Tanner Releases New Holiday Song / Windy City Times
Jeannie Tanner Reimagines Classics by Harold Arlen / Chicago Tribune
Howard Reich, Music Critic for the Chicago Tribune, reviewed Tanner’s show at Winter’s Jazz Club in Chicago— “It takes a certain amount of gumption to pair an original song with one by Arlen, inevitably inviting comparisons. But Tanner forged ahead, opening a two-song medley with the master’s “It’s Only a Paper Moon” before turning to her familiar “Promise Me the Moon.” Tanner’s medium-swing tempo and ultra-polished vocal delivery in Arlen’s song set the stage for a brief – too brief, actually – passage of scat singing, and that served as a transition to “Promise Me the Moon.” Remarkably, Tanner’s song felt quite comfortable in this exalted setting, its marriage of lyric and melody clearly predicated on the traditions of Arlen’s era.… Tanner’s tribute to Arlen reminds us that the art of tautly conceived songwriting has not yet vanished.”
Continued Mr. Reich,“ …it was Tanner’s songwriting that provided the evening’s tour de force. She told the audience that she wrote “In the Green of Spring” and “Can’t Run Away Blues” in the manner of Arlen, and, indeed, the first offered exquisitely lush chord progressions; the second conjured 1930s songwriting while sidestepping cliché.
Jeannie Tanner – Interview on WBEZ (NPR) Morning Shift with Jason Marck
Chicago Jazz Revealed with Jeannie Tanner Podcast – Chicago Jazz Magazine / Interview w/ Mike Jeffers
The Adele/Beyonce Upset & Chicago’s Jeannie Tanner / by Michele Thomas
We crossed the threshold of the 59th annual Grammy awards a couple of weeks ago, and the big talk this year was the supposed upset of Adele winning “Album Of The Year” over Beyonce. And it would appear that Adele may have felt she didn’t deserve that Grammy either, after the acceptance speech she gave where she used her few moments to instead blubber her praise and admiration for Beyonce and her work.
There’s been the usual post award commentaries and op-ed pieces comparing the work of the two entertainers and their artistic merits…whatever. :/ But I would beg to offer another perspective. What I saw in Adele was an artist who is humble and grounded enough to shift the spotlight away from herself and shine it on another artist who she respected in an unexpected moment. And this ability to bridle the ego in a business where at every turn there is such fierce pressure to be the only artist left standing – it is an exercise in self-transcendence to say the least – but more than that, you just don’t see it that often in a business that can be driven by immense competition and hype.
I say all of that to say this…when I first realized I wanted music to be my life and profession I was honestly scared shitless. I knew it was a brutal business and I feared my heart too faint to survive in it. I prayed to meet and connect with the kind of people that had substance and integrity; and then God answered that prayer by also sprinkling in some real assholes so that I could really know what substance and integrity actually looked like in action. Needless to say, when I do make meaningful connections in this business I feel eternally grateful and blessed – and one of those connections as of late has been with singer/songwriter, Jeannie Tanner.
Multi-talented Jeannie Tanner launches her epic ‘Words & Music’ / Chicago Tribune
Chicago does not lack for engaging jazz trumpeters, vocalists, pianists, bandleaders, songwriters and arrangers — but how many can do it all? Jeannie Tanner happens to be one. If you’ve ever been fortunate enough to hear her pick up a horn, or sing a ballad or unveil an original song, you know that she practically exudes music. Which instrument she happens to be playing or whether she’s singing, or conducting or riffing behind someone else seems almost beside the point.
But perhaps her greatest skill — or at least the one that means the most to her — is her knack for writing songs in which lyric, melody, rhythm and harmony converge with apparent seamlessness. A couple of years ago, she made a profound impression at a Billie Holiday centennial concert performing a signature tune of hers, “Promise Me the Moon.” The piece proved so beautifully constructed that a casual listener might have assumed it was a well-established jazz standard.
And her “Joyful Season” album of 2013 showed that it’s still possible to create fresh, surprising holiday songs even at this late date. Tanner tunes such as the melodically inspired “You’re My Gift Forever” and the bluesy “Wintery Sort of Feeling” elegantly sidestepped musical cliche.
Now, though, Tanner has created the most artistically ambitious project of her career, “Words & Music,” a two-CD set that she’ll release on Monday evening, when she brings its repertoire — plus its cast of 12 singers, string quartet and jazz band — to City Winery. In effect, Tanner and friends will perform much of the double-album live, her music sung by such widely admired Chicagoans as Tammy McCann, Paul Marinaro and Typhanie Monique.
That’s a lot of talent on one stage for one evening, but the eloquence of “Words & Music” suggests that the songs may steal the spotlight.
Full article: http://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/music/ct-ott-0224-jazz-scene-20170217-column.html
CD Review: CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
JEANNIE TANNER/Words & Music: As anyone trying to make a living in jazz in Chicago will tell you, once you venture past the usual suspect rooms, the places to play where you can’t even earn McDonald’s money are either closing or cutting back. Undaunted, it’s taken two years for Tanner to pull it together but pull it together she has with this love letter to the Chicago jazz community and the people that support it. A double discer of original material in which she cast each song for a different local jazz vocalist, the writing, playing and performing are so on point that this set deserves to be much, much more than just a local keepsake. It needs a ground swell to make it a national treasure and focus some love back on Chicago jazz rather than just focus on hardware stores closing that were doing something for the tradition. Killer stuff that’s must hearing for anyone looking for something new and different that doesn’t stray from tradition. Well done throughout.
