Renaissance Woman Ranee Lee's
Deep Song: A Tribute to Billie Holiday
to be Re-Released on Justin Time Records
with Two Bonus Tracks - Available August 14
Deep Song: A Tribute to Billie Holiday
Release Date· August 14, 2012
DL Media· (610) 667 - 0501
Maureen McFadden firstname.lastname@example.org
"Lee isn't afraid musically of plumbing the deep blue moods
Holiday could never really escape."
-Peter Goddard, The Toronto Star
Streaming Tracks From Deep Song
Ranee Lee is a true Renaissance woman. In addition
to a career as a jazz singer that has taken her to stages in front of her fans around
the globe, Lee is also a songwriter, award-winning actress, children's book author,
and jazz educator. Despite that resume, Lee actually got her start as a dancer.
In an interview with Peter Kerr of The Montrealer, she said, "I was
dancing with an Afro-Cuban touring dance troupe. We were in a small town in Ontario,
and had to extend the length of our performance to fill the time allotted for the
show. I was chosen to sing some songs with the band to fill that time, and the audience
In the '60's Lee worked as a singer in Toronto while also taking up the drums and
saxophone to make herself more marketable. She eventually moved to Montreal and
got her on-stage big-break portraying Billie Holiday in Lady Day at
Emerson's Bar and Grill. Lee won a Dora Mavo Moore Award for her portrayal
of the jazz legend, and thus the recording of Deep Song soon followed;
"the mystique that is Billie Holiday is akin to the free spirit of a summer breeze
blowing in many directions, sometimes disturbing, often refreshing, always beguiling.
The allure of her music washes over you and touches your soul, " reflects Lee.
Deep Song is Ranee Lee's tour de force-bringing the singer to the
attention of jazz fans and concert producers worldwide for the first time. Originally
released in 1989, the album has been beautifully re-mastered, and is now re-issued
with two bonus tracks, "Fine and Mellow" and "Ill Wind". Lee is celebrating 40 years
in Montreal, where she has become one of Canada's most popular jazz vocalists.
An extraordinary and captivating performer whether on the stage or on the bandstand,
Lee's sensuous melodic interpretations are complemented by her notable musician
friends, including: pianist Oliver Jones, guitarist Richard Ring, drummer Archie
Alleyne, and saxophonist/flautist Richard Beaudet. In addition, Lee is joined by
Milt Hinton, Billie Holiday's own bassist. Hinton writes in the liner notes, "ardent
fans of Billie and listeners of all generations will enjoy the unique talent of
Ranee Lee on Deep Song. It is a radiant listening experience." The
album confirms Ranee Lee as truly among the elite in jazz today.
Deep Song is comprised of jazz standards made famous by Lady Day,
such as: "Easy Living" and "Strange Fruit", (the latter, a Holiday signature protest
song against racism), as well as songs Holiday had a hand in writing and have since
become classics, including: "God Bless the Child", "Don't Explain", and "Fine and
Mellow". The album opens with Buddy Johnson's melancholy "I Wonder Where Our Love
Has Gone" before transitioning to the jaunty step of "When a Woman Loves a Man"
and continuing to cover the breadth of Holiday's landmark career. Throughout, the
power and sensuality of Ranee Lee's perfectly articulated melody lines deftly honor
Preserving Lady Day's essence while delivering an experience unique to Lee, All
Music Guide's Scott Yanow said of Deep Song that, "Lee manages to
recapture Holiday's spirit without resorting to mimicry. This tasteful effort has
among its highlights 'When a Woman Loves a Man, ' 'Crazy He Calls Me, ' 'Easy Living,
' and 'Them There Eyes.' Recommended." Notable Washington City Paper writer Joel
E. Siegel, who also won a shared 1993 GRAMMY® Award for "Best Album Notes" on a
Billie Holiday box set, has an ear for Lee's sound-"Brooklyn-born, Montréal based
Ranee Lee retains traditional virtues that most contemporary, jazz-oriented singers,
have abandoned: professionalism, humor, discipline, unpretentiousness."
In addition to the accolades of Deep Song, Lee has made strides in
all of her endeavors in the subsequent decades. She wrote, produced, and performed
in Dark Divas, a musical and double CD release that celebrates several
of the most prominent black female singers of the century, such as Ella Fitzgerald,
Dinah Washington, and Sarah Vaughan; has acted alongside Billy Dee Williams in
"Giant Steps"; hosted the television show "The Performers" on BET
in the U.S. and BRAVO in Canada; and wrote and illustrated the children's book
Nana What Do You Say? Inspired by her song of the same name off of
the 1994 album, I Thought About You. That album was also the first
to be nominated for a Juno Award in the Best Mainstream Jazz Category.
In recognition of her unparalleled musical talent, Lee won the prestigious Juno
Award for Best Jazz Vocal Album of the Year, for 2010's Lives Upstairs,
and continues to accumulate well-revered awards and declarations. She was inducted
into The Order of Canada, the country's highest civilian honor, and was given
the ACTRA Award of Excellence for Lifetime Achievement. In 2010, Lee received
a MECCA nomination for her performance in the Black Theatre Workshop production
of "Swan Song for Maria."
As an educator, Lee has been on the faculty of The Schulich School of Music of
McGill University for nearly 40 years, and has also contributed her expertise
and talents at The University of Laval in Quebec City for nearly a decade.
McGill honored Lee's contribution to the development of their jazz program with
a prestigious award of appreciation in 2007; she also won the International Association
of Jazz Education award in 2004.
Ranee Lee has released ten albums on Justin Time Records, and throughout
her career has performed alongside the likes of: Clark Terry, Terry Clarke, Bill
Mayes, Herbie Ellis, and Red Mitchell. Lee and her quartet will be performing
Deep Song: A Tribute to Billie Holiday at festivals and various venues
beginning in mid June.
Ranee Lee - Deep Song: A Tribute to Billie Holiday
Justin Time Records - Release Date: August 14, 2012
For More Information on Ranee Lee and Justin Time Records, visit:
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