About the album
With many years working between Seattle & Vancouver, BC as a performer, sommelier, and equestrian, it was through her return to writing over the last 4 years that inspired Mai-Liis ('My-Lease') in discovering her broader voice. Working with Seattle pianist & arranger, Darin Clendenin, her words found their musical context, and with the production help of her friend and mentor, jazz vocalist Greta Matassa, Mai-Liis now presents her debut as a songwriter and vocalist. With her lyrics and voice offering an honesty and intimacy to life experiences, her songs, such as the grooving "Distance Man," the haunting bolero-esque ballad "Fait Accompli," or the blues, "Carnage in Your Wake (A Love Song)," all create worlds that are readily identifiable and relatable. Featured on Mai-Liis On Life are trumpeter Charlie Porter, saxophonist Cory Weeds, guitarist Brian Monroney, and the rhythm section of Clendenin, bassist Clipper Anderson and drummer Mark Ivester.
Nachdem sie viele Jahre zwischen Seattle und Vancouver, BC, als Performerin, Sommelier und Reiterin gearbeitet hat, war es die Rückkehr zum Schreiben in den letzten 4 Jahren, die Mai-Liis ('My-Lease') dazu inspirierte, ihre umfassende Stimme zu entdecken. In Zusammenarbeit mit dem Pianisten und Arrangeur Darin Clendenin aus Seattle fanden ihre Worte ihren musikalischen Kontext, und mit der Produktionshilfe ihrer Freundin und Mentorin, der Jazz-Sängerin Greta Matassa, präsentiert Mai-Liis nun ihr Debüt als Songwriterin und Sängerin. Mit ihren Texten und ihrer Stimme, die eine Ehrlichkeit und Intimität in Bezug auf Lebenserfahrungen bieten, erschaffen ihre Songs, wie das groovende "Distance Man", die eindringliche Bolero-eske Ballade "Fait Accompli" oder der Blues "Carnage in Your Wake (A Love Song)", Welten, die leicht identifizierbar und nachvollziehbar sind. Mit dabei auf Mai-Liis On Life sind Trompeter Charlie Porter, Saxophonist Cory Weeds, Gitarrist Brian Monroney und die Rhythmusgruppe mit Clendenin, Bassist Clipper Anderson und Schlagzeuger Mark Ivester.
I picked up a pen and started writing again in 2016 after about a 30 year hiatus. Up until then I had been gigging small coffee shops and jazz rooms on and off since 2000 in both Vancouver BC and then Seattle WA, and had resigned myself to the fact that music was going to be a sideline, a hobby, that ship had sailed etc. Ten years of classical piano, years of classical voice, and time spent with noticeable jazz greats to try and hone my skills eventually played out in the form of sitting in on weekly jams and scoring the occasional door gig.
I had challenges as we all do, but kept at the music as best I could. I was traveling every week to Portland in 2016 and found myself pulling out my computer to pen poetry type things. At that juncture these writings were a distraction, just something to do. Like creating friends with your past. It was comforting.
Eventually I had a whole bunch of them and then the thought occurred. Some of these would be great tunes. Well, at least I thought so. Convinced that someone else would have to write the melodies and music, I handed off one tune to someone I knew in Portland and asked them to put notes to my story. They did, and the melody and changes they wrote were great, but it wasn't how I heard the song in my head. That's when I realized that my lyrics were my babies and that their musical story was going to have to come from mama. I had never written melody lines or tunes before so I just forged my own method and path.
Enter Darin Clendenin. After I had written out melody lines to a handful of tunes, I took them to Darin to see if he would be interested enough, with just lyrics and melody lines at his disposal, to try and get into my head and hear what I was hearing. Man, he was good. I don't think I need to say more. Listen to the work. It's self-evident. After 4 years in the making, Mai-Liis on Life has emerged.