Jazz singer Amy McConnell and trumpet player William Sperandei have followed up their JUNO nominated debut album Stealing Genius with an even more arresting offering, Accomplice.

The album is available for pre-order now on iTunes, with four instant grat tracks for immediate download.  The full album will be released on September 30th.

https://itunes.apple.com/album/id1148654702?ls=1&app=itunes

Accomplice sees the pair taking on repertoire from composers of the 60s and 70s like Legrand, Brel, Loewe & Mancini.  McConnell and Sperandei push the stylistic boundaries of jazz by taking these much loved, complex melodies and putting them in a fresh context influenced by the sound of vintage French pop and electronica.  Their groovy takes on favourites like L-O-V-E, Where Do I Begin? and Wild Is Love embrace non-traditional jazz rhythms and instrumentation to dramatic and compelling effect.

Sperandei wrote all the arrangements for the album.  “My vision for this album was to use Amy’s beautiful, pure, expressive voice to present these songs as they were intended to be heard – both melodically and harmonically – by the composers.  And then to place that voice in a jazz/pop soundscape, adding layers and textures to it.  Unexpected endings and beginnings.  Serious groove.  I wanted to make a record that would make people want to dance.”

“I chose songs that I love to sing, of course,” says McConnell.  “But what they all have in common is a certain sophistication of lyric and melody that was still present in popular music in the 60s and 70s.  It’s the exceptional quality and craft they put into the songwriting then that makes them still relevant today. They still speak to people. That’s what makes them timeless.”

“We had a lot of influences for our sound,” Sperandei notes.  “Brad Mehldau, Air, Glenn Gould, Radiohead, Hiatus Kaiyote.”

“People think of jazz as retro now,” Sperandei says, “but jazz music was always a reflection of its’ time.  It’s always been changing and evolving and influenced by different styles of music.  And that’s what we’re doing with Accomplice.  Sonically, we really wanted to create something that brings jazz into the sound of music today.  And that also stands the test of time.”

The CD Release will be at the Jazz Bistro in Toronto on Oct 7 & 8.

Blue Colorphonic Cover TD Jazz 2014

Last year was a big year for vocalist Amy McConnell and trumpeter William Sperandei. The pair reached the top of the Jazz charts across Canada, received rave reviews in the Toronto Star, The Globe & Mail and The Whole Note (to name a few) and ended up with a JUNO nod for Vocal Jazz Album of the Year for their debut album “Stealing Genius.”

The pairing of McConnell’s musical theatre background with Sperandei’s deep roots in jazz and classical trumpet has produced an inspired sound that tells a story both lyrically and musically. Not content to stick to standards, McConnell and Sperandei mine the whole of 20th century music for their repertoire, which ranges from Edith Piaf to Burt Bacharach to Led Zeppelin.

Their rapport on stage is evident, as is their joy in the songs they are performing.  Catch them live while you can!

Date:  Tuesday, June 24th, 2014

Time: Noon to 1PM

Place:  MainStage at Nathan Phillips Square, Toronto

Admission:  Free lunchtime concert!

http://torontojazz.com/artist/amy-mcconnellwilliam-sperandei-quintet

2014-JUNO-NOMINEE-web-button_180x150_update
For Immediate Release
February 4, 2014
AMY MCCONNELL & WILLIAM SPERANDEI
RECEIVE JUNO AWARD NOMINATION
FOR THEIR DEBUT ALBUM “STEALING GENIUS”
Just announced – Amy McConnell and William Sperandei receive a 2014 Juno Award nomination in the Vocal Jazz Album of the Year category for their debut album“Stealing Genuis”.
“We are very excited about the nomination! We would like the thank the Juno Nomination Committee for considering our album for a Juno and we are hopeful for a favourable outcome. Thanks again!”
– William Sperandei
They are extremely excited to be recognized for this album and are looking forward to being a part of this year’s Juno Awards ceremony at the MTS Centre in Winnipeg, MB.
“We are absolutely thrilled to be getting this kind of recognition for ‘Stealing Genius.’ ~This is my first album, so for me it’s kind of surreal. ~We had so many talented people who worked with us on this album – Mark Kieswetter, our music director and piano player, our bassist Ross MacIntyre, our drummer Larnell Lewis, our guitar player Rob Piltch and our amazing producer Doug Romanow – that I felt pretty fortunate already! ~We’ve also had incredible support from the Canadian jazz community and that means so much to us. ~I guess happy and grateful describes how I’m feeling right now. ~And of course, my mind is moving on to the next big question…
What will I wear to the Junos?”
– Amy McConnell
Last year was a big year for McConnell and Sperandei. The pair reached the top of the Jazz charts across Canada, as well as received rave reviews in the Toronto Star, The Globe & Mail and The Whole Note (to name a few).  To top it off, some even predicted this nomination!
“For its jaw-dropping chutzpah~‘Stealing Genius’~deserves a Juno… Sperandei’s playing is lush and well-matched to McConnell voice. Pianist Mark Kieswetter’s arrangements are intuitively right and Douglas Romanow’s production brings a big-money feel”
–Peter Goddard, Toronto Star
“If Amy had been better known in 2012~she would be up for a Juno this season – that’s how good~this debut is.”
– Jaymz Bee, 91.1 Jazz FM
“The trumpet work by Mr. Sperandei is exquisite.
Ms. McConnell has restored my faith in Canadian female vocalists.”
 Barrie Woodey, CHRW 94.9 FM
The album has no limits and the unifying thread is the artists themselves.  It features songs that the duo love that include Edith Piaf, Led Zeppelin, Elvis, some 1950s R&B, the Beatles, as well as some 1930s and 1940s songs that are more traditionally jazz.
When working on the album, the concept was simple.  Choose the best songs.  Then, SERVE THE SONG.  Before they interpreted a song, they asked themselves what it’s about, what’s the best way to express it?  Is there something there that hasn’t been brought out before?  They never changed a tempo or arrangement just to be cool and different.  It had to work with what the song is about.  Amy brings melody & lyrics and William provides harmony and improvisation and it’s all set to Mark Kieswetter’s inspired jazz arrangements.
Old fashioned idea, but it works.
To hear more about the record, watch ‘About their new album STEALING GENIUS with Amy McConnell & William Sperandei’ on Youtube:
Amy McConnell & William Sperandei will appear at the Jazz Bistro, Toronto
March 20/21/22
Both artists are available for interviews.
For more info, contact:
Jane Harbury Publicity • 29 Oxford Street, Toronto, ON M5T 1N8
416 960 1568 • jane@harbury.ca • bward@harbury.ca

http://www.torontosun.com/2013/09/05/singing-in-unison

If you don’t know about the Unison Benevolent Fund for musicians, check out this article in today’s Sun.  JAZZ.FM91 radio personality Jaymz Bee is holding a benefit for the fund at the Palais Royale on Thursday, Sep 12th, featuring a swinging big band featuring Barbra Lica, Pam Hyatt, Don Francks, Sam Broverman, Colin Hunter, Chris Norton and Amy McConnell. A great cause and a great time, come on out!