Title - Round Midnight: Re-Imagined
Artist - Amber Weekes
For those unaware, Amber Weekes was born and raised in Los Angeles. Her grandparents owned Weekes Luncheonette in Harlem and among their regular customers were Duke Ellington, Billy Strayhorn, Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, Harry Belafonte and Diahann Carroll.
My parents are Harlemites and they were both singers. My father loved Frank Sinatra while my mother was more of a classical singer, so it is not surprising that I was born singing.
"In the house we heard everything: Frank Sinatra, Ray Charles, the Beatles, Barbra Streisands early recordings, classical music, Motown, Ella, Sarah and Billie. I have memories of standing on my parents coffee table and singing Somewhere when I was three or four.
Amber studied singing extensively with such teachers as Gwendolyn Wyatt, Phil Moore, Jr., Catherine Hansen, and Sue Fink. Most significant has been her many years of important lessons with the great Sue Raney.
She encouraged my desire for storytelling inside of a song, allowing me to use my instrument in a way that I had always dreamed of. I am very lucky that I have had the opportunity to work with her so long. I think of Sue as an extended family member.
Having released her album Pure Imagination in 2019 and followed it up with an EP My Romance - A Special Valentine (which also includes her duet The Way He Makes Me Feel), and now Amber will release her brand new album, Round Midnight: Re-Imagined (May 1st, 2021 via Amber Inn Records).
1. Hazels Hips
2. Summer Samba
3. Cristo Redentor / I Want Jesus to Walk With Me
4. Sistermoon / Summertime
5. My Romance
6. Dont You Feel My Leg
The Bar Suite:
7. Something Cool
8. One For My Baby
9. The Man That Got Away
11. Round Midnight
12. More Than You Know
A tribute to her late father, the selections chosen on this 12-track album range from Oscar Brown Jr.s Hazels Hips and More than You Know to a medley of Cristo Redentor and I Want Jesus To Walk With Me.
With her beautiful voice and very expressive style, Amber opens the album on the vibrant Hazels Hips and the free flowing breeze of Summer Samba, and backs those up with the magnificently cinematic-imbibed ambiance of Cristo Redentor / I Want Jesus to Walk With Me, the mid-tempo hipsway of Sistermoon / Summertime, and then both the lush ballad My Romance and the euphorically-sculptured Dont You Feel My Leg.
With the latter songs falling under the subsection of The Bar Suite, Amber next brings us the late night, smoky jazz club vibe of Something Cool which she follows with the beautiful One For My Baby, the heavenly ornate The Man That Got Away, and then the album rounds out with the fervent R&B of Lovers, the crushingly earnest Round Midnight, closing on the harp-imbibed love song More Than You Know.
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