Bandon Community Radio Producer Chip Cassin explores some of KBOG’s favorite recording artists with in-depth interviews on a personal level and then airs them, along with their new music, on the show Deep Dive, Saturdays 12-2pm
Global Artist Spotlight – Robin McKelle
Robin McKelle is pleased to announce the 2020 release of her new album Alterations!
Vocalist Robin McKelle delves into the catalogue of some of the most celebrated women of song, interpreting these masterworks through the lens of the jazz idiom. On Alterations, McKelle follows in a long tradition of female song interpreters, lending her sultry vocal stylings to classics by a diverse list of female innovators including Dolly Parton, Sade, Amy Winehouse, Adele, Janis Joplin, Carol King, Billie Holiday, Joni Mitchell, and Lana Del Ray. McKelle is joined on this release by a group of consummate musicians including co-producer, pianist and arranger Shedrick Mitchell, acoustic and electric bassist Richie Goods, drummer Charles Haynes, guitarist Nir Felder. In addition, esteemed saxophonist Keith Loftis is featured on McKelle’s sole original composition on this release, “Head High”; and renowned trumpeter Marquis Hill is featured on Lana Del Rey’s “Born to Die”. The first single from Alterations, McKelle’s rendition of Sade’s “No Ordinary Love”, was released in late January. Alterations will be released on Doxie Records and distributed and marketed by the Orchard.
In the making of the album, most of McKelle’s vocal tracks used on this final recording were takes she sang live with the band. On the recording process, McKelle notes “The energy and connection with the musicians was so powerful. They lifted me up and made it feel effortless. I’ve never felt so confident in the studio.” The energy and connection of the album overall is palpable; stunning interplay is displayed throughout each track. Shedrick Mitchell was responsible for translating McKelle’s visions for each of these tracks into arrangements for this prodigious grouping of musicians to perform. McKelle notes “Mitchell really understood my vision and did a fabulous job helping to make the arrangements come alive. We fused jazz, soul, r&b, blues and rock all while keeping a continuity in the music.”
McKelle transitions seamlessly between the emotions of every song. And makes each one her own. To McKelle, alteration is all. As the artist notes “when you create change, you create space for something to shift in the world and in yourself. As an artist. And as a human. And that is a change for the good.”
KBOG Producer Chip Cassin sits down (virtually) with Robin, check out his interview below and have a listen to a few tracks below, and then head to Robin McKelle to get tour dates, grab your copy and find cool merch!
Emmy Award Winning Composer Michael Whalen
Michael Whalen is a two-time Emmy® Award winning composer and music supervisor (with 8 nominations) who has worked in advertising, television, film and video games for over 30 years. Some of his best-known work: “Veronika Decides to Die” (2014), “What the Bleep Do You Know?”, “As The World Turns”, themes for HBO, CBS News, ABC News’ “Good Morning America”, “The Oprah Winfrey Show”, dozens of specials for PBS, National Geographic, Discovery, The BBC, NHK and the History Channel and television films for Lifetime and the Hallmark Channel. Michael is also an internationally known recording artist with 32 solo and soundtrack recordings to his credit. Well-known for his beautiful and thematic music, he performs when time allows. He has also produced and executive produced over 100 recordings for other artists. His work as a executive producer resulted in a Grammy Nomination in 2000.
Sacred Spaces is an epic recording nearly 10 years in the making. “I have been pursuing a spiritual ‘awakening’ for most of my adult life. Over the past decade, I realized that I am 100 percent responsible for whatever my relationship with a ‘higher being’ might be,” says Whalen. Filled with sonic landscapes built from hundreds of layers of sound, “Sacred Spaces” is Michael’s tour-de-force electronic project, which seamlessly blends his natural gift for melody with fresh textures and percolating rhythms. Deeply inspired by Michael’s film and TV work and his love for progressive rock, “Sacred Spaces” is the ambient recording of the year.
Enjoy Chip’s fascinating deep dive with Michael, as he is one of those rare musicians that film directors will go to in order make a scene in a movie or tv show strike you in ways you may not even be aware of, by using layers of music to deliver a the deeper message in the scene. There are only a few in the world that can do what Michael does through music, and do it well. He is of a rare breed. Have a listen to a few tracks from Sacred Spaces below and then head to Michael Whalen.com to learn more, and you can find him on Spotify and Apple Music.
Michael Whalen Deep Dive with Chip Cassin
International Jazz Artist Spotlight – Laila Biali
“Out Of Dust”
Multi award-winning Canadian singer-songwriter and pianist Laila Biali has toured with Chris Botti, Paula Cole, Suzanne Vega and Sting. She has headlined festivals and venues spanning five continents including Carnegie Hall. Her accolades include a 2019 JUNO Award for “Vocal Jazz Album of the Year”, “SOCAN Composer of the Year” and “Keyboardist of the Year” at Canada’s National Jazz Awards, a JUNO nomination for her studio recording Tracing Light, and a spot on DownBeat Magazine’s “Best Albums of the Year” list for her follow-up Live in Concert. In 2015, Laila released her first album of entirely original music, House of Many Rooms – an indie-pop project featuring a star-studded lineup including the vocalist Lisa Fischer, who is featured in the Academy Award-winning documentary 20 Feet From Stardom.
Check out Chip’s interview with one of Canada’s foremost Jazz pianists & vocalists along with a few tracks from her LP “Out Of Dust” below. In addition to being a musician and an all-around great person, you can catch Laila streaming as she hosts CBC Radio 2’s weekly Saturday Night Jazz radio show, which has consistently ranked as that network’s most streamed program. You can find the stream at CBC Radio 2 Saturday Night Jazz (from the US). Then head to Laila Biali to find out more, get tour dates and grab your copy!
Laila Biali Deep Dive with Chip Cassin