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New album from vocalist Deb Bowman

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    Posted: 31 Jul 2019 at 7:48pm

A singer, actor, composer, and cabaret artist, DEB BOWMAN's multi-faceted talents shine through on her newest album, FAST HEART. The project comprises a mix of jazz standards and four original tunes penned by Bowman. This is Bowman's second album as a leader. It follows her 2011 release Addicted to Love Songs.
Bowman was raised in Alabama and grew up singing Gospel in church. She began singing at the age of five and studied piano starting at age eight. By the time she was 12, she was an accomplished singer and was offered a recording contract in the Christian music industry, but her parents wanted her to enjoy childhood and turned down the offer. She went on to study music and drama in high school, and then went to the University of Alabama where she studied Classical Theatre and Dance.
Bowman moved to New York City to pursue her acting and singing career. She performed in theater productions and found work in television, films, and commercials. Although she was working steadily, she's a creative, free spirit and felt confined just reading lines others had written and singing in keys that weren't optimal for her vocal range, so she began creating her own unique cabaret shows incorporating jazz, song, story, and schtick. She performed around the city and spent time at sea traveling to over 60 countries on cruise ships, where her shows were a popular feature.
After spending 13 years in New York, her beloved sister, Patti, died of ovarian cancer. Bowman was with her sister through the brutal 18-month battle and was devastated by her loss. She had been working on the hit TV show Ugly Betty, which had just wrapped, so she gave up the lease on her apartment (which most New Yorkers will say you only do under great duress) and headed out for a long stint on a world cruise as a guest entertainer. She felt that she needed a change and couldn't imagine bearing another New York winter.
A friend invited her down to Atlanta, and she liked it enough to make it her new home. It was closer to her family in Alabama, there was TV and film production, theater, and a solid jazz scene -- all the elements she needed to start a new life.
FAST HEART is a tribute to Patti. Bowman is releasing the album in concert on the 10th anniversary of her passing at Birdland in New York City on September 22nd. Patti loved butterflies, and from the teal butterfly on the cover (a symbol of ovarian cancer awareness) to references in several songs, the album is replete with butterfly allusions. Bowman will also be donating a portion of the revenue to Ovarian Cancer Research.
Bowman was thrilled that FAST HEART was the last project recorded at the storied Power Station recording studio in New York City. The studio, which opened in 1977 and where artists like Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Madonna, David Bowie and the cast of "Hamilton" have recorded, will be renovated and rebranded.  
Bowman and producer ARNOLD STRICKLAND brought on board pianist ERIC LEWIS, popularly known as ELEW. Lewis, who found crossover success creating the genre "rock jazz," is known for his unconventional style, which eschews a piano bench and makes frequent use of plucked strings, a style featured on the title song "Fast Heart." Also joining Bowman are the Grammy winning, virtuoso drummer STEVEN WOLF aka "WOLF," Hammond B3 player "Organ Monk" GREG LEWIS, who was named one of top 5 Rising Stars on organ on DownBeat's 66th Annual Critics' Poll, MATTHEW GARRISON, the son of the late Jimmy Garrison and a stellar bassist in his own right, award-winning trumpeter KENYATTA BEASLEY, who has recorded and performed with many internationally renowned artists, and violinist MARLA FEENEY, who performs with a number of orchestras and bands in the Atlanta area.
Bowman has a rich, warm voice that was shaped by her earliest performances as a Gospel singer. Many of the standards included on the album have clear references to butterflies, like Thelonious Monk's "Pannonica," with lyrics by Jon Hendricks that uses the refrain "Pannonica my butterfly," and, of course, Herbie Hancock's "Butterfly" with the touching lyrics "Soaring winds... rainbow waves / Touch my mind... be so kind / When you're gone... people cry Butterfly." Bowman often sings in French and performs a wistful piano duo version of Edit Piaf's "La Vie en Rose." She and ELEW add some funk to "Moody's Mood for Love," and, as a shout-out to her friends and fans in Georgia, she does a rousing version of "Georgia on My Mind," featuring Lewis on the Hammond B3.
This CD is also the debut for Bowman's original compositions. She opens the album with a soulful "Willow in the Wind," a song about yearning for love and seeking refuge for a restless soul."I feel like a willow in the wind / Won't you come and take me by the hand / Where there is no pain / Somewhere far away." She also contributes a pop-edged "Where Can We Go," which she co-wrote with writing partner, Janet Powell; "Fast Heart," the title tune about how her heart beats fast when she's around the person she loves; and the closing number, "Shelter Me from The Storm," in which Bowman gets down and returns to her Gospel roots, featuring JW Inspirational Voices of Harlem and the Hammond B3 Organ.
Deb Bowman has a fluid and flexible voice. She is adept at a number of different musical styles, while her acting background clearly informs her approach to lyrics. FAST HEART is a beautiful and loving tribute to her late sister Patti.
If you are in the NY area -- You are Invited to a Special Listening Event of FAST HEART:
Tuesday, July 30th, 6-8pm 
World of McIntosh 
214 Lafayette St.

New York, NY 10012

NYC CD Release Performance at Birdland, Sunday, September 22nd:
FAST HEART will be available in stores and online everywhere on August 29, 2019.

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