Rebecca Martin and Guillermo Klein’s THE UPSTATE PROJECT available to pre-order.


PREORDER

The Upstate Project (Release date: April 14, 2017)

VISIT
The Upstate Project’s website for more information

 

The Upstate Project is a landmark collaboration that unites a group of world-class musicians who’ve already distinguished themselves in their individual creative pursuits.

Rebecca Martin is widely recognized as one of her generation’s most talented and versatile vocalists and songwriters, effortlessly bridging the world’s of jazz and songwriting while working alongside some of the music’s most esteemed players.  Argentine-born pianist-vocalist-composer-arranger Guillermo Klein is renowned throughout the jazz world for his inventive, eclectic compositional approach and his distinctive harmonic sensibility.  Their rhythm section is composed of bassist Larry Grenadier and drummer Jeff Ballard, two of jazz’s most in-demand players.

The four participants’ distinctive talents interact in unexpected and inspiring ways on The Upstate Project, which offers exquisite, gently intoxicating melodies, vivid, haunting lyrics, and effortless instrumental interactions.

Martin’s compositions “On A Sunday Morning,” “To Up and Go” and “Later On They’ll Know” (the latter co-written by Ron Sexsmith) embody the lyrical insight and melodic craft for which she’s become known, while Klein’s “Llorando Fuerte (Like Every Other Day),” “Ahi Viene El Tren (Just As In Spring),” “Outside It Rains for Them” and “Hora Libre” (Thrones and Believers)” demonstrate his knack for melodic resonance while merging his Spanish lyrics with Martin’s English ones.

Martin also adds evocative new lyrics for to some notable instrumentals, reinventing and expanding Bill Frisell’s “Throughout [Hold On],” Brad Mehldau’s “Ode [To Make The Most Of Today]” and Kurt Rosenwinkel’s “Cycle 5 [Freedom Run],”), as well as Grenadier’s “State of the Union [In The Nick Of Time].”

The Upstate Project—so named due to the partnership’s origins in northern New York state—began to come together when Martin contacted Klein to explore the possibility of making music together.

“Guillermo is someone that I hold in high esteem,” Martin states. “Working with him was something I had hoped to do at some point in my career. I am always seeking a real challenge in music, and I knew that his point of view would provide that.  When I reached out to him, I learned that he had just returned to the States from Argentina and was living in upstate New York, only about 40 minutes away from where I was.  Like the old days.

“What the project would be wasn’t clear initially,” says Martin.  “But shortly after coming together, Guillermo suggested that it be collaborative, and I loved that idea.  It gave me the opportunity to think about lyrics for his songs, which opened up a lot of possibilities as we brought material to the table.”

“We exchanged tunes and then got together to play at my house,” Klein recalls.  “The repertoire grew, as I suggested a Kurt Rosenwinkel tune and she suggested the other ones.  I spent time transcribing and arranging them for a group, and she found guitar parts and wrote the lyrics and harmonized voices.”

It was only natural that Martin’s husband Grenadier and frequent collaborator Ballard would come on board to complete the quartet.

“Rebecca and I have played music together for 20 years, as long as we’ve known each other,” Grenadier notes.  “For me, there is nothing like making music with your partner; the level of empathy and intimacy is unmatched.  I’ve known Guillermo for many years and have always been a fan of his arranging and composing, and thought that he and Rebecca shared some of the same musical imperatives in the realm of color and texture.  So the idea of blending this all together seemed very intriguing and also very natural.”

“I have known all of these folks for more than two decades, and I love them and their music,” Ballard adds.  “This project was simply a continuation of these fruitful relationships.”

The musicians allowed the material to develop in its own time.

“Rebecca, Guillermo and I started getting together and playing the songs,” Grenadier says.  “It was like an archeological dig, finding the core of each one and bringing that to the surface.  It was a slow process but very organic as they both so beautifully are.   We performed a string of dates in New York City as a trio, to continue to flesh out the material and to tighten up the sound.”

