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Mary Stallings

Idioma disponível: inglês
A passionate, urbane jazz singer, Mary Stallings has a lithe vocal style greatly influenced by Carmen McRae. Stallings first emerged in the 1950s performing in the Bay Area and rose to greater prominence with her 1961 debut Cal Tjader Plays, Mary Stallings Sings. After taking time off for her family, she returned to acclaim in the '90s, issuing a handful of albums on labels like Concord and High Note, including 1996's Manhattan Moods, 2010's Dream, and 2013's But Beautiful. Born in San Francisco in 1939, Stallings first started singing at a young age in church. The niece of saxman Orlando Stallings, she gravitated toward jazz, and by her teens was performing in local clubs sharing the stage with such greats as Louis Jordan, Wes Montgomery, and Ben Webster. One of Stallings' admirers was vibist Cal Tjader, whom she teamed up with in 1961 for Cal Tjader Plays, Mary Stallings Sings on Fantasy. After stints with Dizzy Gillespie and Billy Eckstine in the '60s, Stallings toured with the Count Basie Orchestra as a featured vocalist from 1969 until 1972. The singer was still in Basie's employ when, in 1971, she gave birth to her only child, R&B singer Adriana Evans (who issued a well-regarded self-titled debut album on RCA in 1997). Pharoah Sanders became Evans' godfather, and Stallings went into semi-retirement from music to stay home and raise her daughter. Though she performed occasionally when Adriana was growing up, it wasn't until the late '80s that Stallings seriously resumed her career. She made a long-overdue return to record stores with Clarity Recordings' 1990 audiophile release Fine and Mellow, and in 1994 Stallings signed with Concord Jazz and recorded I Waited for You. Some equally memorable Concord dates followed (including Spectrum in 1995 and Manhattan Moods in 1996), and Stallings' admirers were glad to see her recording regularly after so many years of obscurity. She was back on Clarity in 1998 for Trust Your Heart and returned in 2001 with the concert album Live at the Village Vanguard on MAXJAZZ. Stallings next teamed with pianist Geri Allen for the 2005 Half Note release Remember Love. In 2010, Stallings delivered Dream on High Note, featuring pianist Eric Reed, who also produced the album. Reed was also on board for 2012's Don't Look Back and 2013's But Beautiful. The following year, she issued Feelin' Good, which featured contributions by pianist Bruce Barth, trumpeter Freddie Hendrix, vibraphonist Steve Nelson, and others. In 2019, Stallings made her Smoke Sessions debut with Songs Were Made to Sing, playing alongside trumpeter Eddie Henderson, saxophonist Vincent Herring, pianist David Hazeltine, bassist David Williams, and drummer Joe Farnsworth.
© Alex Henderson /TiVo
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