Chosen by the indie editor of Performing Songwriter Magazine as one of the 12 Top DIY Picks in the May 2007 issue, praised as one of the best CDs he heard in 2006 by the editor of eJazz news in London, and hailed as “fantastic!” in the June 2007 issue of Feminist Review in New York city, What Living’s All About, Alicia’s CD debut as jazz diva and record producer, has a lot of people excited. The opening cut, “Floozy Tune,” placed in three international songwriting contests, Unisong International Songwriting Contest in 2007, the Indie International Songwriting Contest in 2008, and 100% Music Songwriting Contest.
So what’s on the CD?
Alicia sings twelve catchy jazz, blues, and gospel tunes, ten of them original, including her in-your-face protest song, America the Blues, featuring avant garde guitar hero Nels Cline. Gorgeously (self) produced, with three ensembles of top notch professional session players in an LA studio, What Living’s All About emanates sexuality, spirituality, cynicism, humor, hip repartee, and occasional righteous rage.
Other members of the cast include jazz upright bass legend John B. Williams (Nancy Wilson, Manhattan Transfer, Arsenio Hall Show Band, Tonight Show Big Band) and his red hot R & B vocalist wife Jessica Williams, who forms the gospel choir along with her daughter Vetia Richardson, and her friend Irene Cathaway (with whom she sings backup for Connie Stevens), gospel keyboardist Reverend Harold Pittman (Minister of Music at the Greater Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Church in South Central Los Angeles), woodwind wizard Doug Webb (who totally smokes on a different instrument on each of four songs), three fabulous top flight drummers: David Anderson, Kendall Kay, and Enzo Tedesco, fluid and cool jazz pianist Rick Olson, two rock-solid, multi-talented bassists: Kevin O’Neal and Chris Conner, versatile actor/vocalist Jody Ashworth, and soulful Liberian gospel singer Francis Nyaforh.
Floozy Tune: A 1920’s trad jazz tune about a girl who runs off with the band. Will make you Charleston, even if you don’t know how.
America the Blues: A love song to America, rallying voters to save her from corporate greedheads. Turn up your speakers and listen all the way to the end.
Aquarian Age Liberated Woman Blues: A free-love hippie girl in her countercultural world.
Zero Gravity: Atmospheric jazz ode to night life in LA.
Doctor Sun and Nurse Water: Gospel blues waltz about the life-giving properties of sunlight and water.
What Living’s All About: Sex. Mid-century modern jazz inspired by the song Fever.
Sometimes It Takes a Long Time: A blues waltz that starts folk, ends gospel, and is uplifting enough be sung at a wedding.
Nature Boy: A spacy, improvised version, for voice, upright bass and percussion. Showcases the great John B. Williams.
Best of the Rest of You: Kick ass blues about the social mores of New Age bobos.
I Could Write a Book: Stylish rendition with classic jazz quartet and shocking revelations read from literary agent Michael Larsen’s book How To Write a Book Proposal.
It’s Not Fair: Jazzy blues bitch slap to an unfaithful lover and former creative collaborator. Great guitar solo by Nels Cline.
Love, Understanding and Peace: Gospel love ballad that reflects upon Paul’s letter to the Corinthians, Chapter 13, which Alicia wishes that some Christians would take a little more seriously.
For those familiar with Alicia’s first two CDs, this one may come as a surprise. It has a much lower glycemic index and is not recommended for children. Alicia widens her range as an actress, and addresses sticky issues personal and public. She also collaborates as musician and producer with some of the most gifted players in Los Angeles. All three of Alicia’s CD covers are about women in ecstatic union with nature; this one is a moonlit, wet, surreal image with soft edges.