“Larry, Guillermo and I had played this music for a year before Jeff arrived,” Martin explains.  “Since he lives in Europe now, Jeff could only get to New York in time to record, and after one rehearsal, we went into the studio with Pete Rende, who recorded, helped to produce and steer the ship.”

The Upstate Project’s songs are a genuine collaboration, allowing Martin and Klein to explore different aspects of their talents.

“Guillermo’s music stirs up emotions that are very different from what my own melodies and harmony ever could, and that alone made it possible to explore other worlds,” Martin says.  “I built stories from some very unusual perspectives.  The lyrics in my own songs tend to be bittersweet.  In Guillermo’s music, I found myself exploring darker points of view.  It was a liberating experience for that reason, as it’s important to venture outside of your comfort zone whenever you can.”

“For me, all these songs show the idea of melody reigning supreme.” Grenadier asserts.  “All the arrangements, sound and solos support the melodies, lifting them up so they shine brighter. The melodies of these songs are so strong, and as a musician, I didn’t want to get in the way of that.  I wanted the music to lift up these melodies.”

Having allowed The Upstate Project’s birth cycle to unfold in its own time, Martin and Klein are keeping an open mind about the possibility of future group activity.

“I am just glad this music is recorded.” says Klein, “It feels like a complete cycle.”

“I like to think about music and life in general like swimming in a lake,” she concludes.  “You know when walking into the deep, there are suddenly warm spots that appear to come out of nowhere.  There is never anything predictable in my creative endeavors or their outcome.  I just keep pressing forward knowing that at some point, that mysterious warm spot will appear again where I can hang out for a while—until it gets cold and it’s time to move along again.”

PREORDER
The Upstate Project (Release date: April 14, 2017)

VISIT
The Upstate Project’s website for more information

TILLERY (Rebecca Martin, Gretchen Parlato, Becca Stevens) now on iTunes!

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Now you can purchase the Tillery recording, a collaborative project by Rebecca Martin, Gretchen Parlato and Becca Stevens, on iTunes.

PURCHASE ON ITUNES

PURCHASE ON BAND CAMP

4 1/2 Stars in Downbeat Magazine (October, 2016)

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TWAIN Catapults to #1 in Jazz in France. Martin Featured on Art of the Song Nationwide on Public Radio. West Coast Performance in August.

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Rebecca Martin’s latest recording TWAIN, a collaboration with longtime partner bassist Larry Grenadier and produced by Pete Rende was catapulted to the #1 spot in Jazz in France on iTunes and Amazon.  Revered music critic MICHEL CONTAT who writes for Telerama France, one of the largest publications in the country, gives the album four stars:

“TWAIN: The miraculous alchemy between a singer and bass player”
Rebecca Martin and Larry Grenadier are a couple who play together and separately, as he is also known for his key role as bassist in the famous Brad Mehldau Trio. We were introduced to them together through their enchanting disc When I Was Long Ago” (2010 Sunnyside), where the famous singer totally reinterpreted standards with a spell singing verses rarely included in the reference versions. This time, the deputy is a pianist and a drummer, and the very discreet duo assert a familiar song (“Sophisticated Lady”) with others that are all original that sound old and with a unique intimate beauty. We cannot overstate the importance of sincerity, as with Rebecca Martin, it is built entirely in art. Her voice is that of the love and confidence of maternal comfort. How the bass lines support is love itself. Such a disk is something miraculous in the avalanche of vocal jazz. – Michel Contat

Earlier this year, NATE CHINEN of the New York Times featured Martin in a full page Arts & Leisure piece titled “A Voice That Leaps Between Genres” proclaiming her work as an inspiration to a generation of jazz singers.

