Early Raves for Lindsay Mendez & Marco Paguia's 'This Time'; Birdland Concert Set for July 21st in NYC
(Published: June 27, 2013)
BlogCritics: "It's jazz, but it's jazz that looks to build on where a younger audience's head is, and it works." "Lindsay Mendez and Marco Paguia have put together a captivating debut album. Let's hope that it is the first of many to come"
NY DAILY NEWS: "Surprisingly Fresh"
TIME OUT NY: "Jazzed-up versions of pop tunes"
BROADWAYWORLD: "Funky, fascinating, and gripping"
Early Raves for Debut Jazz Vocal Album; Birdland CD Release Concert Set for July 21st
An Eclectic Mix of Popular Songs, Reimagining Tracks from Alicia Keys, Stevie Wonder, Fiona Apple, The Cars, Joni Mitchell, John Legend and more
Singer Lindsay Mendez and pianist/band leader Marco Paguia have earned early raves for ‘This Time', their debut jazz vocal album. BlogCritics' Jack Goodstein buzzed, "It's jazz, but it's jazz that looks to build on where a younger audience's head is, and it works." "Lindsay Mendez and Marco Paguia have put together a captivating debut album. Let's hope that it is the first of many to come" In a The NY Daily News interview, Joe Dziemianowicz praised the "textured vocals" and "sleek arrangements" of the "surprisingly satisfying" tracks. And Broadwayworld's David Clarke called it "funky, fascinating, and gripping."
The 13-song collection, also previewed via NY-1 TV and elsewhere (see below,) offers an eclectic mix of songs, reimagining tracks from popular music, and blending elements of jazz, soul & rock into the familiar setting of an acoustic piano trio and vocalist. Their reinterpretations include well-known tracks by Alicia Keys, Stevie Wonder, Fiona Apple, The Cars, Joni Mitchell, John Legend and more - this is an elegant, sophisticated, utterly modern project, as Mendez and Paguia deliver an album that showcases not only their skill as performers but their undeniable musical chemistry. Hear streaming samples from their confident debut, here. Watch the EPK, here:
A NYC performance to celebrate the brick-and-mortar release of THIS TIME has been confirmed for July 21st at Birdland in NYC. The album is currently available digitally, and is also on-sale in the lobby of the Gershwin Theatre in New York, where Mendez recently took over the lead role in Wicked.
Lindsay Mendez & Marco Paguia
THIS TIME CD Release Show - Sunday, July 21
BIRDLAND- 315 WEST 44TH STREET
5:00 doors, 6:00 show
TICKETS HERE: http://www.ticketfly.com/...
Lindsay Mendez, vocals
Marco Paguia, piano
Chris Tordini, bass
Tommy Crane, drums
NY Daily News ‘In The Now' Preview Column WICKED GOOD
5/17/2013 by Joe Dziemianowicz
Fitting for an impressive up-and-comer who's about to take over as the green witch in "Wicked," Lindsay Mendez loves exploring the colors of her voice. When she starred in "Dogfight" off-Broadway, "it was about being a folky place. 'Wicked' has so much belting." Mendez swings to the jazzy side on Saturday when she and pianist Marco Paguia celebrate their CD, "This Time," at le Poisson Rouge (158 Bleecker St.) at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 at www.lepoissonrouge.com or $20 at the door. The album, which drops May 28 (the day she opens in "Wicked"), is an eclectic mix of 13 covers. Between her textured vocals and his sleek arrangements, Joni Mitchell's "A Case of You" and Ric Ocasek's "Just What I Needed" emerge surprisingly fresh.
"It's a big undertaking," says Mendez. "Exciting too."
NY-1 TV's YOUR WEEKEND STARTS NOW http://www.ny1.com/conten...
"Before Lindsay Mendez takes over the lead role of Elphaba in the hit Broadway musical, "Wicked", check her out with Marco Paguia at Le Poisson Rouge this Saturday night. The concert celebrates the release of their new CD."
