SOUL TRAIN AWARD WINNER NICOLE HENRY &
JUNO AWARD WINNER JAMES BRYAN
COLLABORATE for "SUMMER SESSIONS EP"
On Friday, July 24, 2015, the jazz/soul vocalist Nicole Henry and guitarist/producer James Bryan will release their first ever duo project, Summer Sessions EP on Banister Records. Recorded live in The Chocolate Factory Studio in London with just voice and acoustic guitar, Summer Sessions captures the thrill and intimacy of the stripped-down setting. At times sultry and uplifting, the duo brings out the joy, longing and comfort in the stories of every track. Nicole Henry's sweet yet powerful vocals are complimented perfectly by James Bryan's rhythmic and creative guitar virtuosity, nuanced with gentle arpeggios and contrapuntal phrasing. The 8-song EP, totaling 31 minutes of originals and cover songs ranging from pop, rock and jazz, will be distributed by Magenta/eOne and available for download on all digital platforms.
Meeting first in the summer of 2003 in Henry's hometown, Miami Beach, their initial jam session resulted in the impromptu recording of the 1986 hit "No One Is to Blame" which, in its original form, is the EP's closing track. This early recording became the inspiration behind this project and demonstrates how these two talents work together naturally and intuitively. "I've always loved the guitar and voice format, from Tuck & Patti to Ella and Joe Pass," says James, "and when Nicole and I first got together, I had the feeling we could create something in a similar vein." Since then, they've written together many times along the way, coincidentally, during summers, in Los Angeles, Toronto and London. "I grew up playing cello and singing, but the first instrument I purchased, and started writing songs on, was guitar," states Henry on her love for acoustic performance, "it evokes my most authentic voice.” As for Bryan, guitar has always been his means of communication and he has “always loved playing and supporting a great vocalist. Nicole is one of the best I’ve had the pleasure of working with.”
The original tune "Never Give Your Love Away" sets the tone and encourages the listener to relax and fall in love with the dynamic offerings of Summer Sessions. The Spanish-style guitar and the conversational vocal awaken the senses. Their stunning, soulful interpretations of Tracy Chapman's "Baby, Can I Hold You" and Ray LaMontagne's "Let It Be Me" are filled with emotion and convey yearning and true sensitivity, while the English version of Antonio Carlos Jobim's "Insensatez" ("How Insensitive") offers a beautiful and haunting take on the Brazilian jazz classic. James Bryan gives "My Love Is Your Love" a light reggae-dub twist making way for the duo's spiritual, hopeful pledge to love. The original, "Joy," is an uplifting tune written during their 2013 summer session in London, while their funky rendition of the recent Coldplay hit "Magic" proves the duo can groove hard as well as dig deep.
Starting in 2002, Henry's first performances as a full-time vocalist were as one half of a guitar duo in Miami Beach, which earned her "Best Solo Musician" by the Miami New Times. Since 2004, her passionate, expressive voice has established her as one of the most acclaimed jazz vocalists. Her six international CD releases have placed her on three TOP-10 jazz sales charts (US Billboard and HMV Japan); on four U.S. TOP-20 Jazz Week, CMJ and Smooth Jazz Radio charts; and garnered a 2013 Soul Train Award for "Best Traditional Jazz Performance". Henry has headlined stages in 17 countries; recorded with musical greats as Kirk Whalum, Julian Lage, Gerald Clayton and Gil Goldstein; performed with the Duke Ellington Orchestra, Henry Mancini Institute Orchestra, and Michael Feinstein; and been reviewed by New York Times, Wall Street Journal, El Pais, Essence, The Japan Times, Jazz Times and more.
Based in Toronto, James Bryan is hailed as one of Canada's top guitarists. He was given his first guitar at age 9, and 10 years later he was signed to a major label deal with Sony as a member of the band Philosopher Kings who went on to sell platinum albums and win a Juno Award. Touring extensively with this band, his multi-platinum animated band Prozzak, and as a sideman with such artists as Nelly Furtado, Bryan has played stages from Wembley Stadium to Madison Square Garden. He has created an international name for himself as a songwriter, producer and guitarist attracting clients from every corner of the globe, earning top-10 hits, Latin GRAMMYs and BMI Awards. James Bryan has written, produced and recorded with Jason Mraz, Yuna, Olly Murs, Luis Fonsi, Jessie J, Lisa Marie Presley, James Morrison, The Backstreet Boys, Shawn Mendes, James Blunt and many more.
For press inquiries and promotional review copies, contact:
Dennis Ostern 305-672-7424
NIKISINGS, Inc., 2 S. Biscayne Blvd., Suite #3223, Miami, FL 33131
www.NicoleHenry.com / www.JamesBryanMusic.com