Jazz Canvas-Asian Memories
Shu Mei's rising star shows no sign of letting up. Since graduating from the prestigious New England Conservatory of Music, she has embarked on a journey that transcends diverse music genres - classical, pop, ethnic, fusion, jazz and latin. As a much sought-after soloist and ensemble musician, Shu Mei's energetic performances have won her kudos from both the classical and non-classical world. Shu Mei has emerged as the violinist of choice for many regional and local artistes. In 2005, she has had the opportunity to perform as a soloist to celebrate bilateral Singapore-Malaysia ties in front of 30,000 people at the Penang Indoor Stadium. She has also been invited to perform with renowned jazz diva Marina Xavier at the Jakarta Jazz Festival and Penang Jazz Festival. Her association as a member of the ethnic fusion group Hybrid, swing group Goodfellas and latin-pop group San Nikkis provided the experience to expand and develop her range of musical instincts. In recognition of her valuable musical influence, Shu Mei is currently an endorsee of the Yamaha Silent Electric String instruments. Her prolific accomplishments as a performer are matched by her relentless drive to share her music knowledge and groom the next talent. In 2008, she was awarded the Singapore Spirit of Enterprise for her influential contributions to music education for the young. Shu Mei's album, Jazz Canvas ~ Asian Memories was released in June 2010. Jazz Canvas is a collection of infectious Asian melodies and original compositions infused with classical ideas and jazz interpretation. It's a celebration of Shu Mei's uncompromising mission to bridge the music world that is the East and West. Shu Mei violin Walter Fischbacher piano Evan Gregor bass Aviv Cohen drums Special Guests Christian Howes violin (track 3, 8, 9) Malik Willoughby rap (track 1) Mixed by Jeff Ciampa Mastering by Liberty Ellman Produced by Shu Mei & Christian Howes Song Descriptions: The Chinese and Malay folk songs presented in this album are a selection of songs I used to sing as a young child. I'd look up into the wide expanse of the sky and imagine the shapes the clouds were forming. The song Little White Boat (???) is just one of these imaginative songs, and it vividly describes a white boat formed by the clouds. Under the clear blue skies, along a silver river, Floats a small white boat. On the boat is an Osmanthus tree, under which white rabbits play. It is this song that launched me into a career as a gigging musician. I earned my first pretty penny entertaining the construction workers that came to renovate my home. Molihua (???) means "Jasmine Flower". I remember singing this particular tune for a class music test, and had to get creative with the words as I had forgotten most of the lyrics. My teacher inquired why I couldn't have prepared it better, and I ended up getting a B+ for the test. The song Ma Ma Hao (???) describes the intrinsic love of a mother. It is still taught to young children to inculcate the value of filial piety. Mom's the only dearest in the world, A child without a mom is like a blade of grass - devoid of love, A child with a mom is like a most valued treasure, Embrace into mom's bosom and enjoy endless bliss. I spent much of my childhood in Penang, an island of Malaysia with beautiful beaches. Both Rasa Sayang and Chan Mali Chan are popular Malay children folk songs of celebration. Rasa Sayang means "I feel love" and Chan Mali Chan is a happy cheer. Babeli, OCD and Gotcha are melodies inspired by my favorite classical violinist, Lee Chuan Yun, who plays the most beautiful and spontaneously creative classical music. His pet name is Babe Li and he loves to play Elgar's Salut d' Amor. Like many highly gifted and accomplished musicians, he suffers from obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). Li was performing the Katchaturian Violin Concerto when I first met him. Gotcha was developed based on a motif from that concerto. Carolina portrays a beautiful Colombian singer and dancer who captured my heart while dancing at Nestor Torres' concert. We have been dear friends ever since. Cubano is describes a strikingly handsome Cuban man smoking his cigar in a club while lavishly laying his eyes on the beautiful ladies around him. Credit notes: My jazz violin guru and mentor, Christian Howes has also been my greatest jazz violin idol. He encouraged me to venture into the realm of composition and arranging. Not only has he assisted me in every aspect of the production process of this CD recording, i.e., from fine-tuning the arrangements and managing the band to artistic coaching, he has also profoundly guided me in the recording and marketing of this album. As a classically trained violinist, I would never have dreamt of producing an album in this genre if not for Christian's relentless encouragement and priceless inspiration. It has been a great learning experience for me. I therefore have the honor of presenting Christian as a treasured guest artiste in three songs on this CD. Thank you from the bottom of my heart, Chris! Special thanks to Storm, and all my friends who have taken time to provide me with valuable suggestions and advice. I would like to thank the people who have been wonderful to me: Ken Tan, my business partner, for partially sponsoring the production cost of this project; Mario Serio and Mei Sheum for guiding me in jazz composition; Goo Chui Ping for her friendship and emotional support; Anthony Seow for the album title and write-up edits, Francisco Raquiza and Leslie Yap from the Mosche Hair Salon for photography, make up and hairdo; Lawrence Lim from Poetic License for photography; Pan Pacific Orchard Hotel for the penthouse suite for photo shoot; Yamaha for the loan of the violin used for the recording done in Tokyo; Kevin Kwan for the overall graphic design of this CD; Roderick The for textual editing; Nancy Ho for the Chinese calligraphy; and the unconditional love of my family and Pet Mongrel Whisky.