It’s been five years since Inside Sounds released The Memphis Belles—Past, Present & Future, a compilation of twenty women with styles ranging from rockabilly to R&B. The CD was a bona fide success, and in 2004 a concert was staged at the Cannon Center in Memphis featuring Reni Simon, Carla Thomas, Jessie Mae Hemphill, Gwin Spencer, Sandy Carroll, Kelley Hurt and Joyce Cobb. In keeping with the original CD’s motif, the concert was an eclectic mix of jazz, blues, soul, and rock. The feedback from that concert lead us to the idea of compiling this CD. After all, the home of the blues and birthplace of rock ‘n’ roll is also widely recognized for its contribution to jazz. This collection includes both traditional and contemporary jazz artists--some who have been performing in Memphis for more than three decades and a few who are new to the scene, still in their mid-twenties.
1. Joyce Cobb--This Joint Is Jumpin’ (Fats Waller, lyrics: J.C. Johnson, Andy Razaf -The Beale Street Jazz Band: Dan Wilkinson: guitar; Jerry Clements: trumpet; Emil Orth: trombone; Tom Link: clarinet/saxophone; Tim Goodwin: bass; Rene Koopman: piano; Donnie Patterson: drums
2. Holly Shelton--Furry Sings The Blues (Joni Mitchell) —Rene Koopman: piano; Tim Goodwin: bass; Tom Clary: trumpet; Donnie Patterson: drums. Recorded at Vanity River Digital Studios, Memphis. Recorded by Tim Goodwin and Donnie Patterson; produced by Tim Goodwin From the Holly Shelton release Back To Beale Street
3. Kelley Hurt Parachute Day (Joe Austin) Performed and arranged by Yamagata—Joe Austin: guitars; Andrew Neely: bass; Jeff Griffith: sax; Ross Rice: Hammond B-3 organ; Jim Britt: drums, percussion. Recorded by Brad Webb at The Webb Site, Memphis. Mixed by Posey Hedges. Produced by Richard Cushing and Yamagata. From the Yamagata CD eveland
4. T. J. Graham--Sugar (S.Turrentine) Irving Evans: piano; Charlton Johnson: guitar; John Lightman: bass; Barry Johnson: drums; Carl Wolfe: sax, flute. Recorded & Mixed by Kevin Houston at Archer Records. Produced by John Lightman From the T.J. Graham release Small Day Tomorrow
5. Hope Clayburn--Ghetto Right (Hope Clayburn) Hope Clayburn’s Soul Scrimmage: Robert Allen Parker: guitar; Rezzod: bass; Kenneth Thompson: drums; Hope Clayburn: flute; spoken word: Nikki Giovani. Recorded in Blacksburg, VA. From Hope Clayburn’s Booty Battalion release Report 4 Booty
6. Candice Ivory--Schoolgirl Crush (Candice Ivory) Surya Botofasina: piano; Paul Steinbeck: bass; Jay Lepley: drums; Billy Fox: percussion; Akil Dasan: guitar. Recorded and mixed by Aaron Nevezie at the Abattoir, New York City, 2003. Produced by Candice Ivory From the Candice Ivory release path-undefined
7. Jackie Johnson--Fooled By The Moon (Eddie Dattel) Bobby Memphis: guitars & bass; Grayson Wells: keyboards, strings; Tony Adams: percussion; Carl Wolfe: saxophone; Debbie Jamison & Reni Simon: background vocals. Recorded & mixed by Kevin Houston at Inside Sounds, Memphis. Produced by Kevin Houston and Eddie Dattel
8. Lynn Cardona--Hey (Lynn Cardona/Michael Burkey) Michael Burkey: Fender Rhodes; Jonathan Wires: bass; Mike Assad: drums; Paul Morelli: horns, Jimbo Mathus: guitar. Recorded at Delta Recording Service, Clarksdale, MS. From the Lynn Cardona release Lovin’ You
9. Reni Simon--It’s Alright With Me (Cole Porter) Rene Koopman: piano; Tim Goodwin: bass; Donnie Patterson: drums. Recorded by Donnie Patterson at Vanity River Digital Studios, Memphis. Produced by Tim Goodwin. From the Reni Simon release Where Has The Love Gone?
10. Vicki Loveland--Freedom Jazz Dance (Eddie Harris) Niko Lyras: guitar; Sam Shoup: bass; Tom Lonardo: drums; Gary Topper: saxophone; John Skouloudis: percussion. Recorded and mixed by Niko Lyras at Cotton Row Studio.
