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Valarie Pettiford - Hear My Soul (2003)
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Valarie Pettiford - Hear My Soul (2003)

15-10-2016, 14:20
Vocal Jazz | Blues

Title: Hear My Soul
Year Of Release: 2003
Label: Valarie Pettiford
Genre: Blues Vocals, Jazz Vocals
Quality: Mp3/320
Total Time: 54:24
Total Size: 138 Mb


01. I Can't Give You Anything But Love
02. I Hear Music
03. Someone To Watch Over Me
04. Them There Eyes
05. Don't Misunderstand
06. Midnight At The Oasis
07. The Last Time I Saw Paris
08. Where Do I Find Love
09. Don't Get Around Much Anymore
10. Ain't He Sweet
11. Charley My Boy
12. When Did You Leave Heaven
13. Willow Weep For Me
14. Shaking The Blues Away
15. All The Way

Valarie Pettiford was born in Queens, New York. She received her first training there at the Bernice Johnson Theatre of the Performing Arts, followed by "famed" Performing Arts High School. With dance as her first love but all-around versatility as her ticket to freedom, Ms. Pettiford swiftly entered her profession with both feet tapping...on Broadway and beyond.
Vocally speaking, Ms. Pettiford is a true alto, through and through. "My money notes," she insists, "are my lower notes...the lower the better. I love singing with the men," she laughs! "I did not grow up in the gospel church, so I don't have the highs like Whitney and Mariah. I'm more of a storyteller. That's where I draw my inspiration and my style. It's been a few years of crashing and burning, getting out of my head and trusting my instrument - gaining confidence."
The first vocal group Ms. Pettiford performed with was the female trio Raw Silk of 1982's "Do It To The Music" fame. Though her voice does not grace the record, she replaced the lead singer shortly after and performed all over New York as well as Europe. Next was the rock band Native Blend, which she joined after meeting leader Kenneth Ard during a Kool & The Gang video shoot for which she was one of the dancers. That was followed by a stint with a unique vocal revue group called The Stingers which had as many as 15 rotating members. The core quintet received an RCA Records contract working with an up-and-coming Desmond Child - and Valarie was one of the 5. Though the album was never released, the group was a crucial training ground for showmanship and spontaneity. "I so wish there had been an American Idol back then," she laments. "The talent in that group was extraordinary...."
All the while Ms. Pettiford continued blossoming on the musical theatre stage, notably in the unforgettable Duke Ellington salute Sophisticated Ladies, in which she was an ensemble girl and the understudy of show star Judith Jamison. The especially amazing cast included the now-late Gregory Hines...and Phyllis Hyman, who introduced her to her idol, Nancy Wilson after one of the shows. Recalling meeting Nancy, Valarie chuckles, "I dropped to my feet, bowed and asked her, 'Do you know who you are?!?!'"
Of Phyllis, Valarie fondly recalls, "She had a huge star dressing room, as she well deserved. Eight of us dancers were sharing a small room upstairs in this old theatre. Phyllis made her way up there one day, said, 'My God, you can't all stay up there,' and promptly opened her dressing room up to four of us. She was funny and had great work ethics. We became great friends. I choreographed two of her shows: one at The Blue Note and one at Carnegie Hall with B.B. King. She opened my eyes to what the business was really about. I adored her."
Ms. Pettiford now lives in Los Angeles. When she is not picking up NAACP and Roby awards for her incomparable performance of the epically tragic "Julie" in Showboat, or making guest appearances on Honey, I Shrunk The Kids, Frasier and any number of television shows, she may be found at the Kennedy Center Honors feting Chita Rivera (Val was "Velma Kelley" opposite Chita in a West End production of Chicago), dancing up a storm with Tom Hanks on "Cell Block Tango" for a cancer benefit, belting her heart out at The Kentucky Derby or sharing a scene at the Geffen Playhouse with Annette Bening, Nancy Travis, Sharon Lawrence, Amy Peete and Dominica Scorsese for another private corporate event.
The bottom line is Ms. Valarie Pettiford stays busy, eagerly embracing new challenges with her *hazel* eyes ever-set on fresh horizons. And she never backs down from working with equal or superior talents. "I always want somebody strong flanking me. It makes me want to do better."
"God bless the child that's got her own," indeed. Real divas never get any better than that.

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