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“Ms. Martin is a vocalist with an earnest and unaffected style and a songwriter of unforced insight…the new album also highlights a shift toward original material and folky ambience by a generation of singers, some of whom see Ms. Martin as a touchstone.”  – Nate Chinen

Her sensitivity through singing, songs and a long standing commitment to community organizing landed her a spot as featured artist on Art of the Song, the public radio program heard nationwide over 150 stations. This hour long program celebrates the creativity of musicians who they believe are a ‘profound agent for community and for change.’  Listen here.

Fans on the West Coast in August will have the opportunity to hear Martin and Grenadier who will both be teaching in SAN FRANCISCO, CA at the Stanford Jazz Workshop and performing in LOS ANGELES, CA at THE BLUE WHALE located at 123 Astronaut E S Onizuka Street  Suite 301 LA, CA on Saturday, August 10th. Doors at 8:00pm with a showtime at 9:00pm. Tickets are $15. Visit www.bluewhalemusic.com for more information.

 For further information or to request an interview or music, please contact Patrice Fehlen at September Gurl Music, 718.768.3859 or patrice@septembergurl.com.

Rebecca Martin and TWAIN Featured in New York Times. Martin a ‘touchstone’ to a generation of jazz singers for singing and songwriting.

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KINGSTON, N.Y. —  A New York Times Sunday Arts & Leisure piece written by Nate Chinen was published this weekend on Rebecca Martin and her upcoming release TWAIN on Sunnyside Records (available nationwide on Tuesday, March 26th).  “Ms. Martin is a vocalist with an earnest and unaffected style and a songwriter of unforced insight; Mr. Grenadier, her husband, is in the top tier of jazz bassists. Together they made Ms. Martin’s new album, “Twain,” due out on Sunnyside on Tuesday, in cloistered intimacy, recording a dozen of her songs with no initial accompaniment other than upright bass (his) and fingerpicked acoustic guitar (hers).”

“… the new album also highlights a shift toward original material and folky ambiance by a generation of jazz singers, some of whom see Ms. Martin as a touchstone. Among them are Gretchen Parlato and Becca Stevens, with whom Ms. Martin formed a collective called Tillery two years ago, after they struck an instant chemistry late one evening around her dinner table. “She’s been a great guide and mentor and sister in my songwriting,” said Ms. Parlato, who won the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Vocals Competition in 2004 but hadn’t written her own songs before befriending Ms. Martin.”

“…And, perhaps most of all, Ms. Martin’s songs, which have long dwelled in implication, creating a vivid emotional climate without divulging many details. One reason younger songwriters admire Ms. Martin may be that she writes from a place of genuine interiority; another is that her melodies and her lyrics feel so naturally enmeshed.”

 READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE

 

Click on image to purchase on Amazon.

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Singer and Songwriter Rebecca Martin Discusses the Lyrics on TWAIN, Community and Collaborations.

From "Twain". Photo credit: Pat Kepic

Singer and Songwriter Rebecca Martin Discusses the Lyrics on TWAIN, Community and Collaborations. 

Along with release of TWAIN on March 26, Martin looks ahead to performing with her trio TILLERY that features GRETCHEN PARLATO and BECCA STEVENS at the Kennedy Center for the Mary Lou Williams Jazz Festival In May

Kingston, NY – “I get all of my material for and emotional connection to the songs I write or interpret these days from hands on experiences,” says the singer and songwriter Rebecca Martin reflecting on the songs from TWAIN (Sunnyside Records). “I’ve become so active in our community that my life as an avid reader has transformed itself into one of an avid doer.”

A state of Maine native, Martin moved to New York City to pursue her musical endeavors. Throughout the 90’s, Martin co-led the influential duo Once Blue (EMI Records) with Jesse Harris. After a handful of critically acclaimed solo recordings Martin migrated North to the Hudson Valley with husband and collaborator Larry Grenadier and had a son. From that point on, in tandem with making music, she found a new way of using her organizational skills in community work. There, she tirelessly advocated for transparency and better communication between the people and government. This work eventually landed her a position as Executive Director of an Urban Land Trust in the area, where under her leadership the organization was sited as a national model for urban land trusts by the Land Trust Alliance.   Known for her “dizzying array of local initiatives“, Martin and many volunteers created programs and committees for rail trails, urban agriculture, African-American cemetery preservation projects and more. “Having a child and being so far from family motivated me to get as involved as I have.” says Rebecca. “It has been an eye opening experience to say the least, and has certainly informed my music.”

