civilizations worshipped the cat!...Lisa B does it her way, scats about cats and makes it a hip listen!" TALKINBROADWAY.COM: "Her theme of cats finds her doing everything from crooning a touching history/tribute to her own pet, 'When Malika Sleeps,' to ruminating on the mysteries of felines in spoken sections, to vocally ...purring through the old Tom Jones sex kitten... Cole Porter's classic 'Night and Day,' nicely sung and laidback, is combined with her spoken poem, 'The Cat Goddess.'... in 'Our House,' the very fine, cozy old Graham Nash tun...Lisa does a sincere and lovely version of this, my favorite track on the album, simple and unadorned." BLOGCRITICS.ORG: "Vocalist and poet Lisa B has put together a collection of songs that explore not only the nature of the cat, but also... contentment, home, and the obvious contrasts inherent in the feline spirit ... One that really pays off is the layering of her spoken word 'The Cat Goddess' on top of the Cole Porter standard 'Night and Day'... The sexy 'Slay Me (My Young Cat),' 'The Home Inside' (which reminds me of Joni Mitchell at her jazziest), the Latin shuffle of 'Kitty-Cat Cha Cha (Cha Cha de la Gatita)'...and the spoken word 'Warrior Cat.' Who knew that cats had a political side? The program ends with the poignant lullaby of 'When Malika Sleeps,' written for Lisa B's cat, who died not long before the What's New, Pussycat? recording session began. Lisa describes this as dealing with 'the slippery slope between life and death that we creatures all must face.' True enough. I must say, that little 'meow' and purr at the end is very nice. What's New, Pussycat? will easily put a smile on your face." SOUNDSTAGEAV.COM: ' 'What's New, Pussycat?,' her newest, takes as it's theme cats and their mysterious, independent behavior, but the result is sultry and witty and not at all precious. Some songs are overt in their references to their subject (the title track and the singer's own 'Slay Me (My Young Cat)'), some less so ('You'd Be So Nice to Come Home To'), but she sings all of them in a sensual, throaty voice. Lisa B is also a poet who has published two collections of her work, and here she weaves spoken-word portions into some of the selections. Her own songs are fun and sexy, and she brings a fresh voice to well-known songs. At first, I was reluctant to take 'What's New, Pussycat?' seriously because of it's playfulness and overt sexuality. I've found that I play it all the time, and like it more with each listen. Great musicians make 'What's New, Pussycat?' come alive and help Lisa B keep the atmosphere fun and swinging. Ben Flint's keyboards on the first two tracks help set the tone, and Frank Martin's clever piano playing on the rest of the disc complements Lisa B's singing perfectly (check out the electric piano in 'Cha Cha de la Gata (Kitty-Cat Cha)'). The recording is vibrant and detailed. 'What's New Pussycat?' is fun, impressively played and sung, and, yes, very sexy.' Here are Lisa's notes about the CD's songs: ~ ~ ~I sang Burt Bacharach's 'What's New, Pussycat?' as a little girl, and it was the first tune I thought of for this project. Scott R. Looney's arrangement delivers just the right colors. I love the contrast with Tom Jones' well-known version, and the joy of singing this waltz, with it's references to flowers and makeup and lips, as one female to another. ~ Balancing the first track's yin quality of romance, 'Slay Me (My Young Cat)' has a yang quality of feistiness and challenge. When I wrote it, I was dating a younger man, and for the first time acting as a mentor in many ways to a partner. With it's spare groove animated by funky pianist/cowriter Ben Flint, "Slay Me" plays with the pleasures of shifting power dynamics: "I'm so strong, I need a cat who stands his ground,/who knows how to roll in the grass/and how to lay me down." ~ What ritmo embodies the back-and-forth drama of un gato y una gata better than a cha cha? I was thrilled to collaborate with Latin jazz maestro Wayne Wallace on 'Cha Cha de la Gata (Kitty-Cat Cha Cha),' especially because more than 15 years ago, I wrote my first tune in his songwriting class. I also was glad I could fulfill my mother's request that I mix some Spanish into my English lyrics, adding some sabor picante. ~ Although 'Our House' includes only one line about cats, that's the line everyone remembers best. It was a treat to record a stripped-down, acoustic ballad version, and to sing a rare song of pure contentment. ~ The longing expressed by Cole Porter's 'Night and Day' always seemed to me as spiritual as it was erotic. This version's spoken-word sections call up the ancient magic of the cat and her association with incarnations of the goddess, from Bastet to Isis, from the huntress Artemis/Diana to the witches burned during the Inquisition. Her embodiment of fertility persists in nursery rhymes like "hey diddle diddle, the cat and the fiddle, the cow jumps over the moon." Magic moved me to improvise the end of this tune, and to pray that I may also live nine lives. ~ 'Crazy Cat' existed (under another name) in a darting melody and poignant chords by Scott Looney that suggested this driving samba treatment and these lyrics. I now see that they echo the motifs that ring throughout this record: playfulness and heat, running and returning, longing and satisfaction - in short, the tension between the domesticated and the wild that is personified by the cat. ~ The Brazilian flavor continues with a bossa approach to 'You'd Be So Nice to Come Home To' (another by Cole Porter; he must have been a cat lover). Because of my background as a poet, everything I do vocally aims to serve the lyrics and to express

1.1 What's New, Pussycat?
1.2 Slay Me (My Young Cat)
1.3 Cha Cha de la Gata (Kitty-Cat Cha Cha)
1.4 Our House
1.5 Night and Day / the Cat Goddess
1.6 Crazy Cat
1.7 You'd Be So Nice to Come Home to
1.8 The Home Inside
1.9 Warrior Cat
1.10 When Malika Sleeps

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