Catherine Russell pays homage to heritage with new album Send for Me

Grammy-nominated vocalist Catherine Russell has announced a new album called Send for Me, due to be released in the spring of 2022.

Russell has established herself as a prolific vocalist, working as a backup vocalist with the likes of Wynton Marsalis, Diana Ross, Madonna, David Bowie and Steely Dan before beginning an impressive solo career in 2006.

The new album follows her 2019 release Alone Together, which was nominated for the Grammy Award for best jazz vocal album and landed at No. 1 on JazzWeek’s year-end chart.

Russell’s eighth album as bandleader, Send for Me features more than a dozen newly recorded tunes she carefully curated.

“Songs that inspire or touch me in some way. When I find a song I like, it haunts me until I learn it,” Russell says. “The album is an invitation, welcoming the audience to come along on a journey.”

The recording pays homage to her parents, Luis Russell and Carline Ray, who are pioneering jazz musicians in their own right. It also calls back to jazz legends such as Nat King Cole, Billie Holiday, Louis Armstrong, Earl King and more.

The title track was first recorded by Nat King Cole as one of his explorations into blues that became a huge crossover hit, peaking at No. 1 on the U.S. R&B charts and at No. 6 on the U.S. pop charts.

“Nobody thinks of Nat King Cole as a blues singer, but he sang some really great blues,” says Russell.

Meanwhile, At the Swing Cats Ball has a strong family connection.

“My mother had given me sheet music a long time ago, saying, ‘Your father co-wrote this tune, and Louis Jordan covered it,’” Russell recalls. “We found a live version performed by my dad’s orchestra on a radio broadcast, and we adapted his arrangement. I love the image of people going to a swing dance.”

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Here’s the full track listing:

  1. Did I Remember
  2. Send for Me
  3. At the Swing Cats Ball
  4. Make It Last
  5. Going Back to New Orleans
  6. If I Could Be With You
  7. You Can Fly High
  8. East of The Sun (and West of the Moon)
  9. In the Night
  10. You Stepped Out of a Dream
  11. Blue and Sentimental
  12. Sticks and Stones
  13. Million Dollar Smile

Catherine Russell’s Send for Me will be released April 1, 2022, via Dot Time Records.