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  • 1Black Nile04:01
  • 2Naima04:53
  • 3Tenderly05:33
  • 4Lela05:58
  • 5Coralie04:35
  • 6There at the Turnpike05:16
  • 7Basin Street Blues03:19
  • 8Para Ti04:37
  • 9I'm Gonna Leave You03:55
  • 10Lascia Ch'io Pianga04:46
  • Total Runtime46:53

Info zu Lela

Celebrated jazz singer Alice Zawadzki and pianist Dan Whieldon have a powerful musical affinity which is palpable throughout this album. Alice describes their connection as “some kind of telepathy”, a synchronicity which brings stunning musical results.

This collection of songs pay tribute to the styles which have influenced these outstanding musicians. Jazz is at the heart of the disc, but there are nods to classical and continental folk styles as well. The prevailing mood is one of serenity or, in Alice’s words, “heartfelt simplicity”, accentuated by the creation of a spacious sonority combined with the luminosity of Dan Whieldon’s piano playing. Alice has said that she wishes “that anyone listening to our music will be able to take a moment out of their busy life to breathe, and to ebb and flow with us.”

Regularly featured on BBC Radios 2 and 3, Alice Zawadzki has garnered critical acclaim for her versatile and distinctive voice. Both she and Dan Whieldon are classically trained, and have worked with an array of jazz stars, building up an impressive reputation on the international jazz scene. Together they have performed at events from the Manchester International Festival to the Taipei International Jazz Festival.

This album invites listeners to share the musical intimacy of this exceptional creative partnership. As Alice says: “Some of the first songs I ever learned are on here, and it feels like going home.”

Beguiling, unorthodox tunes and pure vocals” (The Independent)

“Whieldon is particularly imaginative… a dazzling contribution” (Jazz UK)

Alice Zawadzki, vocals
Dan Whieldon, piano

Recorded in March 2013 Mixed and mastered by Thomas Vingtrinier at Sequenza studio, Paris

Alice Zawadzki
is a vocalist, violinist, songwriter and composer based in London. Her work as a performer, collaborator, composer and speaker, has seen her gain considerable repute as “a genuine original” (The Guardian), and a distinctive and individual presence on the creative European music scene.

Anglo-Polish Alice’s rich musical background and “whimsical hyper-creativity” (MOJO Magazine) converge into artistry which draws upon her early exposure to New Orleans jazz and gospel with the legendary Lillian Boutté who took a teenage Alice under her wing, an extensive classical training as a violinist, and a continuous exploration of improvisation, poetry, and folk music from diverse traditions, “all propelled in a voice of velvet suppleness and gutsy emotional power” (The Arts Desk). She performs extensively as both a soloist and as a collaborator, with headline performances at the major UK alternative and jazz venues and festivals, including the Royal Albert Hall, Ronnie Scott’s, the London Jazz Festival, the Vortex, Celtic Connections, and internationally at festivals from Taipei International Jazz Festival (Taiwan) to Coventry Calling (Massachusetts, USA) to Sűdtirol Jazz Festival (Italy), and more. She also performs and collaborates at underground venues in the London scene and on unexpected platforms, with a keenness to nourish music at its roots, and to support inclusive community-wide music making.

She released her debut solo album China Lane (Whirlwind Recordings) in 2014, a collection of original songs and arrangements infused with modern, ancient and invented folklore, and featuring some of Europe’s most celebrated musicians and improvisers. China Lane was met with widespread critical acclaim, being made Album of the Week by BBC Radio 3, and making the The Guardian’s Best Albums End of Year List, described as “beguiling, unorthodox and pure” by The Independent, and “a real force to be reckoned with” by Jamie Cullum, who invited Alice and her band to perform live on BBC Radio 2 at Maida Vale. The success of China Lane also led to her nomination for British Vocalist of the Year by both Jazz FM and the Parliamentary Jazz Awards in 2015, and she was selected to take part in Take Five, the professional development programme run by international music producers, Serious Ltd, sponsored by the Performing Rights Society and Arts Council England.

Her striking ability to perform across and transcend genres whilst retaining her own expressive and intelligent musical style gives her a unique accessibility, and her distinctive voice can be heard on numerous film and television scores, including Disney’s major motion picture African Cats, written by Nicholas Hooper, Charlie Brooker’s Black Mirror (BBC). She also performs live as vocal soloist with the Prague Philharmonic for George Fenton’s Planet Earth Live in Concert, and as the vocal and fiddle soloist in James Horner’s iconic score of the film Titanic, performed live internationally with the Kansai Philharmonic, Osaka Symphony, Tokyo Philharmonic, Moscow City Symphony Orchestra, and the St Petersburg State Symphony Orchestra.

