Love for Life | Katharina Heinrich | Music What Else

katharina heinrich, love for life

“Love For Life”, recorded in 2002 at Bonafide Studios London and 11 A Studios Gloucester. Produced by Jeff Spencer. For more liner notes please scroll down

Says the BBC about “Love For Life“:

Listening to Katharina, it is easy to imagine yourself being whisked off to some trendy basement jazz club. Katharina sings softly through the smoke to an appreciative audience, while the musicians strum, pluck and tap their instruments with a smiling nod and occasional “yeah”.

Source: Love for Life | Katharina Heinrich | Music What Else

Do you remember the days when you snuck off to the den, “armed” with a pitcher of ice cold lemonade in one hand, a snack in the other and your cassette player tucked under your arm and when equipped in this way you’d spent an entire blissful afternoon daydreaming yourself away to the realms that your favorite music icons wrote and sang about? When the world would seem to stand still for a precious few hours and noone and nothing could get you distracted from this secluded island of peaceful happiness? I certainly do as clear as daylight and the closest I got to moments of this caliber unmatched for years of “grownup” existence that leave barely any “breather” of space between chores and responsibilities of one or the other kind was when closely listening to Katharina Heinrich’s Love For Life album today. It is an effort that teems with passion, dedication, precision execution of the artistic vision albeit birthed during one of the darkest trials anyone can go through: The loss of a loved one. Or maybe it is exactly because of this personal tragedy that the results are hauntingly awe-inspiring, while I’m intentionally avoiding the term perfect at any cost…. because nothing is more boring than complete perfection. And yet – you almost can’t call this major piece of music anything else but perfect.

How so? Well, for one there is Katharina’s knack for writing songs that marry musicianship to the accessibility of a catchy melody or writing “timeless classics” as her collaborators and recruited musicians coined it. There is her sensual voice that navigates the musical equivalent of deepest despair with the same command and ease as the more lighthearted tracks – or so they come across. A vocal maturity that is rare and a humility towards her gift that should be wrapped and sold in family sized packages in the days of talent casting spectacles and whatnot. As if that wasn’t enough, she displays impressive piano chops throughout the record only to be “relieved” from her post for the piano solo in “Motherless Child” and “Christine” that Andy Nowak contributed as an icing on an already lavish cake of music. Have we mentioned “multi instrumentalist” yet? No? Well, she is, as she plays classical guitar on the record as well.

Next, Kat’s lyrics. It rarely ever gets more profound than this and not only in light of the backdrop of personal tragedy. You might as well divorce the lyrics from the personal experience that spawned them and can’t help but find yourself going “Yeah, been there, done that”, nonetheless, if you’re a sufficiently sentient, sensitive being, that is.

And then – the abundance of musical talent and sensitivity from her collaborators, who brought their incredible skills to the project in ways any songwriter can only dream of. Every single lick, every single line and musical statement finds its way into the songs in such an organic way that borders on telepathy. And that is the exact magic that outstanding pieces of music are made of: A mutual understanding, a being on the same page with everything that turns a song into a gem. And no less is what we hear on the album: Magic!

I haven’t listened to music like this in a long time. Scrap that: I haven’t experienced music like this in quite some time. But when you come across substance, there are no filters, there is no defense. It’s like falling in love: It happens and the forces of the universe align and inadvertently draw you into the experience.

Too big a mouthful? Find out for yourself. (URLs lands on Kat’s online store, this link lands you on the artist’s website)


Katharina Heinrich: All songwriting/composing except: “Sometimes/Motherless child” (Gospel/Spiritual), vocals, backing vocals, piano, classical guitar, piano, rhodes, editing, E-piano solo on “Faoleon”

Jeff Spencer: Electric Bass, producer, editing, mixing, mastering, steel string guitar in “All I need”, backing vocals, acoustic guitar, bass solo on “I Know” and “Relate”

Matthew Jones: Drums, percussion

Steve Browning: Jazz guitar, classical guitar, solo on “Love for Life”, “Roundabout”, “I know”, “Olena”, “Swimming”, “Trying”, guitar solo at the end of “Relate”

Andrew McKenzie: Electric guitar on “Together”

Luke Hanrey: Drums on “Together”

Aristazabai Hawkes: Double Bass on “Together”

Pete Rosser: Accordion solo on “Launderettes and Stories”

Christopher Arthur: Spoken lyrics on “Together”

Andy Nowak: Rhodes

Fourplay Silver Anniversary Album

(2) Bob James – Bob James shared a link..