BLOGCRITICS - CD review
By Jack Goodstein - 6/14/2013
There are those singers who do pop. There are those singers who do jazz. There are those singers who have the kind of belt that will get them the lead in a Broadway musical. If This Time, the debut jazz album from songstress Lindsay Mendez and pianist Marco Paguia is any indication, Ms. Mendez is one singer who can do it all.
Mendez and Paguia met back in 2010 while working on Broadway and began discussing the possibility of a collaboration. An offer of a gig at Joe's Pub in New York provided them with the opportunity, and with a week to prepare, they went to work on a show.
The duo began traditionally. As Paguia puts it: "We worked our way through standards, swinging and going for a more straight-ahead thing." "Ella, Sarah, Dinah Washington, Nina Simone," Mendez adds, "...these were the singers that I always wanted to emulate." They had been listening to Ella Fitzgerald and Oscar Peterson's album, Ella and Oscar, Paguia continues, "and thought this to be a good inspiration and jumping off point for us." The more they worked on their set, the more they began to integrate some current pop tunes in with the more traditional standards. What they were looking for was something that would have a broader appeal to a contemporary audience that would allow them to "reimagine songs in a unique way."
Fast-forward to 2013 and This Time. You've got the traditional combination of vocalist and accompanying trio: Paguia on piano, Pete Donovan on bass and Tommy Crane on drums, but instead of Mendez singing the tunes of Cole Porter, she's singing Regina Spektor; instead of Gershwin, it's Feist. It's jazz, but it's jazz that looks to build on where a younger audience's head is, and it works. In the end, good music played by talented musicians makes for good jazz, and This Time is as good as it gets.
Beginning with standout versions of John Legend's "Ordinary People" and Spektor's "Us," the pair offers a baker's dozen of delights. Mendez works all the kinks out swinging through Fiona Apple's "Fast as You Can." Her take on "Lilac Wine" rivals Jeff Buckley and she hits Joni Mitchell's "A Case of You" out of the proverbial park.
An accomplished actress, Mendez is slated to take over the lead in Wicked sometime this summer, as she has the ability to create a character to interpret the lyric. The voice that sings Alicia Keys' "No One" is quite distinct from the voice that sings Martin Sexton's "Freedom of the Road." Lindsay Mendez and Marco Paguia have put together a captivating debut album. Let's hope that it is the first of many to come.
THE RECORD JOURNAL (CT) - CD review
By Jim Pasinski, 6/21/13
CD Review: "This Time" Lindsay Mendez And Marco Paguia Make Beautiful Music Together
Singer Lindsay Mendez and bandleader/pianist Marco Paguia have prepared to release their debut jazz album "This Time." The album saw a digital only release back in May and will see a physical release in July to coincide with their live concert at Birdland in New York City on July 21st. Mendez may be known around the New York area for her stints on Broadway, including her leading role in "Wicked." Paguia is a musical director and supervisor that has composed for a number of films and shows. The two have teamed up with Pete Donovan (bass) and Tommy Crane (drums) to give some of these modern and classic pop songs new life in jazz music. The jazz re-arrangements on some of these songs work very well, like in the album opener "Ordinary People" made famous by John Legend and Alicia Keys' "No One." One of the biggest stretches is turning The Cars' pop classic "Just What I Needed" into a freeform jazz piece, but it's tough to forget such a popular song in order to show another side to Ric Ocasek's lyrics. Some of the more perfect matches are their cover of Stevie Wonder's "As" with Mendez's vocals leading the way and "All My Days" from Alexi Murdoch, which allows Paguia to stretch out a take control of the tempo. The album closes with the piano gallop of "Sittin' In the Middle" with Mendez keeping the beat with her vocals. To find out more from this musical duo, please visit their new website at lmandmp.com.
TIME OUT NY - Critic's Pick preview listing
The charming and super-voiced Lindsay Mendez (the star of last year's Dogfight and a standout in Broadway's Godspell) joins pianist Marco Paguia, to perform jazzed-up versions of pop tunes in an evening of musical revisionism.
