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Midnight Sun 07:45
My Love 05:42


Following “Of Two Minds” 2008 and “Keeper Of The Flame” 2010, “Midnight Sun” is the third release by jazz vocalist Leslie Lewis and the Gerard Hagen Trio (Gerard Hagen piano, Domenic Genova bass, Jerry Kalaf drums) on the Surf Cove Jazz label. Like their previous recordings, “Midnight Sun” features guest artists, in this case trombonist Joey Sellers and tenor saxophonist Chuck Manning. GERARD: “Both Joey and Chuck are willing to jump into any musical situation and they are fearless improvisors. Since Leslie approaches her repertoire with new eyes on every performance, they are perfect collaborators for her.”

One of the aspects of this music is space used in the way Leslie phrases the melodies. GERARD:“Leslie and I played the tunes a few times and as she sang the way she felt them I would notate what she sang. This is how we came up with the treatment for the melodies.” “Midnight Sun” uses 5 bar phrases and “It’s Alright With Me” alternates between meters of 4/4 and 3/4 time. Leslie makes these phrases sound natural, as though this is the way these melodies have always been sung.

At the beginning of 2011 Gerard added Joey and Chuck as guest artists on a monthly job his trio had with Leslie. At each performance they learned more about the sound of the group and eventually Gerard began writing arrangements that featured Leslie with the two horns. These arrangements became the repertoire for “Midnight Sun”. GERARD: “I had always loved the combined sound of tenor sax and trombone. The register of those instruments fits well with Leslie’s voice. Only after we had performed the music live a few times and then recorded it did it dawn on me that Leslie had chosen a repertoire of songs about love in all it’s varied states. I don’t what, if anything, that means!”
The repertoire covers the American song book from George Gershwin and Cole Porter to Burt Bacharach and Paul McCartney, all with Leslie’s trademark swinging rhythm and colorful voice.


released February 29, 2012

Midnight Sun
Leslie Lewis w/ Gerard Hagen Trio
Guest Artists Chuck Manning & Joey Sellers
Leslie Lewis, Vocals
Gerard Hagen, piano
Domenic Genova, bass
Jerry Kalaf, drums
Chuck manning, Tenor Saxophone
Joey Sellers, Trombone

Produced by Gerard Hagen
All Arrangements by Gerard Hagen.
Recorded by Talley Sherwood at Tritone Studio, Glendale, CA.
May-June 2011
Mixed and Mastered by Jerry Kalaf at Studio J, Los Angeles, CA
June-July 2011
Art Direction by Keith Taylor at Custom Taylored Studios
Front Cover Photography by Andrejs Pidjass
Inside Photography by Dr. David King
Back Cover Photography by Dieu Phan


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Leslie Lewis & Gerard Hagen Paris, France

Paris based American jazz musicians Leslie Lewis (voice) and Gerard Hagen (piano/arranger) perform in duo, quartet & sextet. Using arrangements that create a unique backdrop for Leslie who is a consummate storyteller, they engage their audiences with a dynamic combination of Jazz and R&B that communicates passion, beauty, honesty and humour. ... more

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