Peter is a long-time collaborator whose vision & support led to my Grammy Nominated project “Invention & Alchemy.” If you’ve been to one of my solo shows, you’ve heard me talk about him.
At right is my Valentine to Peter from 2008.
Last year, I was in Iowa, staying with a new friend who’d offered to host me in her house when her concert society booked me for a show. I told her how much it meant to me to make this Valentine, and she took me into her arts-and-crafts room, pulled out box after box of art supplies – from feathers and lace to construction paper and glue — and left me to make my Valentine.
If this doesn’t sound like the me you know – if you’ve seen my one-woman shows or know me as the electric harpist in rock legend Steve Vai’s band, let me give you a little history…
Long ago, in a lifetime before my signature hip-harp was even a glint of silver on my hip, I played a big concert harp and had a trio called the “Jazz Harp Trio.” I cut my teeth on classic jazz standards: swing, bossa, ballads, sambas. My first albums, on cassette (remember those?!) – were classic jazz standards on harp, bass & drums.
But one thing I never did and always wanted to do was a solo album of classic jazz standards.
So that’s what I’m making for Peter as a Valentine this year — and depending on how things go, we’ll release it as an album. (But don’t tell Peter I’m doing this! It’s a secret – seriously. I know it doesn’t seem secret because it’s in a blog, but he’s not an avid blog-reader so the secret’s actually safe here).
There’s a lot that has to happen to make that possible, getting a good recording being just one of them. Getting the rights to record and distribute the songs digitally is a whole new field we’re learning about – fast!
For now, you can listen to snippets from the rough recordings here.
What you’ll hear is all solo harp, all improvised. You won’t hear the melodies you know in these cuts, because we’re still working out the rights to distribute those – but you can hear the sound and feel of what I’m doing.
And I’d love to know if it’s a sound you like – because if it is, we’ll try to make digital download of this project happen!