Send For Me
Release Date: April 1, 2022
Label: Dot Time Records
GRAMMY®-nominated vocalist Catherine Russell, when asked to characterize her new album, Send For Me, replied, “I love romance that swings.” Send For Me features a baker’s dozen of newly recorded tunes on her eighth album as a leader, meeting a simple exacting standard. “Songs that inspire or touch me in some way. When I find a song I like, it haunts me until I learn it.” Her mission is finding songs that you might not have heard but deserve attention.
Russell’s deep connection to her chosen material is part of a calling. As the daughter of pioneering and legendary musicians, pianist/orchestra leader/composer/arranger Luis Russell, and bassist/guitarist/vocalist Carline Ray, Catherine Russell was born into jazz royalty. In culling material for her new album from the likes of Billie Holiday, Nat King Cole, Luis Russell, Betty Carter, Kay Starr, Joe Liggins, Earl King, Jack Teagarden, Helen Humes, Frank Sinatra, Dakota Staton, Henry Red Allen, and Louis Armstrong, the vocalist swims in familiar waters. She sings a language that comes naturally, furthering a profound legacy.
Send For Me is a follow up to Russell’s 2019 release Alone Together, which received a GRAMMY® nomination for Best Jazz Vocal Album, and landed on the JazzWeek year-end radio chart as the #1 most played album. “I like to invite the people in,” she says of her new album, which is also her philosophy of performing live. The album is an invitation, welcoming the audience to come along on a journey.
“Send For Me”, the title track, was first recorded by Nat King Cole, and became a crossover hit in 1957, reaching #1 on the U.S. R&B charts, and #6 on the U.S. Pop Chart. “Nobody thinks of Nat King Cole as a blues singer, but he sang some really great blues,” observes Russell.
“At The Swing Cats Ball” has a strong family connection. Russell recalls, “My mother had given me sheet music a long time ago, saying, ‘your father co-wrote this tune, and Louis Jordan covered it.’” The song was among the first recordings by Louis Jordan. Luis Russell never recorded his tune, although he performed it on gigs. “We found a live version performed by my dad’s orchestra on a radio broadcast, and we adapted his arrangement. I love the image of people going to a swing dance.”
Another highlight is “Make It Last,” a gorgeous standard written by Dick Haymes and Bill Paxton, made famous by Betty Carter in 1958. “A good friend of mine sent me “Make it Last” and when I heard it I said, ‘wow, this is another great tune with an interesting chord progression, and a Melba Liston horn arrangement.’ Another connection: Russell’s mother worked with trombonist/arranger Liston and a young Russell had seen Betty Carter perform, leaving a great impression. “Make It Last” is about holding onto what’s really important, and hoping it will continue. “It’s not wanting to lose a beautiful moment, because tomorrow the moment may be gone,” the singer reflects.
“Going Back To New Orleans” was written and originally recorded by Joe Liggins, who shared bills in the late 1940s with both Luis Russell and His Orchestra and The International Sweethearts of Rhythm, including Catherine’s mother, Carline Ray, on guitar and vocals. Interestingly, these intersections happened years before Luis Russell and Carline Ray first met in 1955; Luis was 23 years her senior and they married before Catherine was born in 1956.
Russell’s professional life began at age 7, when she first took the stage as a dancer with Katherine Dunham’s company for four seasons at The Metropolitan Opera’s production of Aida. After graduating with honors from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, she was fortunate to work with David Bowie, Steely Dan, Cyndi Lauper, Paul Simon, Jackson Browne, Michael Feinstein, Levon Helm, Wynton Marsalis, Dr. John, Rosanne Cash, Toshi Reagon, and Carrie Smith, among others. Russell performed extensively as a backup singer, multi-instrumentalist, and lead singer, before launching her solo recording career in 2006. She amassed decades of experience touring and recording with cutting edge songwriters and iconic artists, appearing on over 200 albums.
Co-producers Katherine Miller, Paul Kahn and Catherine Russell, the team behind Russell’s albums, Alone Together (2019) and Harlem On My Mind (2016), both GRAMMY® nominees for Best Jazz Vocal Album, are reunited on Send For Me, their 6th album together. The winning streak began with Inside This Heart of Mine (2010), which reached #1 on iTunes and Amazon jazz charts. Strictly Romancin’ (2012) was awarded the Prix du Jazz Vocal (Vocal Album of The Year) by the French Jazz Academy and Grand Prix du Hot Club de France. Her fifth solo album, Bring It Back (2014), received a 5 Star Review in Downbeat Magazine.
Significant film and TV credits include Russell contributing the song, “Crazy Blues,” as a featured artist on the 2012 GRAMMY® winning soundtrack album of the HBO series, Boardwalk Empire. In 2017, she performed the song on PBS-TV’s Great Performances special, ‘Grammy Salute To Music Legends’. In 2019, she had a cameo in the feature film Bolden, a biopic about jazz pioneer Buddy Bolden, while also contributing lead vocals on two songs to Wynton Marsalis’s soundtrack album.
