PO Box 2815
Sausalito, CA 94966
PO Box 2815
At this specific point in my long professional life as a jazz record producer, I have chosen to limit my serious artistic involvements to only three performers. I am very pleased that one of them is the remarkable young singer you are learning something about at this time Roberta Donnay!
I have been producing jazz records for extremely close to fifty years by now, a statistic that would frighten me if not for two facts: I have enjoyed the work just about all of that time, and I have had the opportunity to collaborate with a great many valuable and enjoyable artists and thus to help support and advance some quite notable careers. This also means that I have pretty consistently faced the reality of making value judgements about talent. I won't claim not to have made some mistakes along the way, but for the most part I remain proud of my decisions, and pleased to emphatically note that for a great many years now I have not accepted producing assignments on any basis other than my own enthusiasm. I do not intend to change that policy, making Roberta one of a deliberately small group of my current personal artistic commitments.
I actually first met Roberta not as a singer but as a colleague. Although East Coast natives, we have both been living and working in San Francisco for quite some time, and have worked together for some time as members of the board of governors of the local chapter of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. I became aware that, although enjoying success as a pop singer and producer, and as a songwriter with a substantial number of film and TV credits, Roberta felt increasingly driven to re-invent herself as the kind of artist she had initially wanted to be; a full-fledged jazz singer.
Having heard her, and becoming aware of the potential of her talent and of the depth of her drive in this particular direction, I became convinced not only that I could help her towards achieving her goal, but that I very much wanted to offer that help. (To move at a tangent for a moment, let me point out that, while the bulk of my producing efforts have been with instrumentalists Bill Evans, Thelonious Monk, McCoy Tyner, Sonny Rollins, Wes Montgomery, Cannonball Adderley, Joe Henderson and Bobby Hutcherson are some of them I also have a certain track record with a variety of singers that includes Abbey Lincoln, Mark Murphy, Flora Purim, Wesla Whitfield.)
Roberta and I have been working hard for more than a year. I have sought to expose her to a great many influences (some of whom she was quite familiar with) and a wide variety of classic and recent material, believing that talent like hers combined with a thorough grounding in the art she is now exploring must have strong results.
We are at work on the careful construction of an album that will draw from a wide range of songs and singers. (If you listen carefully to examples of her current work, you might learn that she has paid proper attention to such as Billie Holiday, Dinah Washington, Nina Simone, Carmen McRae and many others. You will also learn that, like any truly valid performer, there is a lot that belongs entirely to herself including numbers in her repertoire that are her own compositions.)
~ Orrin Keepnews
One moment, you will be redirected shortly.
|Los Angeles||Miami||New Haven|
|New Orleans||New York City||Norfolk|
|San Francisco||San Jose||Santa Rosa|
Share your ideas on how we can improve our website and service.