Ginger Commodore is happy to announce that she is releasing a compilation of some of her most requested songs captured from a live performance at the 2006 Hot Summer Jazz Festival. Three bonus tracks are also included from a prior year’s performance at HSJ (including the often requested version of Fever).
The song selections will present a capsulated image of who Ginger Commodore is. From straight ahead jazz (I Get a Kick, Who Can I Turn To) to her more R&B side (My Funny Valentine, Sweet Love), with a little blues thrown in as well (Since I Fell For You). And let’s not forget her tender side, with her unforgettable treatments of ‘Unchained Melody’ (in tribute to Little Jimmy Scott) and ‘Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow’.
Since recording a holiday CD in 2001 that included various groups (Sounds of Blackness & cast of Smokey Joe’s Café) and years of singing on other projects, this CD represents her first “solo” CD. Those whom have witnessed Ginger’s live performances and have continually asked “did you record that?” will have to wait no longer. It is truly fitting that this CD captures the essence of Ginger Commodore in a live performance in a truly great setting.
Lee Blaske – Piano , Mark Weisberg – Bass, Kathy Jensen – Sax, & Bobby Commodore – Drums
From Ginger Commodore
First let me start by acknowledging and thanking my family and friends (too many to name) who have always been my strongest supporters. And a special thank you to my husband Robert, who put in an enormous amount of time and effort to see this project come to life. Live recording is always a gamble, because there are so many things that can affect the outcome. I wasn’t sure about my first solo release being a live recording. But, that evening the spirit was right, the sound coming back to me was good, the audience was responsive (yeah dog-pound!) and the musicians were cool as a breeze (on a hot summer jazz night) and played some dynamite stuff! Matt Zimmerman applied the finishing touches for which we are so grateful. So, I hope you enjoy these interpretations of some really great tunes.
From Bobby Commodore
In 1974 I joined the Sounds of Blackness and rehearsed with them every Tuesday and Friday night for a few months. But it wasn’t until a performance that February on a cold night in Moorhead, MN that I witnessed and felt the power of emotion a human voice could bring from within me. For on that night I first heard Ginger sing (I Must Tell Jesus), watched what that performance brought over the crowd and I myself became so lost in the moment that I momentarily forgot I was suppose to be playing.
As you can tell I have never forgotten that moment and from then on I have been hooked on what she brings to the table in a live performance.
Segue to June, 2006 Hot Summer Jazz Festival, opening night, main stage. The weather is good. The crowd is great. Regular band members are all present and Ginger is in good voice.
It turned out to be one of those ‘felt right’ performances you always hope for. We received many comments from the audience as to how much they enjoyed the performance including emails several weeks after the performance. Many said too bad there wasn’t a recording made of that performance because they sure would want one.
As luck would have it we did in fact record the event. Our friend Joel Mooney had brought his recording gear and the tracks came out fine. So this CD presents five songs from that performance as well as three songs from an earlier appearance at HSJ with the old GCQ.
With the release of this CD, hopefully, you will get to experience some of the magic I feel every day being married to this fabulous singer
Performance Review from Jazz Police
Vocalists are always high on every festival list—even those with only casual interests in jazz seem won over by the creative vocals that breathe new life into the most worn out standard. HSJF has historically been sweet on singers, and this year may have been the most ambitious and successful line-up yet.
Ginger Commodore is always a good draw, and this year she helped kick off events on Peavey Plaza with a Thursday evening performance with her veteran quartet (husband Bobby on drums, Lee Blaske on keys, Mark Weisberg on bass, and the always amazing Kathy Jensen on sax). Ginger has an elastic voice that seems to fit the blues as well as the ballad or pop cover—… a swinging “I Get a Kick Out of You,” a tender “Who Can I Turn To?”, an elegant—very “Gingerly” “My Funny Valentine.” Common pop tunes not often covered by jazz artists were born anew with Ginger’s touch “Unchained Melody,” … and a lovely duo with just Weisberg, “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow.”
…. one of the best voices of the festival!!!
Andrea Canter – Jazz Police
On “Live! Hot Summer Jazz,” Ginger Commodore reminds us that she can sing big and small with equal elan. And she does both on a brilliantly jazzy reading of “Unchained Melody” that recalls Jimmy Scott more than the Righteous Brothers. She shows similarly smart instincts on a slow, seductive and desperately steamy “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow.” Add such standards as “My Funny Valentine” and “I Get a Kick Out of You,” and it’s a wonderful live CD . Backed by pianist Lee Blaske, bassist Mark Weisberg, drummer Bobby Commodore and saxophonist Kathy Jensen, she celebrates the release of her disc, recorded at last summer’s Twin Cities Jazz Festival.
Jon Bream - Mpls Star Tribune
...There are few such original joys as watching and listening to Ginger Commodore. All in all, she is like the properly self-possessed teacher who, lesson by lesson respectfully takes you to school and leaves you breathlessly dazed by the time class is out...
Dwight Hobbes - Insight News
...Expect romantic music sung with great verve; ...Expect enough warmth to melt snow; Expect a crowd...
John Habich - Mpls Star Tribune
“Ginger possesses some of the sweetest and most clarion pipes in town.”
Says City Pages’ Britt Robson,