Celebrate Valentine's Week at the Blue Note with vocalist Rachelle Ferrell. While Ferrell has a established fan base in the contemporary jazz scene, her unique visibility on the pop/urban contemporary scene has boosted her audience’s interest in her overall breadth of work. She has made her mark as a crossover artist who’s equally at home with urban contemporary pop, gospel, classical music and jazz.
Very few vocal artists in the industry have Ferrell’s potent combination of range, phrasing, and musicianship (equally gifted as a vocalist and pianist). Such potency was made powerfully aware to Blue Note Record’s executive Bruce Lundvall, who first heard Ferrell on a demo tape and signed her shortly thereafter in 1990 upon seeing her perform. So impressed was Lundvall with her talents, that he signed Ferrell to both the Blue Note Label and the Capitol Label, allowing her to funnel her talents through the prism of traditional jazz and R&B. Lundvall quickly set out to plan Ferrell’s coming out party via a showcase at the 1991 Montreux Jazz Festival. In the past, the showcase was used to introduced the talents of Dianne Reeves (also signed to both labels), Stanley Jordan, and Gonzalo Rubalcaba. Live at Montreux 91-97 captures Ferrell’s moving debut at Montreux in July of 1991 and subsequent performances at the venue throughout the decade of the 1990s.
She first emerged in the states with her R&B debut Rachelle Ferrell (1992), a solid collection of self-penned originals that featured a striking duet with Will Downing Nothing Has Ever Felt Like This. It was with the release of First Instrument in 1994 that audiences were really introduced to Ferrell’s jazz sensibilities.
Ferrell has sung backup for Lou Rawls, Patti LaBelle, Vanessa Williams and George Duke to name a few. Her prolific songwriting abilities and ability to accompany herself on piano seem only to further her natural talent as a vocalist.
In short, Rachelle Ferrell’s talents transcend generic classification.
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