Yesterday I saw it coming on. 

There was little that the peasant could do. 

Into their hearts fully open and aligned 

for the daggers and arrows that flew.

Just beyond the hillside 

back where the curtain calls to us

There the music reminds me 

that the whole world is waiting to find us”

From “Beyond the Hillside” by Rebecca Martin

“There are two distinct story lines running through this particular piece, the ‘bearing witness’ to the many unpleasantries out in the field and the hopefulness in the music. It’s a very bittersweet song.”

Tillery. Photo credit:  Mark Niskanen

Martin credits her friendship with GRETCHEN PARLATO and BECCA STEVENS as being her ‘touchstone to the music’ during the recent phase in her life of work, family and community. The inspiration she drew from their communion resulted in the formation of the super group TILLERY, a trio that they share. The three kindred spirits’ seamless rapport has been wowing audiences since they joined forces in 2010. These days, the threesome work together when schedules permit, including a prestigious performance at the KENNEDY CENTER in Washington, D.C. as part of the Mary Lou Williams Jazz Festival on May 17th, 2013.

To help Martin celebrate her new release TWAIN, Parlato and Stevens will join her on stage for a song at the Rockwood Music Hall, stage 2 located at 196 Allen Street, NY on Thursday, March 28th in New York City. Tickets for the event are $15 and can be purchased online by visiting ROCKWOOD MUSIC HALL.

For further information or to request a copy of Twain, please contact Patrice Fehlen at September Gurl Music: patrice@septembergurl.com or 718.768.3859

 

NPR Chooses Jazz Singer and Songwriter Rebecca Martin’s Upcoming Release TWAIN as “One to Look Out For” in 2013.

Photo Credit: Pat Kepic

NPR Chooses Jazz Singer and Songwriter Rebecca Martin’s Upcoming Release TWAIN as “One to Look Out For in 2013”.   Record Release and a live recording scheduled at the Rockwood Music Hall in New York City in March. 

In anticipation of the jazz singer and songwriter Rebecca Martin’s upcoming release on Sunnyside Records, NPR’s Patrick Jarenwattananon includes TWAIN as one of 15 buzzed about jazz/ish albums to look out for in 2013.

“The vocalist Rebecca Martin’s last album was a collection of standards, recorded only with a saxophonist (Bill McHenry) and a bass player, Larry Grenadier. Think of TWAIN as a sequel of sorts: It’s a program of mostly originals, backed only by Grenadier, who is also her husband. As a singer, she has a sense of nuance that fits a spare setting well; as a songwriter, she’s already put out several albums of her own tunes.”

Rebecca Martin will be accompanied by bassist Larry Grenadier at New York City’s Rockwood Music Hall room 2 on Thursday, March 28th, two days after the records release.  They will perform one set of original compositions and standards. The performance will also be recorded by Pete Rende in preparation for a live recording.  Tickets are $15.00.  The Rockwood Music Hall (stage 2)  is located at 196 Allen Street, NYC 10002. Tickets can be purchased online at the ROCKWOOD MUSIC HALL.  For more information, call 212/477-4155.

A highly accomplished husband and wife team, Grenadier and Martin earn continual accolades for their live performances. Renowned critic Alain Burnet of Montreal’s La Presse wrote “In the circles of Jazz in New York…[Martin’s] approval rating has risen steadily over recent years, and for good reason. In Montreal, she still remains a secret….I will not keep it to myself: count me in!”

WATCH Rebecca Martin and Larry Grenadier perform “Born to be Blue” written by Mel Torme and Robert Wells live at Atlas Performing Arts Center in Washington Center in Washington, DC. Filmed by Christian Amonson.

