Like unique genre-blending artists Sade and Michael Franks, mutli-million selling world-jazz-pop singer Basia has won a devoted following due to her distinctive style and inviting persona. Basia's music sounds like no other artist and like both Sade and Franks, she often lets several years go by between album releases, making every album a true event for her passionate and devoted fan base. On May 18, 2018, Shanachie Entertainment will release Butterflies, which delivers the effervescent and beguiling Basia sound. Co-produced and co-written by Basia and her long-time musical partner Danny White, who also contributes sparkling piano playing throughout, Butterflies sounds timeless yet as contemporary as any of Basia's landmark recordings. It is quintessential Basia.
"Butterflies is about love - for life, for music and for people. This album is full of passion and courage but also pure fun; purists will struggle to categorize it because we happily mix jazz, Latin, soul and pop," shares Basia. "Our songs were created with a lot of freedom and for the simple pleasure of writing and recording them; that is why it is probably the most diverse of our records. Danny and I finally grew up (!) and our experiences in music and in life make this album hopefully richer and more honest."
Butterflies spans the spectrum of breezy Brazilian excursions to passionate pop balladry and up-tempo jazz. "Matteo," the first single, exhibits the irresistible Brazilian feeling of Basia's classic work with Spanish guitar and flowing percussion. "Liang and Zhu," on the other hand is a deeply felt, simply gorgeous ballad, which refers to the Chinese folk-legend of the two lovers named in the title. In some ways, Butterflies is Basia's jazziest album to date, as evidenced by the ebullient swing-jazz of "B.Pop," led by Basia's effortlessly virtuosic vocal. The CD features a crack band that showcases Danny White on piano, Peter White and Giorgio Serci on guitars, drummer Marc Parnell, bassist Andres Lafone, saxophonist Paul Booth and trumpeter Kevin Robinson. The ensemble is simply scintillating throughout. Vocalist Mark Reilly, who was a founding member of hit-making group Matt Bianco, reunites with his fellow Matt Bianco members Danny White and Basia for a mini-Matt Bianco reunion on "Showtime."
"We've been recording Butterflies for a few years, without any hurry, making sure that we were always true to ourselves," says Basia. "Although we are aware of what is successful in the music scene at the moment - we avoid copying and we try not to be influenced by it. It's obvious that what we are doing musically differs from the current fashionable style but we believe that there are listeners who will find something interesting in our productions; maybe exactly because they are different. We've been very lucky so far to find a receptive and loyal audience who still seem to wait for more from us and we very much appreciate their patience."
Basia was born Basia Trzetrzelewska in Poland where she began her musical career as part of the popular female vocal group Alibabki and then the rock band Perfect. Relocating to London in 1981, she met Mark Reilly and his collaborator Danny White (brother of jazz guitarist Peter White). Forming a jazz-pop group called Bronze, they soon changed their name to Matt Bianco and released their debut album, Whose Side Are You On in 1984. The album became a huge European hit, selling 1.5 million units and spawning hit singles "Get Out of Your Lazy Bed" and "Half A Minute." In 1985, Basia and Danny left Matt Bianco in order to launch Basia's solo career, with her debut solo album, Time And Tide, selling more than two million copies worldwide in 1987; the "Time and Tide" single from the album hit the Top Thirty of the Billboard Hot 100, with further hits "Prime Time TV" and "New Day For You" following. Her second album, London Warsaw New York, sold equally well, yielding another Top Thirty Hit with "Cruising For a Bruising" and "Baby Your Mine." Both albums hit #1on the Billboard Contemporary Jazz chart. Basia was hugely popular in Europe and Asia so it was no surprise that her third album, The Sweetest Illusion, sold more than a million copies worldwide in 1994, going gold in the U.S. and hitting #1 on the Billboard Dance Chart with the single "Drunk On Love." A successful live album, Basia on Broadway, followed in 1995 and then she went on an extended hiatus from 1998 to 2004, devoting herself to family and other projects in Poland. In 2004, Danny White and Mark Reilly persuaded Basia to join them in a reunited Matt Bianco, resulting in the critically-acclaimed Matt's Mood album and extensive touring. That reunion stimulated work on Basia's fourth solo album, It's That Girl Again, which hit the Top 10 of the Billboard Contemporary Jazz chart in 2009. Her only other release since then was a second live album, From Newport To London: Greatest Hits Live,in 2011. Now, nine years in the making, Butterflies will be only the fifth solo album in Basia's 34 year solo career. Like its all-too-rare predecessors, it is pure musical bliss.