Not For Ordinary People (2013)
Liner Notes: Kathryn Ballard Shut (ASCAP)
The album that you hold in your hands right now is a child of the magic and global power of the Internet. Born in early 2013 between a masterly songwriting and arranging team of two legendary brothers (Piero and Pippo Lombardo) and a powerfully talented vocalist, composer, and lyricist (Serena Brancale) from Bari (Apulia) Italy, together in collaboration with a lifelong jazz pianist and composer from Denver (Colorado) USA (Kathryn Ballard Shut), Not For Ordinary People creatively has lived up to its name. Even more stunning, the four composers on the album have not yet met in person as of this writing, but somehow have managed to channel each others’ musical thoughts to create an exciting sophomore release for Camera Soul.
The global musical partnership began on Twitter in May 2012, when Piero reached out to me in a tweet, randomly asking me to follow a link to the group’s debut album, Words Don’t Speak. I followed, listened, loved what I heard, and as a result, wrote a favorable review on JazzTimes Magazine’s Community Pages. What began as a professional fan admiration blossomed over the year into a “Twitter-friendship”, grew further into a lyrical writing partnership, then into a distribution partnership agreement between Azzurra Music and TIMKAT Entertainment to market Camera Soul’s debut in the United States, and finally, into a trusted songwriting partnership and friendship. The journey has been no less than amazing.
How does one write songs together by solely using the Internet? In our case, Piero, Pippo, Serena, or I would work on an idea, record a short demo, then email the mp3 file to each other for further ideas and/or lyrics. I usually received an email from Piero, asking for help in writing lyrics to a song that the team in Italy was about to complete. I would listen to the feel of the tune and write meaningful ideas to accompany what I heard, then overdub the demo by singing the lyrics to a sample melody on the track. I would then send it back to the brothers, asking for their feedback and leaving the sample open to changes. Within a few days – sometimes within hours -- I would receive an email that said that’s perfect – that’s exactly what we were looking for, thank you! In one case, I sent the brothers a song that I had written that needed a tight melody line; they worked on it, sent it back, and surprised me by asking for permission to include it on the album (“Locked Inside”). On another, I did a deep translation of a song that the brothers had previously written and recorded in Italian (“Ama”), just because I felt that the story needed to be told in English to appeal to a global audience.
By riding on the infectious riffs, amazing horn lines, and world-class talent of the Brothers Lombardo and Serena Brancale, it has been a true privilege to have earned such respect and trust as a fellow songwriter and lyricist, and an additional honor to have been asked to write the liner notes. However, such songwriting cannot stand alone. When we add the soulfully rich talents of vocalist Serena Brancale, guitarist Francesco Palmitessa, bassist Beppe Sequestro, drummer Mimmo Campanale, saxophonist Luca Toso, and trumpeter Stefan Cavallin, together with Pippo Lombardo himself on the keys, wonderful engineering, and executive producer Marco Rossi guiding the whole show, the Internet songwriting dream finally becomes audible life on thirteen unique tracks, all with compelling and universal stories to tell, set to modern soul and Latin jazz grooves throughout the effort.
Now it’s your turn to judge the fruits of this “not so ordinary” global songwriting team. We invite you to dance to and share Not For Ordinary People with loved ones and throughout the moods of your life – in love, joy, loss, and redemption. We believe there is tale within that will put music to your story, as it has to ours.
We love ...