For more information about Rebecca Martin, contact Patrice Fehlen at September Gurl, PR at 718/768-3859 or email patrice@septembergurl.com

NPR: 15 Jazz Albums To Look Out For in 2013

 

“Rebecca Martin, Twain: The vocalist Rebecca Martin‘s last album was a collection of standards, recorded only with a saxophonist (Bill McHenry) and a bass player, Larry Grenadier. Think of Twain as a sequel of sorts: It’s a program of mostly originals, backed only by Grenadier, who is also her husband. As a singer, she has a sense of nuance that fits a spare setting well; as a songwriter, she’s already put out several albums of her own tunes. Out March 26.”

SEE the list on NPR. By Patrick Jarenwattananon.

Sunnyside Records will Release Rebecca Martin’s Sixth Solo Album TWAIN on March 26th, 2013

 

Singer/Songwriter and Jazz vocalist Rebecca Martin’s new album TWAIN features a dozen new original compositions and one classic interpretation, all performed in understated acoustic arrangements based around Martin’s indelible voice and supple guitar work, and the subtly inventive support of her husband and longtime collaborator, acclaimed bassist Larry Grenadier.

Martin reflects “My records over the years have become more quiet and introspective, which probably has to do with the need and appreciation for personal space…it makes sense that my reaction to a world that feels speedy, harsh and loud is to offer music that provokes slowness, emotion, and quiet.”

On such melodically arresting, emotionally vivid new tunes as “To Up and Go,” “Don’t Mean A Thing At All,” “Beyond The Hillside,” and “Some Other Place, Some Other Time,” Martin sings with a quietly commanding intensity that lends immediacy to her lyrical insights.

Meanwhile, her distinctive reading of the Duke Ellington classic “Sophisticated Lady” once again demonstrates the uncanny interpretive skills that she previously revealed on a pair of much-celebrated standards albums.

Writing in the New York Times, critic Nate Chinen shrewdly observed that Martin “exudes the plainest sort of poise, almost radical in its utter lack of flash,” and that though she is “unerringly faithful to the melodies of the songs, both standards and originals,” she makes them seem “less like songs than like articulations of her state of mind.”

Raul D’Gama Rose of All About Jazz wrote “Martin is a composer of considerable talent, approaching the repertoire that she serves up like a master-chef, creating rare and fine epicurean fare,” while Jazz Times’ Christopher Loudon likened Martin’s vocals to “Modgliani portraits,” noting that they “share a sharply honed, less-is-more sensibility that, paradoxically, adds to their depth, their denseness and their haunting aftereffects.”

Martin and Grenadier recorded most of Twain in a small bedroom in the apartment of longtime cohort and pianist Pete Rende, who produced, engineered, and mixed the album. “For the most part, what we did and how we felt on that day became the record,” Martin says. That emotional immediacy comes through on the elegantly spare, eloquently direct recording. Martin muses “This record has been a long time in the making. A lot of living and a lot of energy have gone into the creation of this group of songs.”

A New York City record release performance will be announced shortly.

For more information,  contact Patrice Fehlen at September Gurl Music: 718/768-3859 patrice@septembergurl.com

www.rebeccamartin.com

www.sunnysiderecords.com

TWAIN by Rebecca Martin coming in 2013

 

TWAIN
The new album by Rebecca Martin featuring Larry Grenadier
on the Sunnyside Record Label
Produced by Pete Rende
Available Nationwide on Tuesday, March 26th, 2013
To be serviced or for any press inquires contact Patrice Fehlen at September Gurl PR

Rebecca Martin New Recording ‘Twain’ in the Works

Photo by Pat Kepic

 

 

Rebecca Martin is heading back into the studio to make a new recording of originals (and a standard) with Larry Grenadier in March/April. A March 2013 release on the Sunnyside Label has been scheduled.