BroadwayWorld _ CD Review
June 12, 2013- BWW Reviews: Lindsay Mendez and Marco Paguia's THIS TIME is Captivatingly Jazzy by David Clarke
In 2007, Lindsay Mendez made her Broadway Debut as Jan in a revival of GREASE. She has since returned to Broadway in Sherie Rene Scott's EVERYDAY RAPTURE in 2012, the GODSPELL's revival in 2011, and she is currently starring as Elphaba in WICKED. In addition to these Broadway roles, she got phenomenal reviews as Rose in Off-Broadway's DOGFIGHT at 2nd Stage Theatre Company in 2012. Furthermore, Lindsey Mendez is an accomplished jazz vocalist and has recorded the 13 track THIS TIME with pianist/band leader Marco Paguia. The album lavishly showcases their prowess as performers and their infectious musical chemistry.
On THIS TIME, Lindsay Mendez's rich and luxurious rangy alto instrument is outstanding and compelling on each of the wonderfully performed provocative tracks. The album delivers an impressively diverse mix of popular music that she delightfully tinkers with. Across the album, her timbre is distinctive and delightfully heavy with emotional zeal, making her resplendent vocalizing exhilarating.
The album opens with an up-tempo, energetic, and bold rendition of John Legend's "Ordinary People." Another standout on the disc is the powerfully soulful interpretation of Buddy Miles' "Them Changes." Her vocals on James H. Shelton's "Lilac Wine" are softly sumptuous, delivering a gorgeous and stirring ballad. Also, her version of Martin Sexton's "Freedom of the Road" is funky, fascinating, and gripping.
Marco Paguia leads the band and expertly plays the piano on each track, providing a lushly opulent backdrop for Lindsay Mendez's powerhouse vocals. Moreover, his arrangements deftly capture the soul of the original songs while giving Lindsay Mendez a playground to reinvent them to pristinely fit her unique voice. Pete Donovan on bass and Tommy Crane on drums add depth and rhythm to the sound, ensuring that the album has that dazzling jazz ambience and vibe on every track.
Lindsay Mendez and Marco Paguia's THIS TIME was recorded at Sear Sound in New York City. Lindsay Mendez and Marco Paguia Produced the electrifying album, with Co-Production by Dean Sharenow, who also dexterously Engineered and Mixed the album at Steel Cut Audio in Brooklyn, New York. Scott Hull excellently Mastered the album at Masterdisk in New York City.
Lindsay Mendez and Marco Paguia's captivatingly jazzy THIS TIME is a winsome and eclectic collection of beguiling tunes. The album was released digitally on May 28, 2013, and can be purchased from iTunes and Amazon. Physical copies of the album can be purchased from the lobby of the Gershwin Theatre in New York City, where Lindsay Mendez is starring as Elphaba in WICKED. A broader brick-and-mortar distribution of the physical CD will coincide with Lindsay Mendez and Marco Paguia's July 21st CD release concert at Birdland. For more information about the CD release concert, please visit http://www.LMandMP.com .
THEATERMANIA interview preview feature
By Brian Scott Lipton • May 13, 2013
The multifaceted performer talks about her album, awards recognition for Dogfight, and excitement about joining the cast of Wicked.
Right now, Lindsay Mendez could be found in the dictionary under "U" for ubiquitous, but that's no problem for the talented actress or her many fans. She will be at Joe's Pub on Wednesday, May 15 for two special concerts to help celebrate the CD of the Off-Broadway musical Dogfight; on Saturday, May 18 she and pianist Marco Paguia will be on stage at Le Poisson Rouge to preview their soon-to-be-released CD, This Time ; on Sunday, May 19 she'll be at the Drama Desk Awards, where she is nominated as Outstanding Actress in a Musical for her work in Dogfight; and on Tuesday, May 28 she joins the Broadway company of Wicked in the leading role of Elphaba. "There's no way I could have expected all of this to go down at the same time," says Mendez with a laugh. "It's a lot, but I'm ready!"
In fact, Mendez and Paguia, who met three years ago while working together on the Broadway show Everyday Rapture, have been trying to put together This Time (which will be released digitally on May 28) for a couple of years. The CD puts a jazz-fusion spin on such pop hits as Joni Mitchell's "A Case of You," Regina Spektor's "Us," and Alicia Keys' "No One." "The first time we did our own gig we [played] traditional standards, but they didn't feel super personal to us, so we thought we should see what we could do with more modern songs," says Mendez. "Then we realized the trick was finding ways to make them genuinely ours, yet not ruin the song at the same time."
