by Nicholas F. Mondello
Revered decades after her passing, Lena Horne has remained an icon in the realms of music, stage & screen, and civil rights activism. With A Love Letter to Lena, San Francisco-based vocalist Clairdee assumes the task of saluting Horne by way of selections from Billy Strayhorn and other great American composers. And the inclusion of narration and quotes from Horne adds a special perspective and further poignancy to this fine musical effort. Old Devil Moon," originally recorded ...read more
by Dan Bilawsky
A fixture on the Bay Area jazz scene, Clairdee has established herself as a self-assured singer and an artist who's never content in repeating an idea. Her first three albums move from the studio to the holidays to the stage, demonstrating a high level of comfort in disparate settings and seasons. This fourth projecta tribute to Lena Horne, realized after a decade of thought on the matterwill likely extend that reputation while marking her as a strong conceptualist.read more
by Bill Leikam
ClairdeeDouglas Beach HouseHalf Moon Bay, CaliforniaMay 8, 2011 On Mother's Day, May 8, 2011, the historic Douglas Beach House (aka Bach Dancing and Dynamite Society) in Half Moon Bay, California was buzzing about Clairdee's impending performance. When the full house had settled in, her stellar band--musical director/pianist Ken French, world class bassist Ruth Davies, guitarist John Hoy and world renowned percussionist Jim Zimmerman--took to the stage and warmed the audience with Sonny Clark's upbeat ...read more
by Woodrow Wilkins
One thing that makes live music great is the way artists feed off an audience's energy. San Francisco-based vocalist Clairdee makes that point clear on the opening notes of Yes Sir, That's My Baby, the first song on Music Moves. As the audience applauds the introduction, Clairdee says that's the reaction she wants to hear, even if you don't mean it. This playful approach is Clairdee's modus operandi--a style that says be serious in creating the sound but ...read more
by Jim Santella
Music in motion. That's what Clairdee's performances are. Recorded live at Yoshi's in Oakland, California, Music Moves reveals a singer who communicates with her audience on all levels. It's easy to love her music and the way she delivers it.
In her comments on this album, Clairdee mentions her deep respect for singers of jazz and blues, such as Ruth Brown, Al Green, Donny Hathaway, and Frank Sinatra. The album's final track is a salute to Eddie Harris, ...read more
by Jim Santella
It’s that time of year for celebrations. A party atmosphere surrounds Clairdee’s contemporary gift package, adorned with ribbons of R&B, traditional blues, Latin jazz, and a heartfelt appreciation of the Christmas spirit. She interprets classic songs that have been handed down by favorite composers and lyricists such as Charles Brown, Alec Wilder, Thad Jones, Mel Torme, Sammy Cahn, Jule Styne, and Horace Silver.
Brown’s “Bringing In a New Year” promises to replace the other traditional anthems for ...read more
by Dave Nathan
If a singer chooses to perform a program of standards in a laid back, relaxed manner, the vocalist had better have the chops to sustain slow tempos because there's nowhere to hide. One very fine singers now working out of the San Francisco area, Clairdee, pulls it off going away. With her husky, deep toned contralto, she runs through a musical agenda of eleven standards and near standards. All the usual adjectives rightfully apply to Clairdee's voice and delivery - ...read more