Friday, October 14, 2011


Midnight Sun is a collection of love songs from throughout Grammy and Tony Award-winning artist Dee Dee Bridgewater’s critically acclaimed career.  A love letter of sorts, Midnight Sun, produced by Tulani Bridgewater-Kowalski, is the ultimate mixed tape, traversing landscapes of melodically mournful tales of love lost, heartrending ballads about forever afters and sultry promises of bliss.  Midnight Sun is the fourth release on Bridgewater’s own label, DDB Records.

Ever the fearless voyager, explorer, pioneer and keeper of tradition, the three-time Grammy-winner (who just won a 2011 Grammy for Best Jazz Vocal Album for Eleanora Fagan (1915-1959): To Billie With Love From Dee Dee) with producer/manager Tulani Bridgwater-Kowalski (daughter) selected and oversaw re-mastering (by Doug Sax and Sangwook “Sunny” Nam of The Mastering Lab, Ojai) of the eleven tracks on Midnight Sun, which were culled from her Grammy-winning and nominated CDs Dear Ella, Keeping Tradition, This Is New, J’ai Deux Amours, Love & Peace: A Tribute To Horace Silver and Eleanora Fagan.  Including such classics as Kurt Weill’s “Speak Low,” Sammy Cahn’s “I'm A Fool To Want You/I Fall In Love Too Easily,” Johnny Mercer’s “Midnight Sun,” Alan Jay Lerner’s “Here I’ll Stay,” Charles Trenet’s “Que Reste-t-Il?” and Billie Holiday’s “Good Morning Heartache" and interpreting them as only she can, Bridgewater has created a song cycle that traces the arc of a love affair in all its natural stages. Also included on the CD is “L’Hymne à l’Amour,” a track previously released exclusively as a bonus track in Japan.

“For years my fans and family have been asking me to compile a CD of my favorite love songs,” says Bridgewater, “and Midnight Sun is my ode to them.  Love in all its glory – for better or for worse – as expressed by some of the most amazing songwriters of our time.  Come take a soothing walk down memory lane and revisit romantic moments of my musical past, a past brought to the present through this elegant compilation, presented to you in the name of love by my daughter and manager, Tulani Bridgewater-Kowalski.  Relax and bathe yourself in the music of the Midnight Sun.”

Over the course of a multifaceted career that has spanned forty years, Grammy and Tony Award-winning Jazz diva Dee Dee Bridgewater has risen to the top tier of today’s vocalists, putting her own unique spin on standards, as well as taking intrepid leaps of faith in re-envisioning jazz classics.  Bridgewater’s career has always bridged musical genres.  She earned her first professional experience as a member of the legendary Thad Jones/Mel Louis Big Band, and throughout the 70’s she performed with such jazz notables as Max Roach, Sonny Rollins, Dexter Gordon and Dizzy Gillespie.  After a foray into the pop world during the 1980’s, she relocated to Paris and began to turn her attention back to Jazz.  Signing with the Universal Music Group as a producer (Bridgewater produces all of her CDs), Bridgewater released a series of acclaimed titles beginning with Keeping Tradition in 1993.  All but one of them, including her wildly successful double Grammy Award-winning tribute to Ella Fitzgerald, Dear Ella - have received Grammy nominations.

Bridgewater has also pursued a parallel career in musical theater and won a Tony Award for her role as “Glinda, the good witch of the South” in The Wiz in 1975. Her other theatrical credits include Sophisticated Ladies, Black Ballad, Carmen and Lady Day, a Billie Holiday tribute for which Bridgewater received the British Laurence Olivier Nomination for Best Actress in a Musical.  She also became the first African-American actress to play the role of Sally Bowles in Cabaret, a production staged at the Mogador Theatre in Paris.

As a Goodwill Ambassador to the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Bridgewater continues to appeal for international solidarity to finance global grass-roots projects in the fight against world hunger.   Bridgewater also hosts NPR’s award-winning weekly syndicated show, JazzSet, now in its second decade on the air; and her recordings are available worldwide as she continues to tour globally, performing to sold-out venues both domestically and internationally. 

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