Full article: http://www.midwestrecord.com/
5-star Review from Susan Frances @ Blogcritics
“Words & Music offers a bounty of melodic jazz blends from bossa nova to swing. It is a collection of Great American Songbook-inspired tunes written by trumpet virtuoso Jeannie Tanner. Each track is a singalong tune, making the recording appealing to a wide audience and crossing over many sectors of jazz.”
Full article: http://blogcritics.org/music-review-jeannie-tanner-words-music/
5-star Review from Grady Harp @ Amazon
“WORDS AND MUSIC is a collection of songs written by Jeannie Tanner and recorded by twelve of Chicago’s finest vocalists. Tanner’s mastery as a composer lies in her ability to fuse the spontaneity of old school jazz with memorable lyrics and musical hooks that will have her listeners humming her songs the first time through this album. Stylistically, the tunes on “Words & Music” embrace the spectrum of musical genres from the Great American Songbook to Red Light New Orleans-style Jazz; bossa nova and retro 1960s Rat Pack Swing to percussive funk; rousing gospel and soulful ballads; to shades of adult contemporary pop. Like this eclectic mix of music, the featured vocalists bring their depth of versatility and musicianship to interpreting and capturing these songs in their own unique styles… This is one amazingly fine spectrum of music – first class all the way!”
Full article: Amazon Review
Swingin’ with the Ladies at Pete’s / Excerpt from Howard Reich, Chicago Tribune
Jeannie Tanner: A triple-threat Chicago singer-trumpeter-composer, Tanner probably couldn’t play an unmusical phrase if she wanted to. When she appeared in a Billie Holiday centennial tribute last April at Davenport’s, she distinguished herself with unusually subtle vocals in “Body and Soul,” played trumpet with heartbreaking lyricism and showed the poetry of her songwriting in “Promise Me the Moon.”
This time she has curated “Swingin’ with the Ladies at Pete’s,” a mini-festival of Chicago singing in which she’ll share the stage with vocalists Alyssa Allgood, Kimberly Gordon and Nicole Kestler from 8 p.m. to midnight Friday; and with singers Stephanie Browning, Elaine Dame and Petra Van Nuis, 8 p.m. to midnight Saturday; at Pete Miller’s, 1557 Sherman Ave., Evanston; no cover; 847-328-0399 or www.petemillers.com
Full article: http://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/music/reich/ct-kurt-rosenwinkel-billy-strayhorn-festival-20150910-column.html
Excerpt from Dorothy Andries article, Chicago Tribune
Jeannie Tanner, a well-known Chicago-based jazz singer and composer, also is doing the show for the third time. She will sing Johnny Green’s “Body and Soul” as well as “Promise Me the Moon,” a song of her own composing. “Billie recorded so many songs with ‘moon’ in the title,’ she said. Among them are “Moonlight in Vermont,” “What a Little Moonlight Can Do,” “Blue Moon,” “Moon Glow,” and “I Wished on the Moon.” “So Daryl asked me if I would compose a song with ‘moon’ in the title,” she continued.”I had a something in the works and that’s the one I’ll be singing.”
Tanner has been a full time musician for the last seven years, including writing music for television and film. She heads the Jeannie Tanner Quartet, which plays regularly around the Chicago area.
“The people producing ‘Ladies Sing the Blues’ are really great,” Tanner said. “And the acoustics in the Skokie Theatre are fantastic. We love working there.”
Full article: http://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/skokie/lifestyles/ct-skr-go-ladies-sing-the-blues-tl-0806-20150807-story.html
Billie Holiday Concert – Excerpt from Howard Reich, Chicago Tribune
“… Jeannie Tanner could not have sounded more sophisticated in her phrasing or nuanced in her vocals in “Body and Soul.” That she made her own tune, “Promise Me the Moon,” sound like an established standard and played trumpet with comparable lyricism attested to her uncommon versatility as a Chicago jazz musician.”
Full article: http://ireader.olivesoftware.com/Olive/iReader/chicagotribune/SharedArticle.ashx?document=CTC%5C2015%5C04%5C08&article=Ar05505
Howard Reich – (Reviewed 12/17/14 – Chicago Tribune) Jeannie Tanner: “Joyful Season” (Tanner Time Records)
“Trumpeters who sing as well as Chicagoan Tanner are as rare as singers who play trumpet as well as she does. Both these talents — as well as Tanner’s achievements as songwriter and arranger — radiate from the entirety of “Joyful Season,” a recording brimming with optimism and hope.
The sweet but unsentimental nature of Tanner’s vocals in original songs such as “Christmas in a Cup” and “Joyful Season” and the obvious craft of her melodic writing in “You’re My Gift Forever” and the blues-tinged “Wintery Sort of Feeling” distinguish this album. It’s difficult to explain how one artist can do so many things so well, but listeners will be thankful that she does.
Because “Joyful Season” was released last year to little fanfare, it deserves attention this time around. And though at least one listener could do without some of the over-reverb on certain cuts, the strength of the writing and pervasive elegance of the performances make up for it, and then some.”