Primary Instrument: Vocal
Of Greek and African origin, and born in France, Elisabeth Kontomanou has worked with many musicians in both Europe and America, including Sam Newsome, Leon Parker, Michel Legrand, Mike Stern, Alain Jean-Marie. She first gained recognition at the ‘Concours de La Défense’ and has since been nominated for a Django d’Or Award, following her album ‘Embrace’ released on Steeple Chase in 1999. Acclaimed by the critics for her two latest recordings, she was awarded the ‘Vocal Jazz Award’ of the Victoires du Jazz in 2006. Since then, prefering an intimate style to an extrovert one, and depth to superficial effects, she has performed widely in the most prestigious venues across many continents, such as the Blue Note, the Knitting Factory and the Supper Club. She has also branched out to both musical cinema (‘Masque de Lune’ by Michel Legrand - 1988) and musical comedy (‘Rag Time’ - 2003). Pianist Jean-Michel Pilc, her long time collaborator, refers to her as “an artist who has that remarkable ability to shake your soul and touch your heart by the very unique nature of her voice. Her presence possesses you right away, instantly taking you to another world, and like Piaf she could sing the phone book and make you cry”. With her latest album, Siren Song, recorded with the Lorraine National Orchestra, Elisabeth Kontomanou once again immerses herself in the great standard numbers that made jazz famous. Accompanied by three orchestrators - Tom Harrel, Gustav Karlström, and Ann-Sofi Sderqvist - she has combined this celebrated repertoire with recent compositions of her own, such as Summer.Three pieces were composed by her son Gustav Karlström.
Awards:The Steeplechase album Hands and Incarnation brought her a nomination for the 1999 Django d'Or . After working with various bands (including a sextet with JD Allen and Sam Newsome ) in 2004, she founded a duo with the percussionist Ari Hoenig . In 2006 she became the best jazz vocalist of the year ( Les Victoires du Jazz ). Elisabeth moved to Sweden where she released Back to My Groove in 2007, an album that featured many of her long-time collaborators, such as Parker, Newsome, Sewell and Allen. The album also featured John Scofield and TWO of Elisabeth's sons, Donald Kontomanou Gustav Karlström.
Year Released 1999
Tracks: 1. Aliki (7:36);2. Embrace (6:22);3. Where I Wanna Be (3:16);4. Spring (5:56);5. The Light of You (9:02);6. All Music Kinds (11:31);7. Lost Letter to a Nomad (10:12);8. Clear Blue Skies (10:10);9. The Story Teller (5:37).
Personel:Elizabeth Kontomanou (Voice); Sam Newsome (Soprano saxophone); J.D. Allen (Tenor saxophone); Jean-Michel Pilc (Piano); Thomas Bramerie (Bass); Abdou Mboup (Percussion).
Hands & Incantation
Elisabeth Kontomanou and Jean-Michel Pilc
Year Released 2000
Tracks: 1. What a difference a day makes 3:02;2. Incantation 1:58;3. Ne me quitte pas I 6:15;4. Colors 4:26;5. Body and soul 5:18;6. I want to be free 4:18;7. Avec le temp 4:09;8. Sunnyland 4:05;9. La vie en rose 4:03;10. Love that never ends 4:54;11. Three movements 7:15;12. You've changed 4:54;13. Hands 2:11;14. Ne me quitte pas II 4:46;15. Round midnight 6:52
Year Released 2004
Tracks: 1. You're My Thrill 4:36;2. Don't Explain 4:22;3. What's New? 3:15;4. Good Morning Heartache 6:38;5. Yesterdays 6:03;6. Time On My Hands 5:30;7. Every Time We Say Goodbye 6:06;8. The Very Thought Of You 6:37;9. All Alone 7:18;10. The Midnight Sun 6:13;11. I've Got The World On A String 5:29;12. For All We Know 4:52.
Waiting for Spring
Year Released 2005
Tracks: 01. Sunny (5:41);02. Waitin' For Spring (6:07);03. I Gotta Right To Sing the Blues (5:20);04. Good Life (5:42);05. Fever (4:03);06. Duke Ellington Sound of Love (5:22);07. Ayanna Left New Orleans and Went To Mexico (7:17);08. Bird In Me (4:02);09. I'll Never Be the Same (3:33);10. Will Love Stay In My Heart (4:13);11. We'll Be Together Again (4:39).
Personel: Elisabeth Kontomanou (vocals);Laurent Coq (piano); John Scofield (guitar); Daryl Hall (bass); Sam Newsome (saxophone soprano); Donald Kontomanou (drums).
Back To My Groove
Year Released 2007
Tracks: 01. Back to my groove (6:11);02. What a life (5:48);03. Where I'm coming from (7:35);04. The abuse (3:45);05. Black angel (7:58);06. You've changed my world (5:17);07. Late cold night (4:03);08. Summer (5:12);09. My love (6:50);10. Dreams of Gold (3:46);11. Peace on Earth (7:51).
Brewin The Blues
Year Released 2007
Tracks: 1. Moanin' Low 3:55;2. Travelin' Light 4:24;3. Crazy He Calls Me 3:39;4. Everything I Have Is Yours 4:14;5. Somebody's On My Mind 3:04;6. More Than You Know 5:55;7. Deep Song 3:30;8. Tell Me More & More & Then Some 3:54;9. Rosebud 2:42;10. No More 2:44;11. The Blues Are Brewin' 2:11;12. I Hadn't Anyone 'till You 3:41;13. I'm A Fool To Want You 3:37.
Siren Song (Live at Arsenal)
Year Released 2009
Tracks: 1. Siren Song 5:34;2. A Flower Is a Lovesome Thing 3:25;3. Come Sunday 3:54;4. At Last 6:24;5. Summer 5:50;6. A time for Love 6:13;7. Dreams of gold (are Dreams for You) 4:25;8. Farewell 5:02;9. I Put a Spell on You 6:09.
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