Recording artist, performer and composer Liza Lee is a breakout talent rapidly making her mark on today’s jazz scene. Her personal and haunting musical interpretations exhibit an emotional vulnerability laced with a confident understanding of life’s realities.
Liza’s highly praised first CD, Scarlet Mark, was released on the Jazz Doll label. Her latest project, Anima, was released on January 27, 2009. As on her previous album, the material she has chosen for Anima is fresh, unpredictable and innovative. It also includes some of her highly praised yet controversial original compositions.
Anima is an extremely personal CD. In 2006, shortly after the release of Scarlet Mark, Liza suffered a stroke. Having made a full comeback, Liza Lee has decided to donate the proceeds from Anima to The Society For Women's Health Research (SWHR), a non-profit organization whose mission is to improve the health of all women through research, education and advocacy (www.womenshealthresearch.org). This life altering experience inspired the title of the CD, Anima, which comes from the concept of the Anima and Animus by Carl Jung.
“Anima represents the feminine whisper inside of a patriarchal society,” Liza explains. “This is especially significant to me because this CD will benefit SWHR.”
“The doctors did not know if I would ever be able to sing or perform again,” explains Liza. “Now that I am better, I feel that it is my job to help increase awareness about the dire need for funds to research how illness, disease and medications uniquely affect women’s bodies.”
Most of the songs on Anima were composed or co-composed by women including Joni Mitchell’s “Blue,” “A Thousand Kisses Deep” by Leonard Cohen and Sharon Robinson, and Kate Bush’s “Wow.” Liza Lee is particularly haunting on “Silver Dagger” and “Revolving Mattress,” a song about confounding expectations and “Sorry Child” an original about the cyclical nature of drug and psychological abuse. She also presents a unique and memorable interpretation of the Peggy Lee hit “Is That All There Is.” Her supporting cast includes such notables as pianists Bruce Barth, Michael Kanan, David Cook and Art Hirahara, bassist Pat O’Leary, drummers Michael Petrosino and Eric Halvorson, the reeds of Scott Robinson, Jim Clouse and Adam Kolker, and guitarist Kelsey Warren. Singer Shayna Steele duets with Liza on ”Calling You.”
When the time to record her first album arrived, the result was Scarlet Mark. As with all of Liza Lee’s music, the songs dealt with aspects of her life.