As an in-demand interpreter of new and unusual works, Alice has had the privilege to premiere several new large-scale pieces, including Daniel Cohens Reciprocity at the Ottawa Chamber Music Festival, Alex Roth’s Arvoles Lloran Por Luvia at Battersea Music Hall, Alya Al-Sultani’s Two Sisters: An Arabic Opera at the Ahbab Festival in Cambridge, as well as performing exciting virtuosic works for the voice including Louis Andriessen’s M is for Man, Music and Mozart, with Sinfonia Viva.

She has performed on acclaimed albums for labels including Whirlwind Recordings (China Lane), Babel (What Do You See When You Close Your Eyes? – The Moss Project), Chaos (Impossible Things – Corrie Dick), Odradek (Lela – Dan Whieldon), Boombetter Records (Lifecycles – Engines Orchestra), and Ubiquity Records (The Myth of the Golden Ratio – United Vibrations), and has enjoyed regular radio play from BBC Radio 2, BBC Radio 3, Jazz FM, and Resonance FM, including live session features for BBC Radio 2 and at Jazz FM with her solo project, and as a speaker on vocal practices for programmes on BBC Radio 3.

She trained in jazz singing and composition and gained an MA at the Royal Academy of Music, with a scholarship from the Musicians Benevolent Fund, after completing undergraduate studies in classical violin at the Royal Northern College of Music, where she also won the Hilda Collens Prize and the Cove Park Emerging Artists Residency, supported by the Jerwood Foundation and the Scottish Arts Council.

Alice has held several higher education posts as a teacher, and delivered vocal and improvisation programs for the RNCM, Salford University, the University of Kent, and the Engines Orchestra. She has worked extensively for Live Music Now, a charity which takes live music into places where it is hard to access, including special needs schools, hospitals, care homes and prisons, and is currently a core member of Play For Progress, an organization who provide music workshops and friendship to unaccompanied teenagers who have or are seeking refugee status in the UK.

Dan Whieldon
is a Jazz pianist originally from Burton-on-Trent. He started as a child playing by ear, working out songs and hymns on the piano. (He always loved chords from a young age)

He played piano and clarinet and got more and more involved in music at his local school de Ferrers, playing in several bands and projects there.

Dan decided to study music, so he went to Birmingham Conservatoire where he studied classical piano and discovered some of his favourite composers such as Rachmaninov, Debussy, Chopin, Brahms etc. all of which featured in his final recital.

Whilst there, he discovered Jazz and got more and more into that (and maybe spent less time on his Rachmaninov preludes than he should have…) One of the first CDs he heard was Michel Petrucciani with Eddy Louiss and he was blown away by this new language. As his Jazz collection began to grow, he started to play more regularly.

Studying in Brussels followed and this was a turning point for Dan as he became hooked on the ‘European’ Jazz sound. Diederik Wissels and Nathalie Loriers his two teachers there were a big influence on him. Belgian beers were also an important discovery.

After gaining his Masters in Brussels, Dan then moved to Manchester with Rosa, now his wife, as she got a job as clarinettist in the Halle orchestra.

He now enjoys playing with several national and international players on their visits to the North West, which have included amongst others: Steve Waterman, Alan Barnes, Tina May, Jiggs Whigham, Art Themen and Dan Shout. He is a regular at most Jazz festivals in the North West and enjoys playing abroad whenever possible (Taiwan, Belgium, Spain amongst others) Dan’s regular groups include the Mike Hall Quartet, Dan Whiedon/Alice Zawadzki duo, Dan Whieldon trio and the Glossop Gershwin project.

His first 2 cds Live at Zeffirelli’s (trio with Gavin Barras and Jonas Backman) and Over the Moon with Mike Hall received positive reviews from the press and enjoyed some radio play on BBC radio 2 on Humphrey Lyttelton’s show.

A highlight of Dan’s career was in 2008 when he won the Nottingham National Jazz Piano Competition. His prize was a brand new Blüthner piano and a tour of concerts including the Vortex and 606 clubs in London.

Since graduating, Dan still likes to take lessons whenever possible and has studied with several pianists such as Andy Laverne, David Hazeltine, Enrico Pieranunzi and Rob van Bavel.

Some of Dan’s favourite players (apart from the obvious Jazz greats including Bill Evans) are: Enrico Pieranunzi, Nathalie Loriers, Rob van Bavel, Diederik Wissels, Nikki Iles, Ivan Paduart, Baptiste Trotignon, Gareth Williams, Bert Joris, Hein van de Geyn, Mario Laginha, Pierre de Bethman, Karel Boehlee, Eric Legnini…

Dan enjoys teaching Classical and Jazz piano and his work currently includes King’s School in Macclesfield, York University and the RNCM, Manchester.

He lives near Glossop where he enjoys being a bit further away from Manchester, jamming, running and drinking fine ales with fellow Glossop jazzers- Carl Raven and Gavin Barras.

He enjoys speaking Spanish and likes travelling to Vigo and the rest of Spain with his wife.

He still loves chords.

Dan’s CD Positive Changes has just been released on ASC records and his duo CD Lela with the great singer Alice Zawadzki on Odradek records will be released in November.

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