Recordings

Leslie Lewis with the Gerard Hagen Trio

Keeper Of The Flame

Leslie Lewis with Gerard Hagen Trio

"Keeper Of The Flame" is Leslie Lewis' follow up recording to "Of Two Minds" 2008. It is a vocal jazz recording of (mostly) Brazilian music with a few standards done (again mostly) in a Brazilian style. The music has those things that make it feel like Jazz! Leslie has taken these songs and put her imprint on them with the support of the Gerard Hagen Trio (Gerard Hagen piano, Domenic Genova bass, Jerry Kalaf drums) and guest artist Gary Foster (saxophone/flute). Some of the composers represented are Antonio Carlos Jobim, Richard Rodgers, Mark Levine, Ivan Lins, and Kurt Weill. The music has a rhythmic energy that propels these songs in an engaging and dynamic fashion.
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Midnight Sun

Leslie Lewis with Gerard Hagen Trio

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.
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Of Two Minds

Leslie Lewis with Gerard Hagen Trio

The debut recording for Leslie & Gerard. Made Los Angeles in 2008 and licensed to SSJ Records for release in Japan in 2011.
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"Funky Ella" Band

I Put A Spell On You

Funky Ella

"I Put A Spell On You" is the debut recording of Funky Ella a Paris based sextet lead by American jazz musicians Leslie Lewis (voice) and Gerard Hagen (piano/arranger). Along with four in-demand musicians from the Parisian scene - Peter Giron (contrebasse) Nicolas Peslier (guitar) Mourad Benhammou (batterie) and Jean-Philippe Naeder (percussion) - they perform music that is steeped in jazz and R&B but is all about the groove.
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Leslie Lewis Gerard Hagen Duo

Leslie Lewis & Gerard Hagen In New York

Leslie Lewis & Gerard Hagen Duo

In November of 2011 Leslie and Gerard were in New York City to perform and give a masterclass at the Lehman College Jazz Festival. An opportunity to record arose and they decided to make a duo recording of voice and piano. Leslie wanted to sing some of the songs that as a young girl had attracted her to jazz. She also had some favorite songs that were recorded by Nancy Wilson and Cleo Laine, two singers she loved to listen to at a young age. They spent two afternoons in the studio and came away with nine tracks. The sessions were pretty relaxed since they both had spent quite of bit of time performing together and had a pretty good idea of what to expect musically from one another. The music reflects a comfort level that allows for songs to unfold on their own time and never feel hurried.

Once they returned home to California there were other recording projects to be released, other performances to do and also a move from California to Paris that required much time and energy so it has taken until now for this recording to get it’s day in the sun.

Leslie and Gerard are very happy to have had the opportunity to document their musical partnership. Their duo forms a musical core which they often expand with their favorite musicians.
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Leslie Lewis Solo Tracks