A Step Beyond the Rain
"A Step Beyond the Rain" is a refreshing collection of favorite jazz standards performed by vocalist Sarah Elizabeth Combs.
Artist:Sarah Elizabeth Combs
Album:A Step Beyond the Rain
"A Step Beyond The Rain" is the combination of two of my favorite things; singing from the great "American Songbook" and collaborating with outstanding artists. I am pleased to offer listeners a refreshing tribute to some of the most beloved jazz standards as well as a few lesser known gems of this golden era. The journey to what I am proud to call my debut album began over two years ago while on the road. I was working on tour with brilliant musician and friend, David Olivas and decided we needed to collaborate. We came up with a concept and began hashing out ideas while aboard buses, planes, in our little hotel rooms and back stage between shows. It was David's creative and musical expertise that took this project to another level and something better than I could have imagined. He created all but one of the charts and somehow was able to make my crazy ideas work with special arrangements such as the mashup duet of "My One And Only Love/These Foolish Things." It's David's sax you hear on a few of the tracks and he's also responsible for recording all the vocals and assembling a stellar group of musicians to record with us. As I'm sure many of you know, independent projects like this don't happen overnight or on one's own. It's been a labor of love and over two years in the making. I'm grateful to God for bringing together a team of amazing and accomplished people who put their time, talent and great care into helping me make this dream a reality. Their guidance and support has been invaluable! I would like to dedicate this album to my parents who worked tirelessly to provide me with a strong education and exposure to the performing arts. It's they who instilled my taste for good music and introduced me to many of the songs that appear on the album. And to my dear grandmother Dona who's been a huge support, attended every recital and show and is quite possibly my "biggest fan." Without them, this dream would not have been possible! And a very special thanks goes out to my phenomenal group of family and friends for their great and constant support! Sadly, our bassist, John Shifflet, passed away before the project was completed. We would also like to dedicate this album to his memory and are so grateful to him for contributing his artistry to our project! Random fun facts for the very curious listener: ⁃We recorded the musicians at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley, California. ⁃On the drive to Berkeley, we were fuled almost entirely on Red Vines, which may have made us sound possibly just a little bit "sweeter." ⁃Due to a new job that took me out of the country for a few months, three of the tracks had to be recorded by the band members listening to my vocals on a click track I pre-recorded at David's apartment in Los Angeles. ⁃The vocals for "Might As Well Be Spring" and "All The Things You Are" were recorded in a make-shift studio —a closet at the home of Kent Moore, with Command Z Studios in Los Angeles, CA. ⁃It was David's idea to do "Joy Spring" and to give it the "swunk" beat which was completely new to me, but so fun! ⁃Without a doubt, "Joy Spring" took the most time recording vocals. Between the words and the phrasing, that song is killer and I can see why most vocalists don't attempt it much! ⁃It was my idea to have a jazz flute in "Joy Spring"... David wasn't sure about it. You can decide for yourself, but I'm a big fan of Kris Strom and love what she did with it! She had originally practiced the solo for sax and had no idea until just before recording that she was going to do a flute solo, so even more props to her! ⁃Kristen, whose talents are featured throughout the album, was David's saxophone teacher. She was also our Associate Producer during the recording at Fantasy Studios and Marketsound Studio in San Jose, CA. Kristen is married to Scott Sorkin who performed all the guitar for the album as well as the mixing for each track. ⁃The idea for the mashup of "These Foolish Things/My One And Only Love" came while listening to one and I began to sing the bridge of the other. Turns out they are quite similar in chords, tone and feeling. I am so pleased with the final result and the way we were able to mix the lyrics and melodies. Hopefully you won't even be able to tell it's two different songs! ⁃Chadwick Johnson —whom I have still yet to meet, is featured on "These Foolish Things/My One And Only Love." His vocals were recorded separately from me at The Hideout Recording Studio in Las Vegas, NV. ⁃The big band arrangement of "Call Me Irresponsible" was created by Jeff Hoeppner. ⁃I was out of the country during the final mixing and mastering processes so many previews and decisions were made from places all over the world such as Bali, Australia, Alaska, Barcelona, Lisbon and even Antartica! ⁃In our recording session, our pianist, Adam Shulman was still in recovery from Pneumonia, but somehow managed to play —I had no idea until the session was over! ⁃Though American Songbook standards are my favorite genre to sing, I'm originally a classically trained singer who's made a living performing in musical theatre. ⁃A few of my favorite musical artists and influences are Barbara Streisand, Judy Garland, Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennet, and Dame Julie Andrews. ⁃My dad speaks Portuguese and coached me on "Manha de Carnaval." Any issues with pronunciation can be taken up with him! ☺ ⁃I originally thought to title the album "Sophisticated Lady" but decided against it when I realized how much it had already been used. ⁃"Over The Rainbow" is my favorite song of all time and the lyrics from the opener just seemed to work for the final title and struck a chord with me on a personal level as well. ⁃The Editing and Mastering were done by the Grammy and Emmy award winning artist/producer and friend, Joe Hogue of HiTPLAY Studios in Los Angeles, CA.