Russell’s versatility shines through on an array of new recordings released over the past 18 months. She added harmony vocals on albums by Sarah Jarosz (a GRAMMY® Award winner for Best Americana Album in 2021), Brett Eldredge, and Little Feat, while also contributing a song on renowned banjo player Tony Trischka’s new album Shall We Hope. In addition, she appeared as a guest lead vocalist on albums by Andy Farber and His Orchestra (Early Blue Evening), reedman Evan Arntzen (Countermelody), and on Steven Bernstein’s MTO featuring Catherine Russell, Good Time Music, the second album in the four-part Community Music series by trumpet player and arranger, Steven Bernstein. Russell continues to tour with Steely Dan, as recently as in the fall of 2021, and she sings on two new releases including Northeast Corridor Live! and a live version of the acclaimed album by Donald Fagen, The Nightfly Live.
Sixteen years into her solo career, Catherine Russell is on the move. Her band, including guitarist/musical director Matt Munisteri, pianist Mark Shane, bassist Tal Ronen, and drummer Mark McLean, has performed at major festivals on four continents, while also selling out concert halls from SFJazz Miner Auditorium in San Francisco, to Zankel Carnegie Hall in New York City, to Tchaikovsky Hall in Moscow. In addition, Catherine has appeared as a featured vocalist with today’s leading big bands and symphony orchestras including the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis, Vince Giordano’s Nighthawks, Count Basie Orchestra, Andy Farber and His After Midnight Orchestra, Knoxville Jazz Orchestra, Jazz Philharmonic Orchestra of St. Petersburg, Russia; Miami’s New World Symphony, The Philly Pops, and The Pasadena Pops Orchestra. Most recently, Russell joined forces with John Pizzarelli to perform a salute to Billie Holiday and Frank Sinatra.
As Catherine sings on the title track of her new album, “Anywhere, Oh Yeah, Send For Me, and I’ll be there.”
Alone Together (VINYL Edition)
Release Date: July 26, 2019
Label: Dot Time Records
GRAMMY Nominee for Best Jazz Vocal Album
On Alone Together, Russell reinvigorates rare gems and stalwart standards from the Great American Songbook, lending her voice to the compositions of Nat King Cole, Irving Berlin, Eddie de Lange, Jimmy Van Heusen, Al Dubin, Louis Jordan and Harry Warren. The vinyl edition features 10 tunes including Louis Jordan’s “Is You Is Or Is You Ain’t My Baby” and “Early In The Morning”, the swing-era classic “You Can’t Pull The Wool Over My Eyes”, the tongue in cheek “He May Be Your Dog, But He’s Wearing My Collar,” and the classic “I Only Have Eyes For You”, among others.
for "I Want To Talk About You"
"Catherine Russell has long had a gift for breathing new life into old songs, with no special trick beyond the clarity of her singing and the purity of her intention. Her latest single perfectly illustrates why those two elements are more than enough.." Read the article here.
"Russell is a versatile and graceful vocalist.." Read the Another Groove feature here.
TIME SQUARE CHRONICLES
"Ms.Russell is one of the finest jazz and blues singer currently on the music scene and she is performing her magical style at Birdland..." Check out this highlight here.
JIMMY'S JAZZ & BLUES
CRISIN PR NEWSWIRE
"GRAMMY® Award-Winning Vocalist CATHERINE RUSSELL is that rarest of entities, a genuine jazz and blues singer who can sing virtually anything. Her voice is full blown femininity incarnate; a dusky, stalwart and soulful instrument that radiates interpretive power yet remains touchingly vulnerable. " Read the full article here.
for Send For Me
WALL STREET JOURNAL
"Few singers alive can express the nuances of blues feeling and swing phrasing that course through American songs as correctly and gracefully as can Ms. Russell, or with as much expressive range." Review here.
"But for all the charm and whimsy provided here, the highlight may well be 'Make It Last,' debuted by Betty Carter in 1958." Read the complete review here.
NEW YORK CITY JAZZ RECORD
"In all of them she is firmly anchored, committed to her choices and delivers them with conviction." Read the complete review in the February 2022 issue of The New York City Jazz Record here.
"Russell’s ability to captivate an audience is a well-honed craft." Read the interview here.
DON JAY SMITH
HOT HOUSE JAZZ MAGAZINE
"Everything I do has to swing. It's like medicine to me." Read the cover story in the February 2022 issue of Hot House Jazz Magazine here.
NEW YORK SUN
"She’s not only my favorite living blues artist but one of my top two or three jazz artists as well, constantly demonstrating the interconnectivity of those two musics, both to each other and to the larger world of social dancing." Read the review here.
"Russell swings as easily as an eagle gliding effortlessly in a crystal blue sky." Read the review here.