Wow! Seriously? It’s been five years since I had that once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to meet and interview one of my greatest heroes on the six strings, Chuck Loeb in 2010 in the context of Augsburg Smooth Jazz Festival? Time surely flies…

And now Mr. Chuck Loeb is in the process of recording the 25-years-anniversay album with Fourplay at Sunset Sound Studios in California, where much of music history was “written” (recorded)! Wish I could be that proverbial fly on the wall, but alas: I’ll gladly settle for the bits and pieces Mr. Chuck Loeb and Nathan East, Harvey Mason and Bob James share with us! Go, Fourplay, go Chuck Loeb! I’m so honored I got to talk to you (twice!)! Wishing you and the band nothing but continued success!

Warum dein Hirn es dir dankt, ein Musiker zu sein / Why (and How) Your Brain is Grateful to You for Being a Musician

Was I flattering myself here? Maybe a little… 🙂

Warum dein Hirn es dir dankt, ein Musiker zu sein / News / musikmachen.de.

Per Julie White: "Homelessness is real. This song is pure."

 

julie

(1) Julie White – Homelessness is real. This song is pure. Brian….

It all started (again) with this: Brian and I met online in late 2008 and in 2009 he sent me a song he had written on piano and invited me to record an acoustic guitar. “Think simple acoustic”, was the creative direction that came with the file 🙂 So I asked a friend, if I could borrow his acoustic guitar for a while, since I didn’t own one any more, not to mention played one in decades and actually needed to learn it again to some extent. While doing so, I was tossing ideas around in my head and racked my brian as to how to best approach this. Ultimately and after probably a hundred takes, none of which I was comfortable sending back, I did another recording session at a nearby music store. (They let me have their sales booth for 3 hours with tape around the door so people wouldn’t come in. Wow… thanks to Justmusic Munich for that!).
recording at justmusic, Munich
And you know what? In the end, a blend of the first few takes made the cut and I sent it back with a note reading “That’s the best I can do. Feel free to throw it out, if it doesn’t work for you.”

The rest is recent history: Brian made a video by living among the homeless in Detroit for two weeks (!), invited me to record some video snippets in my neck of the woods, edited them, uploaded it to YouTube, got views and likes and generously shared the response he got with me and my Facebook wall, but most importantly: This project must have inspired him to do more than raise attention. I guess, from looking at it today, you might say he has been a DOer all along – and went there and founded the DO Foundation, who have saved hundreds, if not thousands of lives by now by finding abandoned homes, buying, refurbishing and furnishing them and getting families and individuals off the streets, thus giving them a chance to lead a self-sustained life at some point again. Because to apply for a job, you need to have an address somewhere and an infrastructure to actually be ready for any kind of job.

For his and his teams’ continued efforts, Brian received the Wayman Tisdale Humanitarian Award of the Year in 2010, awared to him by no other than the late Wayman Tisdale’s wife Regina Tisdale and Bernie Scott of the American Smooth Jazz Awards 2010. Nationwide broadcasting TV and radio stations caught wind of his project and have been supporting him in his efforts to attract more public attention to his endeavour and thus have a steady flow of donations come in, which are being used directly on behalf of the needs of the homeless. Brian’s latest record “Dreams in Color” will hopefully make him a household name all across the U.S. and beyond, so that his publicity might benefit all the great work him and his supporters have been doing all along. And for me, my teenage dream came true: All I ever wanted to achieve was finding my name in the liner notes of a major album production – and it came true with my modest contribution to this record! I couldn’t be more honored than finding myself among all this great music talent that Brian brought together on this album and on top of it all – in the name of a humanitarian cause that addresses one of the terrible downsides of the system we all live in, which has no place for anyone who ever hits a rough patch of the road and for whatever reason may not find themselves able to perform at 200% for 24/7 all of a sudden. Anyone might find themselves losing a job for a multitude of reasons at any given times in their lives. After that, the downward spiral begins spinning real fast and one might find themselves facing a “life” in the streets sooner than not. I don’t wish this to happen to anyone and I can’t even begin to ponder the incredible strength and resilience it takes to simply survive out there. I guess, some of these thoughts and feelings found their way into Brian’s song “I Wanna Be a Hero“, featuring Monica Notaro on lead vocals. Because the homeless living face- and nameless amongst us, walking the streets, overlooked, forgotten, ridiculed or even ruthlessly attacked, that’s what they are in my book, too: Heroes. Heroes of survival, of keeping their dignity in circumstances that have me shudder with horror from only imagining them.