The actress is equally excited about the Dogfight CD (with an in-store release set for May 21), as well as a Drama Desk nomination for her portrayal of Rose, a young waitress in 1960s San Francisco who ends up on a date with a visiting soldier as the result of a cruel contest to find the ugliest girl in town. "When I first read the script, I immediately related to Rose. I am not a beauty queen and I was not the popular girl in high school," she says. "But rehearsals were hard. Being called ugly every day is not easy on the psyche. But we've all been that person, who wants to believe the best about themselves as well as other people, and I wanted to be her enough to go through that process. I think it's important to play real people."
Given that the show played last summer at Second Stage Theatre, Mendez hardly expected to be remembered come awards time. "I never even thought about it, but I am so honored that people loved what I did," she says. The nomination is doubly sweet, since Mendez was turned down for the role at her original audition. "Joe Mantello, our director, saw me doing some television interview two years later and decided I was right for the role. He is my hero. When we did the CD, it really took me a minute to get back into Rose's head. But he came into the booth and set me straight; he reminded me who she was." Mantello is also the director of Wicked and he is one of the main reasons she is finally getting her chance to step into Elphaba's pointy shoes. "I'm ready to step into the green haze," says Mendez. "Joe has already told me to buy green sheets, green pillowcases, and green sheets. I hear the makeup really gets under your skin."
However, Mendez mostly credits composer Stephen Schwartz with affording her the Wicked opportunity. "I did Godspell on Broadway with Stephen, and from what I hear, he's the one who really wanted me to do Elphaba. I have to admit it wasn't on my wish list, but now that I'm in rehearsals, I realize it's a really great part. It's a tough show to do eight times a week, and everybody keeps asking me if I'm going to be OK. But I felt that way about both Dogfight and Godspell. You can't think about the fear; you just have to allow yourself to go on that ride and become that character. And at the end of the day, I'm an eight-shows-a-week kind of girl."
Unlike her previous roles, Elphaba also carries a unique responsibility to the show's ardent young fans, who traditionally line up after every show to meet the cast. "I'm ready for all the girls at the stage door. When I was younger, I used to wait to get autographs," says Mendez. "It's part of the job. But more than that, it's cool that we're inspiring people [who are] that young to love theater. I think that's super important. Otherwise, we won't have jobs in the future."
PLAYBILL - CD Preview article
By Michael Gioia 5/16/13
JAZZCORNER Album Preview:
Singer Lindsay Mendez and Pianist/Band Leader Marco Paguia Release Debut Jazz Vocal Album, 'This Time'
THIS TIME TRACK LISTING
1. Ordinary People (John Legend)
2. Us (Regina Spektor)
3. Fast As You Can (Fiona Apple)
4. No One (Alicia Keys)
5. A Case of You (Joni Mitchell)
6. Just What I Needed (The Cars)
7. Them Changes (Buddy Miles)
8. Lilac Wine (James H. Shelton)
9. As (Stevie Wonder)
10. All My Days (Alexi Murdoch)
11. Brandy Alexander (Feist & Ron Sexsmith)
12. Freedom of the Road (Martin Sexton)
13. Sittin' in the Middle (Raul Midón)
Watch a clip of the band, live at Birdland, here: https://vimeo.com/3454420...
About the Album:
Lindsay Mendez and Marco Paguia met in 2010 working on a Broadway show. A gig at Joe's Pub in NYC came their way on short notice. Lindsay and Marco had been discussing collaborating and the timing and opportunity seemed perfect. With only a week to put together a show, they searched for common musical influences. "Ella, Sarah, Dinah Washington, Nina Simone... these were the singers that I always wanted to emulate," Lindsay remembers. At first, they gravitated to a more traditional jazz vocal approach. "We worked our way through standards," Marco recalls, "swinging and going for a more straight-ahead thing. At that time, we had been mutually checking out the Ella Fitzgerald & Oscar Peterson record Ella and Oscar, and thought this to be a good inspiration and jumping off point for us."
