Faith Gibson: Shooting for the Big Moon
AAJ: What's the best way to describe your music?
FG: Ask someone else, please.
AAJ: What's the best thing that's ever happened to you, musically speaking?
FG: My very first experience singing a jazz song in the accompaniment of only a bassist in a former church in Glasgow. It's the first day of my first jazz workshop and our little group is sent to work with the sublime bassist (and wonderful man) Ronnie Rae. It is really not easy to sing along with only the bass if you are used to a certain version of your song that you play over and over in your head with full accompaniment. And watching the other singers take their turns with this kind and gentle man was somewhat frightening because I could observe what they were going through. But then I got up and handed him the lead sheet for "Ill Wind" and he began playing and it was easy and absolutely sublime. Just a voice and the bass, unplugged, reverberating in this Gothic structure: it was the most beautiful musical experience I've ever had and showed me that this is what I want to do: sing jazz.
AAJ: Who's "Blossom McKinney"? Tell me about Live365 "Blossom's Vocal Jazz Radio."
FG: Blossom McKinney is my alter-ego and is a brunette, not introverted and not frightened of speaking on the radio. I'm not exactly sure how I thought up the name, but "Blossom" is not really a play on Blossom Dearie, but signifies the blossoming I've been going through the past few years as a person.
A few broadcasters on Live365 contacted me and played some of my songs on their stations. Internet radio was new to me, but when I saw the many stations on Live365, I started searching for one I'd like to listen to. I found lots of great jazz stations and especially liked Elliot Meadow's "Jazz Moods Plus," not only because of his choice of music but because he moderates the program and introduces the songs. But, I couldn't find a station that plays either only vocal jazz or the vocal jazz that I love the best.
I'm a little "techie" sometimes, so the idea of making my own station grabbed hold right away, considering I have a huge collection of vocal jazz CDs. Originally, I had hoped to target other jazz vocalists with the stationI mean as listenersbut I think most of my many, many listeners are not singers themselves. I had no idea at the start that I would end up promoting so many relatively unknown singers, but I love being able to do it.
AAJ: I have to ask you about the hidden track "Let me Sing." I know you really do not want to talk about it, but it is such a beautiful song. What's the story behind it?
FG: Some people say to me, "You should be singing in a candlelit, romantic bar." Trumpeter Ack Van Rooyen asked "Why aren't you in Carnegie Hall?" "Let Me Sing!" speaks pretty much for itself. In the frustration of trying to find gigs, any singer will want to cry out, "just give me a chance!" Yet, the theme didn't quite seem to fit into the theme running through the rest of the songs on the CD, so it's added for anyone who forgets to turn their player off.
Let me sing! I am here to entertain you.
Let me sing! It's what I was born to do.
I don't care much for fame
But, you won't forget my name
All I ask is that you let me sing!
Faith Gibson, Big Moon (Capricopia, 2009)
Faith Gibson, You don't know me (Juke Joint, 2004)
Courtesy of Faith Gibson