11. Cybill Shepherd--Same Old Blues (Don Nix) Tony Thomas: piano/synth bass: Jim Spake: saxophone; Tom Lonardo: drums: Tom Lonardo. Recorded and mixed by John Hampton at Ardent Studios, Memphis. Additional engineering by Joe Hardy, Paul Ebersol, Tom Laune and Pat Taylor. Produced by Sid Selvidge From the Cybill Shepherd release Somewhere Down The Road. Licensed by River Siren Productions
12. Teresa Pate--Gentle Rain (lyrics: M. Dubey, music: L. Bonfa) Greg “Buzz” McIntyre: guitar; Ted Partin: bass; Donnie Patterson: drumss Recorded at Planet Swan Studios, Memphis
Joyce Cobb moved to Memphis in the 1970s, when she landed a recording contract with a subsidiary of Stax Records. She is an extremely versatile artist; however, when it comes to jazz she is likely the most respected singer in Memphis. In the 1990s, she had a club named for her on Beale Street, where she performed regularly. Joyce continues to inspire and perform, sharing her gift with both tourists and local fans.
Memphis native Holly Shelton currently resides and performs in Pensacola, Florida, but is often booked for jazz dates in Memphis. She frequently performs with The Memphis Jazz Orchestra and has worked with some of Memphis’ premier musicians. Holly possesses both a commanding stage presence and a fantastic voice. Her rendition of Joni Mitchell’s “Furry Sings The Blues” is impeccable and recalls a dark period in Beale Street’s history when it was awaiting its rebirth.
Kelley Hurt was born into a family of artists and performers and has always been compelled to communicate through singing. She has toured extensively and has recorded or performed with an impressive list of artists including Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, the North Mississippi Allstars, Joe Walsh, and others. She was also lead singer for DDT Big Band, Luther and Cody Dickinson’s group that later became the North Mississippi Allstars.
Although she’s relatively new to the local jazz scene, T.J. Graham surrounds herself with great musicians. In fact, “Sugar” is from her recent CD release Small Day Tomorrow, a recording featuring a virtual who’s who of Memphis musicians including Billy Gibson and Al Gamble. Dr. Graham’s day gig is Professor of Teacher Education, but she performs regularly with Jazmine in and around Memphis.
Hope Clayburn spent her formative years in Jacksonville, North Carolina, where she learned the saxophone in junior high school band. While attending the University of Virginia at Charlottesville, her musicianship evolved. She has toured or performed with an eclectic mix of artists including James Brown, The Allman Brothers Band, Maceo Parker, and others. Currently residing in Memphis, she performs and records with her own afro-funk ensemble: Hope Clayburn’s Soul Scrimmage.
Before she had finished high school, Candice Ivory was already performing on Beale Street with the popular band CYC. Now in her mid-twenties and with two self-produced solo CDs under her belt, Candice has absorbed everything Memphis and some. “School Girl Crush” is from her 2003 release path-undefined, a CD recorded in Memphis and New York, where Candice currently resides.
Jackie Johnson’s discography is extensive. Apart from hundreds of recording credits as background vocalist on both independent and major labels, she has released a solo gospel CD and is widely considered to be Memphis’ most soulful singer. Her talents have also been utilized in films such as Hustle & Flow and The Great Debaters starring Denzel Washington. While many Memphis studios know first-hand her vocal versatility, she is also an outstanding jazz singer.
Lynn Cardona moved to Memphis to study jazz at The University of Memphis. She often performs at King’s Palace on Beale Street and is quickly rising as one of the city’s most called upon jazz singers. She has released one solo CD and has shared her talent on many other local artists’ recordings as a background vocalist.
Reni Simon’s professional career began in her late teens, when she recorded with Eddie Floyd and other songwriters at Stax Records. In the post-Stax era, legendary guitarist Steve Cropper signed her to a recording contract, from which the song “I Idolize You” was released. After moving to San Francisco in the ‘70s, she toured with the Elvin Bishop Band and sang backup on “Fooled Around And Fell In Love.”
Vicki Loveland may not be the best known singer in Memphis, but she is one of the busiest. Apart from radio and television jingle work, she has either recorded or performed live with such legends as Albert Collins, Olanda Draper, Isaac Hayes, and more recently, Voodoo Village. She has also toured throughout the country as one of the lead singers in the Jim Johnson Orchestra.
Other than Elvis Presley and Justin Timberlake, Cybill Shepherd is probably Memphis’ most famous celebrity. Throughout her career, she has kept her hometown close to her heart and has been an outspoken supporter of its musical and cultural heritage. Although mostly known for her success in film and television, she is also a fine singer. This rendition of “Same Old Blues” is a timeless recording of a song usually heard by blues performers.
For nearly a decade Teresa Pate sang with the Memphis Jazz Orchestra on Beale Street. In jazz circles she is highly respected and has been seen on the WKNO-TV special broadcast “A Salute To Frank Sinatra.” Other highlights in her career include guest vocalist stints with both the Glenn Miller Orchestra and the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra.
She currently performs in or around Memphis with her jazz trio.