LALAH HATHAWAY MAKES HER HOLLYWOOD BOWL DEBUT; VOCALIST LIZZ WRIGHT OPENS THE SHOW
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 2, 2006, AT 8 PM
Media support provided by KKJZ
The Reverend Al Green, known the world over for his extraordinary voice, unmistakable sound, and legendary hits, brings his unrivalled style and spirit to the Hollywood Bowl on Wednesday, August 2 at 8 p.m. The evening begins with the soulful, elegant voice of Lalah Hathaway, and the fresh, sultry sound of Lizz Wright, equally impressive and inspiring.
With the new Blue Note Records release Everything's OK, Al Green comes to an exciting new chapter in his artistry. Strong in voice and in spirit, the Rock & Roll Hall of Famer sings a dozen songs that reveal his renewed passion for the kind of music that made him a household name some 30 years ago. It was in the early 1970s that Green carved his place in music history with a run of celebrated hits that made him not just an R&B star but a pop icon. Since 1976, however, Green has concentrated on gospel and since 1979 has led his Baptist congregation, the Full Gospel Tabernacle, in Memphis, Tenn. For Everything's OK, Green embraces both worlds by releasing a "secular" album that draws on classic R&B and pop, and speaks of love relationships and life lessons. Green once again teamed up with producer and arranger Willie Mitchell at Mitchell's Royal Recording Studios, the same studio where the two recorded those early classics including "Tired of Being Alone," "Let's Stay Together," "I Can't Get Next to You," "I'm Still in Love With You," "Call Me," "Here I Am," "Let's Get Married" and "Love and Happiness." Nearly 30 years later, Everything's OK returns to and updates the signature sound that Green and Mitchell pioneered, a sensuous groove layered with strings and horns that showcases Green's remarkable voice. With this album, Green is coming full circle, embracing his world inside and outside the church.
Vocalist Lalah Hathaway is the older daughter of classic soul music artist Donny and classically trained vocalist Eulaulah. Throughout her career, Hathaway has worked alongside some of the finest artists of her time. In 1992, she recorded a single with the late, great saxophonist Grover Washington Jr. titled "Love Like This" (from his album, No Exit). In 1999, she recorded a critically acclaimed album for Verve Records with jazz pianist Joe Sample, The Song Lives On, highlighted by what is now her signature song, "When Your Life Was Low." Her credits also include collaborations with Marcus Miller, Meshell Ndegéocello, Art Porter, David Sanborn, Mary J. Blige, Take 6, Gerald Albright, The Winans, Pete Escovedo, Wayman Tisdale and Hiram Bullock. She has performed live with Dizzy Gillespie and Stevie Wonder, and opened shows for Maze and Herbie Hancock. Hathaway's most recent endeavor, Outrun the Sky is her third album as a solo artist, and her first in ten years. It is her most revealing work to date - one that encompasses more of her own compositions than ever before.
With her latest album, Dreaming Wide Awake, Lizz Wright embraces the ever evolving history of jazz, gospel, rhythm-and-blues and the singer-songwriter tradition. It is a record where Lizz Wright's voice and vision seamlessly marry songs once performed by Neil Young, Fats Waller, The Beatles, Madonna and Herb Alpert's Tijuana Brass to self-penned originals and her collaborations with some of today's most gifted songwriters to create one of the most strikingly original albums of the year. Wright chose to work with Craig Street, a producer famous for his work with a broad palette of singers (Cassandra Wilson, k.d. lang, Meshell Ndegéocello) to shape an incredibly personal record. Indeed, Dreaming Wide Awake seems a wholly appropriate title for an artist's continued awakening to the many facets which make her a singular talent.
Upcoming Jazz at the Bowl performances include Herbie Hancock and Christian McBride on August 9; the re-united Original Meters, The Neville Brothers, and the Brass Monkey Brass Band on August 16; Dizzy Gillespie's All Star Big Band with special guest James Moody, Kenton Orchestra 2006: Artistry In Rhythm with drummer Peter Erskine, and the Gerald Wilson Orchestra on August 23; George Benson, Al Jarreau and Raul Midon on August 30; and James Brown plus Angie Stone on September 6.
AL GREEN started singing professionally at age 9, when he and his brothers formed a gospel quartet, the Greene Brothers, in their hometown of Forest City, Arkansas. (Green dropped the final "e" from his surname when he went solo.) They toured the gospel circuits in the South, and then began performing around Michigan when the family relocated to Grand Rapids. At 16, Green formed a pop group, Al Greene and the Creations, with high school friends, and they released a single, "Back Up Train," in 1967 (under the new name Al Greene and the Soul Mates) that went to #5 on the national R&B chart. Green and Willie Mitchell's historic meeting took place in 1969, soon after Green decided to go solo. Mitchell-by then a renowned bandleader, arranger and trumpeter-hired the young singer to front his band for a gig in Midland, Texas, and hearing something special, approached Green after the show. Green signed to Mitchell's Hi Records label and began recording at Royal Recording Studios, with Mitchell arranging, producing and engineering the sessions himself. Mitchell also coached Green, pushing him to find his own, unique voice. Indeed, Green and Mitchell collaborated to shape a sound that defines its own place in pop and R&B music. They recorded eight albums that sold over 20 million copies worldwide, working together until 1976. Their renewed partnership inspired the title of their most recent collaboration, Everything's OK.
