An enthusiastic fan once told Anandi, “If I bring a date to your show, your music will make her fall in love.” With a name that means ‘bliss’ in Sanskrit, one could easily infer that Anandi was born to create music that is capable of putting the listener in a very pleasant state indeed, conjuring sounds and images pleasing to the senses. One journalist describes “A rich, dusky voice, poignant lyricism and just a touch of sadness to make the blues go down right.” Anandi’s special brand of contemplative soul contains a mix of wisdom and poetry rarely encountered in today’s popular music. Whether she’s singing jazz standards or her own original songs, this Portland-based vocalist projects a special mood, mesmerizing the listener with a spacious and thoughtful approach to every song.
The daughter of two musicians, Anandi began her career as a guitar-picking singer-songwriter, solidly based in Boston’s acoustic scene. During this time she recorded and released her first album, Melody of Question. Her next two self-released albums, The Mirror and Forever Days, recorded in New York City, were featured on CDBaby’s home page and received airplay at college radio across the country. After spending several years in the Big Apple, where she was able to hone her professionalism and gain inspiration from the city’s myriad jazz clubs, she returned to her family home in Portland and to her first love: jazz. Developing a repertoire of carefully picked classics, she has chosen material that demonstrates the strength of her voice, while retaining the same serenity and meaningful expression that is the mark of her original material.
On her forthcoming album release, The Song Is You, Anandi takes the opportunity to share the fruits of her latest creative endeavors. Offering a collection of jazz tunes past and present, Anandi weaves contemporary selections (Wayne Shorter’s Footprints and Esperanza Spalding’s Precious) together with lesser known standards (My Buddy, It’s Crazy) and old soldiers ( Night In Tunisia, Caravan, Round Midnight). With her special ability to get inside a song, transcend the genre and find its essence, she’s taken Steve Wonder’s hard-driving Latin soul track, Another Star, and transformed it into a profound ballad. And she’s enlivened the mix with a new jazz approach to Forgiveness, one of her own original songs. Anandi’s lovely vocals are enhanced by a generous dose of great piano-playing by longtime collaborator and co-producer Vince Frates, along with the superb saxophonist David Evens, acoustic bassist Dave Captein and drummer Dave Muldoon. Anandi’s dad, Nick Gefroh, contributes some swinging percussion on the Brazilian tune, A Felicidade.
Take your time listening to Anandi and her unique approach to jazz vocals, as she draws you into her world, slowly and inevitably, her silky voice bringing you into the blissful state promised by her name.
© 2010 Anandi