Vocalist Keri Johnsrud Appearing at Cornelia Street Cafe
Vocalist Keri Johnsrud
Appearing at The Cornelia Street Cafe
Friday, March 11th
One Set @ 6pm
Keri Johnsrud - vocals
Kevin Bales - piano
Lorin Cohen - bass
Peter Kronreif - drums
Cornelia Street Cafe
29 Cornelia St.
New York, NY 10014
"This Side of Morning"
Keri Johnsrud "This Side of Morning" (KJ002) Street Date: April 7, 2015
Keri Johnsrud - vocals; Kevin Bales - piano/Rhodes; Larry Kohut - upright bass; Neal Alger - guitar; Jon Deitemyer - drums; Stephen Lynerd – vibes
Almost from the beginning, jazz has given us singers who sing - such as Hoagy Carmichael ("Stardust" and "Georgia On My Mind") - and singers who write: Billie Holiday co-composed some of her best material, including "Don't Explain" and God Bless the Child". But despite a few such examples, the idea of the "singer/songwriter" conjures emotional revelation bordering on confession, giving us songs less concerned with rhyming "June" and "swoon" than with delving deeper into romance, with observing the fine details, with probing the life of the mind. Then the Chicago pianist Patricia Barber started writing her own songs: dark vibrant poetry, served in the cocktail tumbler of her vocals, washing over the rocks of unique melodies and covering subjects long abandoned to pop and rock. Next came Norah Jones, who simplified the whole process but gave rise to a whole generation of jazz-based -artists - Melody Gardot, Rebecca Martin, Gretchen Parlato- writing and singing to a new generation of jazz-based songs. With melodies informed by but not restrained to jazz- and lyrics that exist light- years from the charming antiquities of a Great American Songbook-these artists have pulled the art of the jazz song into a new century.
Now comes Keri Johnsrud.
She writes her own lyrics, which have character and intrigue, and sings them in a voice warm and pure, precisely suited to the stories she tells. Some of those tales are mysterious, some hip, and some as guiless as a saint. But in every case, they slice through the jokey irony of pop culture to frame modern insights in fresh new music. She has done her homework; she thought things through. And she has crafted songs that will get into your ears and under your skin. She and her co-wrter, pianist Kevin Bales, have sculpted and polished each "aha" moment, and a crackerjack group of improvisors, attuned to her mesage, rounds out the package. Surrounded by professional vocalists throughout her young life, Keri began singing at an early age and first performed publicly at the age of seven. A highly appealing jazz singer with a quietly expressive voice and a deep understanding of the lyrics that she interprets, Keri Johnsrud has been an important part of the Chicago jazz scene for the past 15 years. Now, with the recording of her upcoming original CD 'This Side Of Morning', she is making a major step forward not only as a singer but as a lyricist and songwriter. —Neil Tesser
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