L'Tanya Mari'

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Born: February 12    Primary Instrument: Vocalist

Well respected on the East Coast as an inventive jazz singer, arranger, songwriter and educator, L'Tanya Mari's much-anticipated debut CD as a leader, A Teardrop of Sun is due to be release early 2009. The project is an eclectic mixture of songs that include fresh versions of standards along with numbers that are lesser-known but quite worthy, ranging from straightahead jazz to bossa novas, sambas, blues and modern fusion. “Of the standards, I particularly love 'You Go To My Head,' says L'Tanya. “It connects with and means a lot to many people even though it is decades old. It tells a story that is still relevant and has a life of its own, qualities that I hope are true of all of the songs that I perform.”...
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In listening to L’Tanya Mari’s debut CD A Teardrop Of Sun, one is first struck by the beauty of her voice. The next reaction is admiration for her ability to make the difficult interval jumps on Bill Evans’ “Very Early” sound effortless. By the time Ms. Mari’ has displayed her versatility on Milton Nascimento’s “Nothing Will Be As It Was” (great long tones) and the swing standard “I Gotta Right To Sing The Blues,” she has won over both this listener and most likely every audience.

There are many fine female jazz singers on the scene today but, with the release of A Teardrop Of Sun, L’Tanya Mari’ immediately emerges as one of the top contenders. It is not just that she has an inspired repertoire (from Chick Corea’s “Crystal Silence” and “This Is New” to “That Old Black Magic”), impeccable intonation and a pretty voice. Most impressive are her choice of notes, her use of space and silence, and her intelligent way of improvising melodically. She pays tribute to each composer’s intent while uplifting each tune through her phrasing, subtle emotions, and solid sense of swing.

A variety of instrumentations are utilized on this CD, from a rhythm section and guest appearances by one horn soloist to tasteful duets with pianist Harry Appelman and guitarist Paul Wingo. A very well-conceived set, L’Tanya Mari’s A Teardrop Of Sun is one of the finest vocal releases of 2009. -Scott Yanow, Jazz Critic

When I listened to L'Tanya's debut CD, a myriad of feelings and reactions begin to surface — questions, warmth, a chill, a smile.... I felt a sense of beauty encompassing many different COLORS! Her eclectic choice of tunes, her vocal quality and range, her choice of wonderful musicians, all add up to some soulful listening that's's rare these days! “You Go Girl”...I enjoyed it immensely! — Trudy Pitts, Pianist, organist, composer, teacher and vocalist

I keep listening to A Teardrop of Sun! From the very challenging opening track, the rarely sung Bill Evans classic “Very Early” to the closer, a poignant and beautifully sparse version of “You Go To My Head”, this CD’s a winner and a most impressive debut recording! I look forward to hearing more.-Grady Tate, Drummer and Jazz Vocalist

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Sterling, VA

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Featured recording “A Teardrop of Sun”

A Teardrop of Sun
Falcon Eye (2009)

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