Theresa Grayson wears her passion for soulful pop music proudly. From Aretha Franklin, Hall & Oats, Sade and Tony! Toni! Toné! to Bruno Mars, Maroon 5 and John Legend, the saxophonist-flutist mines hits from decades past to present on her sophomore album, “Live2Love,” which will be released November 5th by L2L Records. The disc also showcases five soul-jazz originals, four of which were penned by Grayson including the first radio single, “Afterthoughts,” an urbane track featuring soprano sax, scat-like vocalization and live instrumentation typical of the set from producer Terence Fisher.
Grayson alternates between expressive tenor and soprano sax on “Live2Love” augmented by graceful flute flourishes. She wields soprano on the lush ‘70s retro themed “More Pressure.” The frenetic pace on “Locked Out of Heaven” gushes streams of flowing melody. Grayson presents “Sarah Smile” as a soulful tenor serenade and she surprises with soothing lead and backing vocals on “Smooth Operator.” “Tonight (Best You Ever Had)” soars upon a futuristic sonicscape giving flight to the saxtress’ impassioned calls. “Moves Like Jagger” prances feverishly with a sense of urgency established by a driving beat. The stately “Natural Woman” receives an anthem-like rendering. Lights dim for “Spend My Life” and “Close Your Eyes,” seductive urban adult contemporary grooves lit by Grayson’s sensual soprano and a vocal chorus. Desire permeates the ballad “Just A Little Time” while the longing continues on the classic slow jam “It Never Rains in Southern California,” which closes the collection.
“Leading my own band for several years, I have always had a set list that mixes feel good originals and cover songs with unique arrangements that get people up dancing and my goal with ‘Live2Love’ was to capture that spirit in the studio. I’m really happy with these arrangements of songs from multiple eras, and as a songwriter and arranger, I appreciate the chance to introduce my own material. The music is a reflection of my heart and the melodies I play are the steps of my own experiences. My desire is to touch a special place in the listener’s heart and create a warm feeling of peace and happiness. I want to leave the listener smiling, knowing that this was more than just a recording, that it was a life experience that I want to share with them,” said Grayson, who will preview the album at an October 26th concert date at Sugas Deep South Cuisine & Jazz Bar in Beaumont, Texas.
Having been reared in the church, the Tyler, Texas-born and Houston-raised Grayson debuted in 2010 with “It’s All About You,” an outing comprised of inspirational instrumentals. The fashionably coiffed and flashily wardrobed Grayson has strutted her high heels on concert stages with Peter White, Mindi Abair, Michael Bolton, Will Downing, Marion Meadows and Ronnie Laws as a sidewoman and an opener. She earned a pair of master’s degrees and is pursuing a doctorate in music education.
Grayson’s “Live2Love” contains the following songs:
“Locked Out of Heaven”
“Tonight (Best You Ever Had)”
“Moves Like Jagger”
“Spend My Life”
“Close Your Eyes”
“Just A Little Time”
“It Never Rains in Southern California”