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Jazz vocalist Magda Martine plumbs emotional depth of jazz on new CD
(Published: May 13, 2011)

May 13, 2011 (Berkeley, CA) Written by Robert Sutton. Jazz vocalist Magda Martine knew music was her true calling when she heard a familiar voice tell her so.

While living in Detroit, Michigan and hanging out at various jazz clubs, a man advised her to "Live inside your music; it's the only way to go." The man? None other than Miles Davis.

After years spent raising a family, Magda has finally released her debut album, No Detour. Following Davis' profound recommendation, Magda digs deep into the material, letting her emotions ride on every lyric, from the bittersweet crooning of "Detour Ahead" to the playful stomp of "Lullaby of the Leaves."

Q: You grew up in Detroit. What was the jazz scene like over there, and what effect did it have on you?

A: When I was growing up in Detroit, there was so much rich music everywhere. It was second nature to sing and dance, too. I never thought about it being different, and thought everyone had this amazing energy around them. I didn't realize how lucky I was to be surrounded by so many greats in all genres, especially jazz. The Jones brothers, Paul Chambers, Tommy Flanagan. They had all left for New York, but would come back and bring it all back again.

My mother was a good singer, and she was always singing the American Songbook, along with my older sisters. Then, when I was attending the Pasadena Playhouse for performing arts, I just got that this was something I really loved to do.

Q: At one point did you decide to go pro?

A: I was still in high school and decided I wanted to pursue a creative performance career mainly in jazz. It's just that I chose my voice to be my instrument. I was so alive in the energy, which is still happening to this day. It puts you in touch with your essence, which brings so many dynamics that are spontaneous and spiritual in nature. It is very enticing.

Q: How do you feel jazz has evolved since the heyday of Miles Davis?

A: We all know how jazz has suffered now, from when it used to be quite mainstream. Now it is really an art form, and not appreciated for all the wonderful history and magnificent magic that is jazz. Where can you find any art form that is spontaneously in the moment of captured greatness, like a painting? Everything now is contrived for the audience that the record companies create by their incredible machines.

Q: What are your plans after this record?

A: I have been in partnership with my drummer Chris Cosbey and his trio. We are in process of putting together some really creative new materials and are collaborating on writing some tunes I think will be very innovative and dynamic. We will be promoting these tunes on the tour we will be putting together this summer.

More Information: http://magdamartine.com

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