Chicago-based singer Tracye Eileen returns to her traditional jazz roots on her fourth release, a collection of standards entitled You Hit The Spot. Eileen, who has a residency at Buddy Guy’s Legends in Chicago, has enjoyed success in both smooth jazz and R&B radio since launching her music career over 10 years ago.
For this album of eight standards, including such gems as “The Very Thought of You” and “They Can’t Take That Away From Me,” Eileen recruited veteran jazz singer Sasha Daltonn as associate producer. Daltonn, who has Broadway experience, helped Eileen sing the tunes in the proper cadence.
“I didn’t want to sound like a soul singer singing a jazz tune or a smooth jazz singer singing a traditional jazz tune; I wanted that aspect to be authentic,” Eileen told 360°Sound. “There’s a different rhythm and cadence that comes with traditional jazz. I wanted to make sure I did that.”
Eileen wanted to deliver these oft-covered songs in her own way while also telling a story. “It’s Almost Like Being in Love,” for instance, has a unique bossa nova-like arrangement, and for “I Love Being Here With You,” Eileen threw in a lyric change, swapping “Durante’s nose” with “Denzel’s nose.”
Five of the songs were recorded in front of a live audience with Eileen’s jazz trio, and three were recorded in-studio with arrangements and production from Thomas Gunther.
“I was able to really provide authenticity and respect to those Great American Songbook tunes,” Eileen said, adding that she picked the standards that spoke to her the most.
“I always have a love of love songs,” she said. “I’m probably always going to pick something in that genre.”
Eileen plans to record another jazz album that will be a combination of standards and original tunes. For that one, she wants to pick more complicated standards that will take more practice to master.
“I think [You Hit The Spot] is probably more of the real me that I’ve been able to fully express,” Eileen said. “I love singing different types of genres, but I think this is more me. I definitely feel like it’s a homecoming.”
You Hit The Spot CD Track List
- I Love Being Here With You
- You Hit The Spot
- They Can’t Take That Away From Me
- Almost Like Being In Love
- The Very Thought Of You
- Just In Time
- This Can’t Be Love
- The End Of A Love Affair
“The Very Thought Of You”
“It’s Almost Like Being in Love”
“They Can’t Take That Away From Me”
Keep up with Tracye Eileen on tracyeeileen.com.