If so inclined, please consider purchasing a copy of Brian’s latest CD directly from his website, so him and his teams get to continue doing the great work they’ve been doing over the past years. Thank you.

Steve Lukather on the State of Things Music | Preach, most admired Brother!!!

Right from the heart and I haven’t got one single i to dot or t to cross from where I’m reading this. Dang! Right on the money! (the latter… uhm… NOT!)

mike collins talks music, biz & technologie.

P.S. Apparently, Steve’s letter is received in divided ways. Quite the discussion on Facebook on that post. (you have to have a Facebook profile and possibly be a friend of Jens’ in order to be able to follow the link.)

Michael Nitsch Band – Time

home - Michael Nitsch - guitar - composing

Just downloaded the excellent album “Time” by Michael Nitsch Band, which you get to purchase from CDBaby.com.

Michael, who originally hails from Cologne, Germany, was introduced to Jazz and taught his first guitar chords by his father Wolfgang. Music luminaries like Wes Montgomery, George Benson, Jim Hall, Tal Farlow and Kenny Burrell found their way into Michael’s music ear as early as age 12. During his later teen years, he also caught the “Blues bug” through music icons like e.g. B.B. King, Albert King, Albert Collins and Jimi Hendrix. But a pivotal moment was his listening to the 1988 Robben Ford CD release “Talk to Your Daugther”, when he discovered through Ford how to blend Jazz and Blues into one organic fusion of styles.

As Michael honed his skills by playing countless live and studio gigs, particularly after having moved to Munich in 1998, he found opportunities to reap the rewards of his efforts by founding the lounge pop band “Fat’s Jojo Magic” first and getting hired as lead guitarist with the “Donelly Blues Band”. However, he has come into his own with the Michael Nitsch Band, sporting the finest German music talent and with whom he continues to exhilirate musical audiences at renowned music clubs and festivals throughout the country.

Other than touring and playing extensively, Michael hands down his expertise to students of the guitar, who benefit not only from his live and studio experience, but his formal education at MGI Cologne as well. In order to learn about live appearances, please also notice the band’s Facebook page. And last, but not least, treat yourself to this fine piece of music by taking a sneak listen on his website and ideally proceding to the purchase link.

C3S – Caring for free culture

Ich gratuliere der C3S zur nun erfolgten offiziellen Gründung! Die GEMA-Alternative geht damit offiziell an den Start. C3S – Caring for free culture.

Damit es nicht nur bei einem Auftakt bleibt, hat die C3S hier eine Crowdfunding-Kampagne geschaltet, mit der schon über 96.000,- EUR zusammen gekommen sind. Ein Überschreiten der 100.000-er-Marke wäre toll, damit zum einen die geleistete Vorarbeit gewürdigt ist, vor allem aber auch die nächsten Schritte vollzogen werden können.

Instant Gratification? Anyone?

Wouldn’t it be great, if doing something good gave you instant gratification? The good news is: Instant gratification is a given for your heart and ears, if you decide to Help make Dreams In Color a reality. | Indiegogo. Brian O’Neal whom many of you already know as musician, composer, humanitarian and founder of the DO Foundation is in the finishing stretches of his next big project: The Dreams in Color CD and following “Dreams in Color”-US tour! By choosing to support Brian’s Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign, not only are you making sure that the CD will comply with pristine sonic and overall quality standards, you are also helping to launch a nationwide tour, which is going to generate funds in order for the DO Foundation to set up branch offices in other major cities in the USA, where homelessness meets the helping minds, hearts and hands of Humans helping Humans. You want to be a part of that? Simply click this link, take a minute to listen to Brian giving you more details on the project and what all this is about and then choose for one of the perks in the rightmost nagivation area. Perks start at 15$ which entitle you to download MP3 files of the complete album upon release. Can’t wait and want something more personal? Like e.g. listening to what’s cooking now and an additional signed copy of the CD upon completion? The “Insignia” package at 25$ might be a suitable choice for you then. Ever wondered what’s going on behind the scenes and how songs evolve through different versions and iterations until one final version is selected to go into the final mix? Find out by choosing the “Ultimate Dreamer” perk at 50$ (Yes! You’ll get an exclusive behind-the-scenes-peek for about two thirds of a regular concert ticket. Feels like a backstage seat right there, doesn’t it?)

