James Day Natural things

James Day grew up listening to the great soul performers and producers of the 70s, and idolized artists such as Chaka Kahn and Quincy Jones. His dream was to become a professional stage singer and dancer, and in the 80s he attended New York's American Academy of Dramatic Arts to pursue that dream. Tragically, while in school he was diagnosed with Meniers Syndrome, a debilitating disease that resulted in severe bouts of dizziness and his loss of hearing in one ear. The disease essentially felled him for over two years and caused a necessary change in his life plan.   Day looked to his love of music as a way to get his life back on track, and he built a home recording studio and began working exclusively toward becoming a songwriter and producer. His hard work over the next decade paid off, as he achieved critical success, winning the Billboard Magazine's International Songwriting Competition, the John Lennon Song Contest, and an award from the National Academy of Popular Music/Songwriter's Hall of Fame presented by legendary songwriter Hal David. As the 90s and early 00s went on, he landed songs on a number of major label artist albums and compilations as well as network television shows. Despite the success he was having, Day's observations of the state of modern music left him extremely frustrated. "The LP's I grew up with, full of rich chords, moving melodies, lush vocal arrangements, and well crafted lyrics, had been replaced by CD's put together by track makers, beat programmers and samplers with words 'slapped on' that rarely seemed to move me the way the music I grew up with did. It just didn't seem to have the same level of care & musicianship that went into the records of my idols." So Day made it his mission to re-establish the role of the songwriter and arranger in popular music. Working on a shoestring budget but with a passion for his project, in 2005 Day recruited a number of established vocalists and put together his first project, the four-song EP Remember When. Day's goal for Remember When was to re-create a hot 80s groove around well-performed, superbly-crafted, infectiously melodic songs - and to use this as a springboard for future larger projects. And in that regard Remember Whenis an unadulterated success. While budgetary constraints unfortunately limited the amount of organic instrumentation on the EP, there is no question of Day's capability as a songwriter, especially on the excellent opening number, "Brick By Brick" (featuring Audrey Wheeler), and the first single, "Don't Waste the Pretty" (with Jeff Ramsey), both of which are marvelous songs that are worthy of radio airplay. Remember When was released in late 2005 and almost immediately struck a nerve in the underground soul movement, especially in Europe where the disc has been a smash. It also gathered a significant audience in the US, and reached #1 on the SoulTracks independent soul charts in January 2006. Day followed Remember When with Better Days, an excellent full debut album that reworked the cuts from Remember When and added a basketful of great new compositions. In early 2007 Day cut more songs and prepared a reworked Better Days for release in the US. In 2008, Day began working on his follow-up disc, Natural Things, again teaming with a talented crew including Audrey Wheeler, Mikelyn Roderick, Walter Beasley, Gavin Christopher, Ian Martin, Jeff Ramsey and more.  The album was another fine representation of Day's strong songwriting skills and was released in 2009. In 2012, Day began putting a compilation of some of his best work together to celebrate his 10 year anniversary. The project, called Daydreams, will also include two new songs and is slated for a late March 2012 release.

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Patti Austin

Patti Austin
209,99 ZAR each


She charted twenty R&B songs between 1969 and 1991 and had success on the Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart, where she hit number one in 1981 with "Do You Love Me?" / "The Genie". The album containing that hit, Every Home Should Have One, also produced her biggest mainstream hit. "Baby, Come to Me", a duet with James Ingram, initially peaked at number 73 on the Hot 100 in early 1982. After being featured as the love theme in a prominent storyline on the soap opera General Hospital, the song re-entered the pop chart in October and went to number one in February 1983. The single was certified Gold by the RIAA. She would later team up again with Ingram for "How Do You Keep The Music Playing". That year, Austin's single "It's Gonna Be Special" was featured on the soundtrack for the Olivia Newton-John/John Travolta film Two of a Kind. Though the film was not the major success envisioned for the re-teaming of the Grease stars, the soundtrack went Platinum and Austin's single, produced by Quincy Jones, became one of her highest-profile hits. "It's Gonna Be Special" peaked at #5 on the Dancecharts, #15 on the R&B charts, and charted on the Hot 100 in 1984.[citation needed] The song also appeared on her self-titled album of that year, and its follow-up single, "Rhythm of the Street", remixed by John "Jellybean" Benitez, narrowly missed Billboard's Dance Top Ten, though it peaked higher on Hi-NRG charts. The two songs were featured on a double-A-side 12" single. For "Rhythm of the Street" Austin shot her first music video. Next Austin released her third album in three years entitled Gettin' Away With Murder. In addition to the title track, she had two more hit singles, "Honey For The Bees" (#24 R&B and #6 Dance) and "The Heat of Heat". Produced by Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, noted for their later work with Janet Jackson, the latter track returned Austin to the top 15 of the R&B charts for what would be the last time to date. It would also be her last Hot 100 charting to date, although she would score a top-5 dance hit with the single Reachthat appeared originally on her 1994 CD That Secret Place (GRP Records). "Gettin' Away With Murder" used producers Russ Titelman, Tommy LiPuma, Monte Moir (of "The Time"), and Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. Billy Joel (Austin sang background on his "Just The Way You Are"), Dan Hartman, friends Luther Vandross and Jocelyn Brown, along with Chaka Khan were among the background vocalists on the project, with successful songwriters, Randy Goodrum, Michael Bolton, Jam & Lewis plus several other big name writers offering up their best compositions on what was likely a big budget affair. She next appeared with Jeff Bridges and Joan Allen in Francis Ford Coppola's critically acclaimed period piece Tucker: The Man and his Dream (1988). That year, Austin released The Real Me, a collection of standards which garnered her the first of several Top 10 showings on the Jazz Albums chart. "The Real Me" was chiefly produced by David Pack who had been a part of the Pop group Ambrosia. Austin served as a co-producer and as Executive Producer on the project. Austin sang "It's the Falling in Love" with Michael Jackson on his album Off The Wall. Other duet partners include George Benson ("Moody's Mood for Love" and "Keep Your Dreams Alive"), and Luther Vandross ("I'm Gonna Miss You In The Morning"). Earlier she'd recorded featured duets with Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons on "Our Day Will Come" and "Swearin' To God" with little billing. Austin also sang lead and background vocals on many contemporary Jazz instrumentalists' records in the 1970s. In 1985 she sang lead vocals on a collaboration with her producer, Narada Michael Walden, and the single, "Gimme, Gimme, Gimme", went top 40 on the R&B charts. In 1991, she recorded the duet "You Who Brought Me Love" with music legend Johnny Mathis, which was received with critical acclaim. That same year she was invited to be a guest on a Johnny Mathis television special that was broadcast across North America.

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