As they worked through the set they incorporated more pop songs. "We had a couple of Beatles songs on our wish list, along with a few standards that I always love to sing," says Lindsay. With his trio, Marco had an arrangement of "Money" from Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon. "The arrangement wasn't intended to be sung, but Lindsay jumped right in with great ease and enthusiasm," he says. "It's not a simple song to sing, especially with the kind of energy, interplay, and freedom I wanted the band to have. But Lindsay nailed the odd meter thing, and sang it effortlessly and soulfully, like the arrangement was always meant to be sung." From that moment they knew that there was something in this collaboration that needed further exploring.
"As much as we tried to emulate the greats, it felt self-conscious and unoriginal to do so," says Lindsay. "What we found most satisfying as artists was singing and playing material that felt like us." As they started gigging more around the city, their repertoire consisted mostly of pop songs, while still keeping true to the spirit of improvisation associated with a jazz rhythm section. "Being able to bring songs from so many different kinds of artists and genres is so freeing," Marco says. "It was important to us to have material that could connect with a broader audience, young and old. And I wanted to be in a musical environment where we could reimagine songs in a unique way."
Now, 3 years later, their catalogue spans over many different styles and artists. At times the music will swing, rock, be soulful or folky, with the occasional torch song thrown in. Their debut album covers music from Regina Spektor, Stevie Wonder, Joni Mitchell, John Legend, Alicia Keys, The Cars, Alexi Murdoch, Raul Midón, Martin Sexton, Fiona Apple, Buddy Miles, and Feist. In February 2013 they went into Sear Sound in NYC with bassist Pete Donovan, drummer Tommy Crane, and co-producer Dean Sharenow, and recorded THIS TIME.
Based in NYC, they have since performed at some of the city's great music venues such as Joe's Pub, Birdland, and most recently at Lincoln Center as part of the 2013 American Songbook series.
About the Artists:
LINDSAY MENDEZ is a singer and actor, seen and heard both on and off the Broadway stage. This summer, Lindsay will assume the starring role of Elphaba in the Broadway production of Wicked at the Gershwin Theater. She starred as Rose Fenny in the Second Stage Theater production of Dogfight, recently receiving an Outer Critics Circle nomination as well as a Drama League nomination. Recent Broadway appearances include in the revival of Godspell at Circle in the Square, and Everyday Rapture, starring Sherie Rene Scott. Lindsay's concert credits span across the U.S., including performances at Jazz at Lincoln Center, Birdland, The Kennedy Center, The Dorothy Chandler Pavillion, The Orange County Performing Arts Center, and (le) Poisson Rouge. Lindsay was featured on New York City Christmas, a benefit album for Artists Striving To End Poverty (ASTEP).
MARCO PAGUIA is an accomplished pianist & music director highly sought after for his versatile music making. Marco's experience as a composer includes the short films Resolve, Remember, How to Act Around Cops (New York and Edinburgh Fringe Festivals). A recognized pianist as well, Marco was a finalist for the American Pianists' Association Cole Porter Fellowship, and has released a trio album called Small Hours. Highlights of his theater music directing career include the Broadway production Everyday Rapture and music supervisor of the Tony-award winning Peter and the Starcatcher.
LINDSAY MENDEZ vocals
MARCO PAGUIA piano
PETE DONOVAN bass
TOMMY CRANE drums
Produced by LINDSAY MENDEZ & MARCO PAGUIA
Co-Produced by DEAN SHARENOW
Engineered and Mixed by DEAN SHARENOW
Recorded February 1-3, 2013 at Sear Sound in New York City
Assistant Engineer KEVIN HARPER
Mixed at Steel Cut Audio in Brooklyn, NY
Mastered by SCOTT HULL at Masterdisk in New York City
Art Direction + Photography ERIC RYAN ANDERSON
Design + Layout ANDREW SHEPHERD
Music arrangements by MARCO PAGUIA
Visit their website at LMandMP.com
More Information: http://www.LMandMP.com