But there’s more and we best not give everything away now. Treat yourself to learn more about this exciting project by following this link. And while you’re at it – even a single dollar goes for miles and miles. Feel free to share this message and invite your friends and fellow music lovers with a heart for people!

Brian O'Neal: Dreams in Color – CD and 20-City-Tour Crowdfunding Campaign

Hi there,

as a regular follower of my blog, Facebook page or profile, G+ account, Reverbnation profile, Soundcloud wall, YouTube channel, Twitter and MySpace (and a few minor ones next to those), you may have come to know me via a music and video collaboration with US artist Brian O’Neal back in 2009 he kindly invited me to. Little could I have known what would come of this: A significant YouTube hit, a 501c certified humanitarian organization named after Brian’s late Grandmother Daisy O’Neal called the DO Foundation, Brian’s already and richly existing fan base of music lovers flocking to my Facebook wall upon his generous sharing of collaboration credits and most importantly a humanitarian success story that’s not only an inspiration for many, but makes a difference for many people on a daily basis. I will never forget the moment of realizing this about Brian: “This man doesn’t waste time talking, he’s serious about walking his talk!” I could barely believe my eyes when I saw him appear in the video himself – not only as an extra or directing the shoot, but actually and truthfully living among the homeless for no less than two weeks with only a few dollars in his pocket in case of life-threatening emergencies, his cell phone for the same reason and his car keys – none of which he used during this experience that yielded him the first hand experience he required from himself in order to understand homelessness – not the concept or idea of it, but feeling it from one day to the next! (I am aware that the critics will still say: “But he never truly was homeless, he had a home to return to.” Yes, but on the other hand: How many of us notice a homeless person in the streets to begin with, let alone volunteer to undergo an experience like this in order to understand homelessness – and then DO Something about it?!)

The DO Foundation with their steadily growing number of volunteers both in Detroit and across the nation is a direct result of this project. They have come a long way since then, became established as an official 501c organization and have appeared on national TV and major news sites on a semi-regular basis.

In addition to that, Brian’s already existing reputation as an internationally performing artist both as keyboardist for KEM as well as having become a major act himself and taking center stage at – amongst others – Catalina Jazz Festival have helped to make ‘the DO’ known to people way beyond the Greater Detroit area.

And now we’re on the verge of yet another major treat closing in on completion: The Dreams in Color CD and 20-city-US-tour! And you can help to make it happen! Find Brian’s crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo.com by clicking this link, take a minute to watch the video, where Brian explains the project and shares further details on how it all works. Then find the contribution amount that suits you best in the right navigation area and follow the on-screen instruction to place your pledge. You have now joined the existing crowd of supporters already on board! In addition to being rewarded with the perk you selected – and great music is a default part of whatever package you choose for! – you are also helping to make the world a better place by supporting the ensuing concert tour, the profits of which will help the DO Foundation spread across the nation!

DO Something for yourselves and the people – become a DO’er today!

Brian ONeal: Dreams In Color | Indiegogo

I had the pleasure and honor of sitting in for the first version of this song. But this project is about an entire album of great, great music by my friend Brian O’Neal. I’m sure, many of you know him through his excellent music, as the man on the keys for KEM as well as the founder and mastermind behind the DO Foundation. Please show the love, as the saying goes, for Brian’s latest (music) project by sharing this and ideally making a contribution. The cost of producing a CD encompasses – amongst other things – renting a studio plus engineer, hiring and paying studio musicians (even when you’re a multiinstrumentalist as Brian is), possibly renting equipment, paying graphic design artists for the cover art, hiring a photographer and having a photo session, hiring a videographer and shooting several music videos, renting a location for the CD release party and fronting the expense for that including all marketing – next to other line items – that goes into that. I could go on and on and on and it might easily take an entire page of listing items the artist has to cover up front prior to making any money or just getting to expect a reasonable return on investment. This is why so-called ‘crowdfunding’ platforms like Indiegogo.com have become so popular: You’ll get what you pay for and all involved parties win! And I am convinced beyond a doubt that Brian’s upcoming CD is going to be first class quality (sssshh…. I am not supposed to say, but I think I’m safe to say I know so… :))

Show the love and spread the word! 😉 Thank you!