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Lisa Maxwell

The Beginning

Chubby Checkers, dancing with my 2 older sisters and baby brother to “Do the Twist”. Roy Orbison, “Pretty Woman”, The Beach Boys, Julie Andrews, “The Sound of Music”, Gordon McCrae, “Oh What a Beautiful Morning”, The Supremes, The Beatles, Laura Nyro, Joni Mitchell Bonnie Raitt, J Geils, BB King, Charlie Musselwhite, Howlin’ Wolf, JJ Cale, J. Geils, Taj Mahal, John Mayall. I especially loved the blues.

So goes a brief history of some of those that influenced me the most and the deepest early on and up to the point that I started to find my own voice. All the while I was hearing Oscar Peterson, Dave Brubeck, Quincy Jones, Miles Davis and so many countless other jazz greats in the background of my life, being played by my jazz-loving father.

Music was ever present in our home, but I was the one who didn’t take any music lessons. Both my sisters and brother labored away on the piano, recorder, and violin with my patient mother sitting closely by as they played scales, and pieces of pieces over and over. “Every Good Boy Deserves Favor”, FACE, all those verbal cues to learn from were just too confusing for me. But I loved listening, and loved singing. My mother was quite accomplished in her technical knowledge and in fact had a lovely lilting voice, always on pitch. My sister Linda took after her. I wanted my own identity. I decided to pursue art, and so off I went skipping happily down that path all the way to art school and New York City.

The Fever

That was 1974, and I was working my way through college, waitressing during the inception of disco. Somebody played Peggy Lee, on the jukebox and I just kept playingher again and again and again. What a sound, what a style, what feeling, what heart, what sensuality. Yes, that’s when I got “The Fever”.

New York had a great jazz station at the time, WRVR, which was on in my apartment any time I was there to listen. From 8:00 AM till I went to sleep it was on. They played everybody, and that was my music schooling.

I eventually mustered up the courage to take singing lessons, singing-acting classes, got coached and began a stint with cabaret, all being supported by my day job as a New York advertising art director. That went on for 9 years until in 1993 my son, Lake, was born. My nightlife became occupied with feeding and caring, blissfully so for him. Now my singing was directed to him, with all those lovely lullabies to rediscover.

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Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson


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Self Produced



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