LALAH HATHAWAY was born in Chicago, Illinois, into a family for whom music was their first language. As raised by the great Donny Hathaway and vocalist Eulaulah, Lalah and her younger sister Kenya were baptized in pan-cultural artistic expressions of the highest order. Lalah attended Chicago's Performing Arts High School then graduated to the famed Berklee School of Music in Boston. She was soon snatched up by Virgin Records and, upon strong urging from the record company, relocated to Los Angeles following the 1990 release of her eponymous debut album. Four singles were released, including her #3 R&B charting summer smash "Heaven Knows," plus Quiet Storm covers of Brenda Russell's "It's Somethin'" and Gary Taylor's "I'm Coming Back." Lalah's sophomore album, A Moment, followed four years later in 1994. Though fewer people heard it, the now out-of-print collector's item featured the single "Let Me Love You" and five songs that Lalah wrote, including the fan favorite "So They Say." Lalah Hathaway has consistently proven over the course of her career that she is a multi-faceted artist who understands her gift. Her talent and ability to use the hues and colors of her vocal palette to paint new worlds deepens the emotional bond that exists between her and the listener.
LIZZ WRIGHT, a middle child of a minister from rural Georgia, took the music world by storm in 2003 with breakout performances at Billie Holiday tributes in Chicago and Los Angeles and with her debut album Salt (Verve), where her rich gospel-trained contralto soared amidst a soulful R&B-meets-jazz setting. Wright's evolving sound and skills as a songwriter were marked by her move to the re-launched Verve Forecast label, an imprint focused on great music outside the jazz genre and original home to such seminal singer-songwriters as Laura Nyro, Tim Hardin, and Richie Havens. Wright's latest release, Dreaming Wide Awake, features twelve songs ranging from Wright's self-penned title track, to The Youngbloods' Summer of Love anthem "Get Together," from her co-writes "Hit the Ground" and "Trouble," to the 1960's pop smash "A Taste of Honey," and from originals by Marc Anthony Thompson (a.k.a. "Chocolate Genius") to Neil Young's generation spanning classic "Old Man." Dreaming Wide Awake opens with acoustic guitar and understated hand drums on "A Taste of Honey," giving the sixties pop staple gets a stripped-down swamp-blues treatment, recasting it miles away from its confectionary origins. The gentle standard "I'm Confessin'" reveals a vulnerable side to Wright not previously seen; the nursery sing-along "Wake Up, Little Sparrow" becomes a cautionary lullaby, while "Get Together" and "Old Man" are reaffirmed as being as a relevant today as they were in generations past.
One of the largest natural amphitheaters in the world, with a seating capacity of nearly 18,000, the HOLLYWOOD BOWL has been the summer home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic since its official opening in 1922, and in 1991 gave its name to the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, a resident ensemble that has filled a special niche in the musical life of Southern California. The 2004 season introduced audiences to a revitalized Hollywood Bowl, featuring a newly-constructed shell and stage and the addition of four stadium screens enhancing stage views in the venue. To this day, $1 buys a seat at the top of the Bowl for many of the Los Angeles Philharmonic's concerts. While the Bowl is best known for its sizzling summer nights, during the day California's youngest patrons enjoy "SummerSounds: Music for Kids at the Hollywood Bowl," the Southland's most popular summer arts festival for children, now in its 38th season. Attendance figures over the past several decades have soared: in 1980 the Bowl first topped the half-million mark and close to one million admissions have been recorded. In February 2006, the Hollywood Bowl was named Best Major Outdoor Concert Venue for the second year in a row at the 17th Annual Pollstar Concert Industry Awards; the Bowl's summer music festival has become as much a part of a Southern California summer as beaches and barbecues, the Dodgers, and Disneyland.
EDITORS PLEASE NOTE:
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 2 at 8 PM
HOLLYWOOD BOWL, 2301 N. Highland Ave. in Hollywood
In order of appearance
Media support provided by KKJZ
Tickets ($1 - 81) are on sale now at the Hollywood Bowl Box Office, by calling Ticketmaster at 213.480.3232, at all Ticketmaster outlets (Robinsons May, Tower Records and Ritmo Latino locations), or online at HollywoodBowl.com. Groups of 12 or more may be eligible for a 20% discount, subject to availability; call 323.850.2050 for further details. For general information or to request a brochure, call 323.850.2000.
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Adam Crane, 213.972.3034; Lisa Bellamore, 213.972.3689; For photos: 213.972.3034