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6 -TIME JUNO NOMINEE CAROL WELSMAN TURNS "14" Celebrated Jazz Pianist/Vocalist's 14th Album Set for Release Sept. 9, 2022 on Justin Time Records
(Published: August 04, 2022)

"A beautiful singer and talented pianist all in the same person!"...allaboutjazz

In her lifelong jazz journey as a luscious vocalist and appealing pianist, Carol Welsman simply sums it all up by saying, "I'm a firm believer that you have to send your message through the lyrics." And with the release of her superb new Justin Time album, "14" she does just that. She dives deep into that spirit that longs for the grace of music.

Teeming with hope and beauty, the album marks the Toronto-born, L.A-based Welsman's fourteenth recording (six of which were nominated for Canada's prestigious Juno Awards). It champions the autobiographical journey she has taken in her career that began very early. Music was deep in the Welsman family veins. She is the granddaughter of Frank Welsman, the founder and first conductor of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.

Along with her on her personal expeditions here are her longtime Quebec-based team mates: guitarist Pierre Côté, bassist Rémi-Jean LeBlanc and on half of the twelve tunes the drummer Jim Doxas. Renowned pop producer Romano Musumarra shares producer duties with Welsman on "14."

The collection is bookended by songs that are cheerful-hearted. It opens with the sweet and bright take on "Pick Yourself Up," popularized by Nat King Cole. "I was knocked out by his singing and the arrangement when I first heard it on the radio," she says. "It was a no-brainer to finally record it. "14" closes with the French-language take on the delightful Rodgers and Hammerstein waltz, "C'est le printemps." Welsman had originally recorded it with its English lyrics "It Might As Well Be Spring" on her 2015 album Alone Together. "I love to sing in French," says Welsman who is fluent in four languages based on her eight-year sojourn in Europe in her twenties after attending Berklee College of Music and studying with renowned Parisian vocalist Christiane Legrand.

"Singing in foreign languages is a huge aspect of "14," says Welsman who sings three songs in French and one in Spanish on the album."Beyond the language, what's remarkable about Welsman's delivery is her distinctive scat style ("one of my signature sounds," she says). She frequently scats throughout 14, including on her delightful swing through Cole Porter's "I Concentrate on You." I do scat, but differently than what most people expect. I'm a pianist, so I improvise using block chords. I scat the top notes of the chords so it sounds like a shout chorus. It's like improv with a spoonful of sugar." Welsman adds that she takes a melodic approach with scat, such as on the romantic "The Night Has 1000 Eyes." "When I scat, I'm inviting them to the song as a guide to the journey. I take someone by the hand, guide them on the journey and bring them back out of the woods."

Welsman taps into the spirit of Oscar Peterson on the upbeat "Sometimes I'm Happy" (a spontaneous piano-bass duo with LeBlanc), takes a light touch on the sad, slow bossa nova sung in French "Que restent-t'ils de nos amours," channels Blossom Dearie on the playful and swinging "Plus je t'embrasse," and plumbs the depths of the classic blues-steeped "Black Coffee" that Peggy Lee put on the map in 1953. Other highlights include a bossa-like embrace of the Spanish beauty, "Somos Novios," written by the legendary Mexican composer Armando Manzanero who died in 2020. With samba flair, Welsman wonderfully revisits "Come Fly With Me," the Sammy Cahn/Jimmy Van Heusen tune that Frank Sinatra soared with in 1958. She had recorded it for her self-titled 2007 Justin Time album with bassist Jimmy Haslip serving as producer. It didn't make the final cut, but Jimmy had passed the tape onto Cahn's son Steve who remarked, "This is the best version of the song since Frank." Welsman thrills with the showstopper "If You Could See Me Now," written by Tadd Dameron for Sarah Vaughan. It was one of the first songs Welsman recorded on a demo when she was 17. The only original of "14," "Be My Valentine" is special to Welsman. She wrote it some seven years ago while taking her two Labrador retrievers on a walk in the hills

In her liner notes to "14," Welsman describes the magic of the album: "The search for inspiring songs proved to be not only fun, but the final choices turned out to be quite a tell-tale personal autobiography including music I have come across and enjoyed over a lifetime journey in jazz music. Each has a special meaning to me, conjuring up memories from different points in my career."

More Information: https://www.carolwelsman.com

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