LONDON JAZZ NEWS
"It's an album brimming with fine soloists, swinging arrangements and sublime vocals.." Read the review here.
"If you’re a fan of the Great American Songbook, but have grown weary of the warhorses, Send For Me is a treat." Read the review here.
C. MICHAEL BAILEY
ALL ABOUT JAZZ
"Russell continues to create living considerations of her repertoire that compel and delight." Read the article here.
BEBOP SPOKEN HERE
"All the tracks are peppered with solos as hot as hot can be.." Read the review here.
WOMAN AROUND TOWN
"Catherine Russell is refined and no-nonsense, yet unpretentious; stage authority is like cream rising to the top, vibrancy intrinsic, truth to origins ever present." Read the concert review here.
DEE DEE MCNEIL
"Catherine Russell sure loves to swing. You can clearly hear her joy throughout this production.." Read the complete review here.
"Catherine Russell is at her vocal and artistic peak on this album and is well deserving of all the accolades." Read the review here.
"Catherine Russell has an easy to please delivery to her voice." Read the review here.
NEW YORK CITY JAZZ RECORD
Read the concert review in the June 2022 issue of The New York City Jazz Record here.
"..we discover a demanding professional putting all her trade at the service of emotion and the accuracy of the interpretation.." Read the complete review in French in the June 2022 issue of Jazz Magazine.
"Russell knows this music intimately.." Read the review in the June 2022 issue of Relix Magazine.
THE ABSOLUTE SOUND
"The record spotlights the sassy vocals that have put Russell on the call sheet of such A-list acts as David Bowie, Paul Simon, Wynton Marsalis, and Donald Fagen.." Read the complete review in the May/June issue of The Absolute Sound Magazine and online here.
"..Russell’s flawless voice makes an indelible impression." Read the complete review here.
"Some things are a given. Tomorrow the sun will come up. Wheels are round. Apples crunch. And Catherine Russell delivers." Read the complete review of Russell's concert at Dizzy's here.
KEN FRANCKLING'S JAZZ NOTES
Listed as one of Ken's favorite 2022 vocal recordings here.
"Singer Catherine Russell is one of the best voices in the world, whether she is backing up international acts like Steely Dan or touring with her small band." Read the full feature story here.
THE NEW YORK TIMES
"Lately The New York Times has asked jazz musicians, writers and scholars to share the favorites that would make a friend fall in love with Duke Ellington, Alice Coltrane, bebop and Ornette Coleman.." Read the jazz vocalist spotlight, featuring Catherine Russell, here.
"Russell is the most complete jazz vocalist of her generation." Read the Best of 2022 list here.
#3 of vocal releases on the 17th Annual Francis Davis Jazz Poll.
for Alone Together
"Iconic vocalist Catherine Russell has shared a never-before-heard studio track from 2007." Read the full feature here.
JazzTimes is honored to premiere a previously unreleased track by singer Catherine Russell, “You Reap Just What You Sow.” The song, written and first performed by the great Alberta Hunter (1895-1984), will be officially released tomorrow (June 12) on all digital platforms, in association with Dot Time Records and Symphonic Distribution. All proceeds from streaming and downloads will be donated to the Jazz Foundation of America’s COVID-19 Musicians’ Emergency Fund, which supports musicians affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Read the full premiere here.
BOSTON CONCERT REVIEWS
"The music breathes carefree and flowing as Russell commands the stage with her striking vocal charisma partnered with her band’s glittering swagger and swing." Read the full review here.
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
"Few singers alive can express the nuances of blues feeling and swing phrasing that course through American songs as correctly and gracefully as can Ms. Russell, or with as much expressive range." Read the review here.
RECORD COLLECTOR MAGAZINE
Catherine Russell Alone Together (⭐⭐⭐) Read the full review here.
Track by Track: Catherine Russell, Alone Together - Check out full feature piece here.
"Catherine Russell is one of the truly wonderful jazz singers of our time." Read the full review here.
"The formidable, highly entertaining Ms. Russell is indeed up there with the tip-top commanding jazz singers of today." Read the full review here.
BEST OF 2019
"No artist has the musicologist knack for capturing the best music of the twenties through the fifties and make it sound so vital and so true to its origins. It would be difficult to find a singer of Russell’s caliber in terms of range, versatility, emotion, and unerring phrasing. She’s a master at what she loves – blues-infused jazz tunes."
ART DISTRICT RADIO
“Gives the music of Louis Armstrong a new and eternal youth, as a tribute to Catherine’s father Luis who was the musical director of Satchmo.” Listen to Catherine’s interview here.
New Music Monday: Check out the track premiere for "Is You Is or Is You Ain't My Baby" here.
"Game for blues, ballads, or brashness, Catherine Russell is at the top of her game." Read the full review here.
"The current queen of jazz vocalists, Catherine Russell.." Read the review here.