A song that can be deemed a timeless classic is a member of an elite and limited club for very good reason. They’re the songs that can transcend all the trends, and connect with and captivate listeners across generations. Internationally acclaimed jazz artist Carol Welsman has picked up a very timeless classic, dusted it off, polished it up, and is starting it all over again for a new audience. “Pick Yourself Up” – check it out on YouTube here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qyRrsbTkIhE
Ahead of the September 9th release of her 14th album, appropriately titled 14, Welsman is giving us the gift of her warm, infectious interpretation of “Pick Yourself Up”, a song that may have been written nearly 100 years ago — but the relevance of its message and affinity for its melody never dims. Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers first introduced the song in 1936 in one of their timeless musicals, “Swing Time”. Since then, it has been recorded over the years by a cavalcade of greats including Ella Fitzgerald, Anita O’Day, Frank Sinatra, Mel Tormé, and Gregory Porter. However, it was Nat King Cole who first really popularized the song and Welsman targeted Cole’s 1962 recording of “Pick Yourself Up” with George Shearing as her definitive template.
“It’s a beautiful arrangement by George Shearing, which he recorded with Nat King Cole years ago,” notes Welsman. “It was so inspiring, I lifted it note for note and we re-produced it as a trio featuring Pierre Côté on guitar, Rémi-Jean LeBlanc on bass, and yours truly on piano and vocals.”
From the first familiar and self-assured notes, Welsman’s lovingly faithful take on “Pick Yourself Up” displays her keen ability to put a personal frame around a jazz standard masterpiece.
Listen on Spotify here: https://open.spotify.com/track/3pokAtOSCmJ2rRk7WSh6JJ?si=d0ccf44180ea4ee6&nd=1
Following the six-time JUNO nominee’s May release of “Come Fly With Me”, “Pick Yourself Up” is the second of three pre-release singles before 14 is unveiled on September 9th via Justin Time Records. Co-produced by internationally renowned producer, composer, and arranger Romano Musumurra, 14 features Welsman’s exquisite and intimate piano/vocal work alongside the simple, straightforward accompaniment of guitar, bass, and occasional drums.
“It is truly a jazz album,” states Welsman.
Welsman is returning to those straight-ahead jazz roots as she follows up her 13th album, 2020’s Dance With Me, a Latin Jazz record featuring a duet with Dominican superstar Juan Luis Guerra that was added to Spotify’s 900,000 listener-strong Latin playlist. It’s another wonderful achievement layered on top of scoring two #1 selling albums of the year in Japan, 2016’s For You and 2019’s Volume 2, This is Carol – Jazz Beauties. In 2010, Welsman’s album I Like Men – Reflections of Miss Peggy Lee was voted Top 5 Album of the Year for all genres in USA Today.
Music is definitely in the Toronto-born, L.A.-based artist’s blood. She is the granddaughter of Frank Welsman, founder and first conductor of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, and she’s a “distinguished alumnus” of the Berklee College of Music. Welsman speaks French, Italian, and Spanish fluently — and has recorded in all three languages. She’s also an accomplished and prolific songwriter with songs recorded by the likes of Celine Dion, Ray Charles, and Chrissie Hynde. On stage, Welsman has performed internationally in trio, big band, and pops orchestra formats and has played for/with such luminaries as Stevie Wonder, Gordon Lightfoot, Herbie Hancock, and former U.S. President Bill Clinton.
Perhaps legendary American Film Critic and Welsman fan Rex Reed sum up her allure the best. “Blessed with so many musical gifts—taste, time, projection, and a rhythmic sense of when to change chords—Carol’s piano is beyond reproach, warm yet rhythmically sharp, giving her voice a perfect hammock of support to swing in.”
There’s much more of that on the way as Carol Welsman releases 14 on Sept. 9th.