Lovelight

Julie Mahendran

Corinne Bailey Rae and Sade arm-wrestling at Chaka Khan's pool party- smooth soul-jazz with a pop flair.

Personnel: Joanna Borromeo on Rhodes piano Michael Herring on upright bass Brennan Louw on electric guitar Giampaolo Scatozza on drum kit

Engineered by Bernie Cisternas at Number 9 Audio Group, Toronto Mastered by Andy Krehm at SilverBirch Productions, Toronto Design by Will Skol Photography by Anthony Toderian Makeup by Wanda MacRae Produced by Julie Mahendran

I dedicate this album to my grandmothers, Marie-Ange and Annalakshumi- both women of incredible strength, character and spirit whose life stories will always be a source of great inspiration to me.

You never know where inspiration will come from, and the sources were varied when it came to writing the 4 new original songs included on this album. Thank you to everyone who heard something promising in my earlier songs and encouraged me to create more- and to those who provided lyrical nuggets, however unintentional! I’ve also included songs from some of my favourite artists and eras- starting with a more upbeat arrangement of Rich Girl by Hall & Oates, which benefited by contributions from the whole band. I did the opposite with Lewis Taylor’s Lovelight, stripping the song down to a slow groove.

Annie Lennox’s cover version of Bob Marley’s Waiting in Vain gave me the inspiration to pair it with You have place a Chill in my Heart by the Eurythmics. I knew many of Bill Withers’ hits but had never heard Use Me until recently- it was love at first listen. Sheila Jordan first inspired me to sing Dat Dere, then Lee Morgan’s trumpet solo from the Art Blakey Ensemble’s 1960 recording inspired me to write a vocalese lyric, and now I dedicate it to my sister and her 2 wonderfully inquisitive little men.

Sade’s Love is Stronger than Pride has a hypnotic groove that somehow invites me to improvise endlessly. I first performed I Remember Clifford for composer Benny Golson as a Berklee student, and it is still one of my favourite standards. Ever since I heard the Nylons perform the Supremes hit Up the Ladder to the Roof, I knew I also wanted to make it my own. And finally, I dug beneath the sweet 80s sheen on Cyndi Lauper’s Change of Heart to showcase the gorgeous tune and clever lyric within.

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Never Do Without You

Julie Mahendran

Classic vocal jazz with a few modern twists in a sparse, intimate chordless trio setting.

A great voice. What else is there to say about this young Canadian jazz vocalist? Plenty- but what tends to amaze audiences the most is her clear, powerful and expressive sound. Julie's influences include many of this century's most popular and innovative vocalists in jazz and R&B: from Ella Fitzgerald to Natalie Cole; from Jon Hendricks to Kurt Elling; from Chaka Khan to Whitney Houston.

Her cultural background is an unusual mix of French-Canadian and East Indian. Born in Montreal and raised in Edmonton, Alberta, Julie began full-time music studies at Grant MacEwan College in Edmonton before being offered a substantial scholarship to complete her Bachelor of Music at Berklee College of Music in Boston.

While at Berklee, Julie studied with Grammy-award-winner Cheryl Bentyne of the Manhattan Transfer. She was also chosen to perform the jazz standard "I Remember Clifford" for composer Benny Golson at a concert in his honor. It was during this period that Julie began exploring her own musical style as a songwriter, blending together her various pop, jazz and R&B influences.

Julie is now based in Toronto and looks forward to touring across Canada and abroad in support of her debut CD release, Never Do Without You. This 10-song collection of jazz, blues and pop standards was recorded in an exposed, intimate format with just acoustic bass and drums. Vocal overdubs were used to add harmonic layers on some of the tracks, including Julie's own composition, "Killer".

"Never Do Without You finds (Julie) tackling her material with real finesse and taste.... The centrepiece of the disc is an impressive nine-minute take on Freddie Freeloader, known to many fans of the Miles Davis album Kind Of Blue." Roger Levesque, The Edmonton Journal

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