On Tuesday, May 5, 2015 my fourth album, sur l'instant, was released on June Moon Productions! It was a marvelous journey from inception to birth. Playing in trio with Alain Jean-Marie at the piano and Gilles Naturel at the bass was a 'bare your soul' endeavor. Recording in Paris, France, we navigated our way through nine tunes ranging from bebop to blues to ballads. It was a special, intimate and safe atmosphere that we made for ourselves in the studio. We didn't rush and we didn't overdo - we went at our own pace. We used our wide-open ears for this recording and for that I am grateful.
The response from critics, radio, fans and friends has been heart warming!
“Latz is the real deal and you ought to discover her.”
— George Fendel, JAZZ SOCIETY OF OREGON
“No one doubts Ms. Latz’s profound identification with the songs on this disc which is emblematic of her extraordinary talent as a storyteller and vocalist.”
— Raul da Gama, JAZZDAGAMA
"Latz, singing at her peak...”
— Marcia Hillman, THE NEW YORK CITY JAZZ RECORD
“Deborah has a clear voice and perfect pitch and when combined with her sensitivity and interpretive skills makes her a major-league Jazz vocal star!”
— Robert Nicosia, MUSIC MAN BLOG
A good friend of mine told me that she listens to the first track, "Love Theme from Spartacus", each morning when she puts on her make-up. This comment means so much to me because something touched her senses. It was the magic of being 'in the moment' with Alain and Gilles - what we played and sang came out of our hearts and bodies. And ultimately that is what moves people. Honesty.
To tell the truth, when I listened to the tracks after we recorded, I was very disappointed in myself and thought about scratching the whole project. I didn't hit every note as I had envisioned, and... well, I meant to do something different harmonically with that line, and there's too much fry on this note… So I went back in to the studio to re-sing some tracks. Except I wasn't in Paris anymore and it was a different studio with different mics, and a different set up. But I was determined to make the project the best I could. This meant that I had to choose a track to sing to and imagine myself back in the 'live' setting. But no matter how close I got to feeling that I was in a live session with Alain and Gilles it wasn't 'true'. Yes, I found those harmonies, and colored the stories with new shades of emotions, and listened to the new tracks for the next two months. Something, however, was wrong. Something was missing.
What I realized was that, just like Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, I already had everything I needed to edit, mix and master the album from the recording sessions in Paris. Instead of hearing the truth of the stories I was telling through my singing, I got caught up in wanting to be 'perfect'. But that doesn't make for true storytelling. A dear friend of mine in the jazz publishing business once told me that he went to hear Abbey Lincoln play at The Blue Note New York, and afterward she invited him in to her dressing room to talk. He told her how moved he was by her performance, and she said through her tears, "I'm afraid of what's happening to jazz singers these days. Too many are striving to make the songs sound perfect when what they must do is tell the story from their heart. Not worry about hitting all the right notes or finding the perfect phrasing. It will come out of living."
Thankfully I came back to the heart of the matter, and I listened to our original recordings and found that everything I was looking for had been there all along. Interestingly, sur l'instant includes "Over The Rainbow" as the closing track.
Abbey Lincoln's deeply felt and wise statement is one that I have believed in for years, however, for a time, I lost sight of that truth and let my fear of being judged by others take hold.
There are a lot of singers in New York City, and it isn't easy to keep the dream alive. But though there are many challenges throughout the journey, we find our mentors and our supporters, and with our strengths and weaknesses all bundled together, we forge ahead.
I truly believe that there is room on our planet for all singers to shine. At times it may be painful to watch others rise to a higher visibility, the very stature that we are striving to achieve. But I've come to understand that the only person I'm in competition with is myself. I want to be a better musician, singer, writer, composer, storyteller, person, because it is important to me. There are times when I forget the latter, and I think woe is me. I am extremely fortunate to be married to my soulmate who understands my ups and downs, and who is always encouraging me to move forward. Keep going. Follow your musical instincts.
And so my message…, keep going and follow your musical instincts. We are all unique, full of life and we are compelled, incredibly and wonderfully, to tell our stories.
On sur l'instant I have had the great opportunity to tell my stories in tandem with two superb, sensitive, and generous musicians. Merci beaucoup for helping me to keep the dream alive!