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Vocalist Pierre L. Chambers' Debut SHINING MOMENTS

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    Posted: 12 Mar 2023 at 11:40pm






Coming March 17, 2023 on Dash-Hoffman Records  


PIERRE L. CHAMBERS - Shining Moments cover



Although vocalist and poet PIERRE L. CHAMBERS began performing nearly 40 years ago, he has never recorded a solo album. He had been thinking about recording an album, and an encounter with vocalist and producer Cathy Segal-Garcia at a performance was the spark he needed to set the project in motion. Chambers’ debut album, SHINING MOMENTS, is a collection of modern jazz classics in a range of styles, interspersed with a couple of his poems recited to improvised music. Whether singing a ballad or a bebop or swing tune, or reciting his poetry, Chambers’ warm baritone voice renders a song with heartfelt honesty.


Chambers was born in New York, raised in Detroit and has lived in Los Angeles for the past 25 years. His love of jazz is in his DNA. His father, bassist Paul Chambers, was one of the most iconic jazz musicians of the 20th century, but it was his mother, Annie Chambers, who instilled in him his love of jazz. 


When he was growing up in the 1960s, Detroit was a city filled with music. Not only was it the birthplace of Motown Records, but the city had a vibrant nightlife that supported many legendary jazz musicians like Hank, Thad, and Elvin Jones, Barry Harris, Gerald Wilson, Milt Jackson, Yusef Lateef, and many more. Chambers relates, “My mother had an eclectic musical taste. Every day, she would play all types of music for me, my brother and sister. You could hear jazz, blues, rock, soul, classical, Latin, and even Indian music coming from her room on any given day, depending on her mood. She taught me not just how to listen to music but how to really hear music. When I was 13, I was the only kid on my block that could scat to Miles Davis’ ‘Sketches of Spain.’” Chambers played saxophone and clarinet in his high school concert band and sang in church choirs and small groups. Chambers also began writing poetry at the age of 12 as an outlet for his feelings. 


Chambers moved to New Jersey in 1982 where he met Lance Hayward, a Bermudian jazz pianist. He became a member of The Lance Hayward Singers, a 24-voice jazz vocal ensemble that sang classical, show tunes, standards, and jazz numbers. He sang with the group from 1985 to 1993, performing around New York City. In 1991, Chambers also began singing with The Family Tree Singers. The group’s leader Bill Lee, father of Spike Lee, and the Family Tree Singers sang all the music from Spike Lee’s first four movies.


Chambers moved to Los Angeles in 1996 and started performing solo shows with Dolores Peterson, a music promoter in Los Angeles. At Peterson’s suggestion, he met Lisa Herbert and Mitch Ellis, and together they formed Chambers, Herbert & Ellis, a vocal trio that sang the music of Lambert, Hendricks and Ross. The group had a residency for a year at the Gardenia Lounge in Hollywood.


Producer Segal-Garcia is well acquainted with many of the jazz musicians in Southern California and brought on board musicians who would be a perfect fit for Chambers’ style, including KAREN HAMMACK (piano), HENRY FRANKLIN (bass), CLAYTON CAMERON (drums), JEFF KAYE (flugelhorns), and DORI AMARILIO (guitar). Segal-Garcia provides background vocals on one tune, as well. 


SHINING MOMENTS is dedicated to Chambers' father and mother, Paul and Annie, and the influence they had on his artistry. He performs a Bossa version of “Dear Ann,” which his father composed, and for which Chambers wrote the lyrics. Chambers also wrote a poem dedicated to his father. “My Father,” a spoken word piece accompanied only by Franklin’s bass, contains deeply personal lyrics:


“I used to stare at his bass / leaning in the corner of the bedroom / at the foot of the bed between the bed and dresser / where my big brother placed it for safe keeping. / It watched us sleep at night. / Stood guard over any danger that might walk up the back stairs / of my grandmother’s house wanting to do us harm. / We felt safe with it leaning there.”


Chambers also dedicates a poem to his beloved mother, Annie, called “This Mother”:

“This mother vowed never to let / one of her children fight for this country / that had destroyed so many black men. / She felt the pain of being a black mother / raising black children. / She did her best / with what she had to give.”


Chambers covers a range of styles on SHINING MOMENTS with his own unique interpretations of standards like “My Favorite Things,” “It’s Only a Paper Moon,” and “Work Song.” Chambers and the band come out swinging on “My Shining Hour” and “The Way You Look Tonight” but switch gears on sensitive ballads like “The Nearness of You” and Neal Hefti’s “Lonely Girl.” Chambers also wanted to pay tribute to Blackness and the African American experience, so he closes the album with a stirring rendition of “Afro Blue,” with haunting background vocals by Segal-Garcia. 


Chambers has a resonant, soulful voice that cuts right to the emotional center of a song. His emotive renditions of classic jazz tunes reveal an artist who is not only well-versed in the language of jazz but a poet who is sensitive to the affective nuances of language. A pamphlet with three of his poems accompanies the CD package. 


SHINING MOMENTS is an auspicious debut for an artist who has been flying under the radar for far too long.


# # #


SHINING MOMENTS will be released on March 17, 2023 and will be available everywhere.







Edited by snobb - 12 Mar 2023 at 11:43pm
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