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ZRAZY “LIVING OUR LIVES”
NEW ‘LIVE’ CD
Irish Release Date: May 2nd 2003

After a four year recording gap, Zrazy release the first of two albums this year. The first is a live album recorded last October in Columbus, Ohio. Entitled Living Our Lives (due inspiration to Grace Jones), it’s an album that captures the magic of a Zrazy live performance.

Living our Lives captures what Zrazy are about: the fantastic wide scope of their music that observes no barriers. The jazz world, the dance world, the pop world. The quality of the songwriting and the lyrics. The musicianship of Carole Nelson on sax and piano. The voice of Maria Walsh suffused with emotion and primal force. The charisma of the live performance. The producers in their own studio releasing on their own label ALFI.

Some of the fans favourites are here and five new tracks. The music takes the listener on a journey from the opening calm simplicity of “Amen” to the essential – listening anti-war techno track of “Make The Connection”, to the goofy humour of “Suburban Girl” and “Going Up”.

It ends with the track “Ecstasy” as a reminder of what is to come with their next album release in late summer - a new collection of original jazz songs. Ecstasy has been re-mixed by Denny Jiosa, jazz producer/guitarist in Nashville into a radio-friendly very sexy smooth jazz track.

Living our Lives - it’s all here – Maria’s luscious voice and powerful bodhran playing; Carole’s lyrical piano, sweet sax and wild improvising tin whistle. Zrazy fans will be delighted to hear more of Zrazy’s trad influence on this album too.

Living Our Lives is an emotional, spiritual, political and sexy ride into the Zrazy world.

Living our Lives available on CDBaby.com and record stores
on the ALFI label.

 
 
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Zrazy are an Irish phenomenon according to German magazine Melodiva. Featuring the combined talents of Maria Walsh (vocals, bodhrán, programming) and Carole Nelson (saxophones, tin whistle, piano and programming), Zrazy’s extraordinary span of music puts them among the forefront of contemporary Irish music. Their first two CDs, Give it All Up and Come Out Everybody were pure pop/dance delights, integrating celtic lyricism, poetic sensibility and traditional instruments with funky loops and techno grooves.

In 1999 Carole and Maria returned to their first love - jazz. Their third album Private Wars, recorded in Ireland with the Zrazy Quintet and released on their own ALFI label, is a stunning collection of eleven original jazz songs and two great standards. The title song Private Wars and I Just like to Drink Alone are just two of the songs destined to become classics of the jazz singers’ repertoire. The Irish critics are unanimous: “This may be the single most sensuous, moody, set of love songs released by any Irish act this year.” (Joe Jackson, Irish Times)

Since forming in 1992 Zrazy have toured extensively in Europe and North America, proving that they are not only formidable studio musicians and producers, but also powerful and charismatic live performers. Maria Walsh has a voice that was described by the doyen of Irish music critics, the late Bill Graham as “oozing with hurt and experience, not asking but demanding that you watch and listen.” Carole Nelson is one of the most gifted musicians to emerge from Ireland. Her talent as a songwriter, composer, pianist and saxophonist is remarkable.

March 2000, New York, Zrazy won the USA GLAMA Award for Best Jazz pipping Fred Hersch.

“I love the intensity and purity of the songs. I like the conception and the execution. I love the whole damn thing." Jeffrey Weber - Grammy award winning jazz Record Producer,USA. (see full press quotes)

In 2002 Private Wars was among the winners of the USA Billboard Song competition – jazz category.

In August 2002 Morada Music released Private Wars in the USA receiving significant airplay on jazz and eclectic/college radio and NPR with heavy rotation on satellite DMX.

Maria Walsh: A native of Tipperary, Maria co-founded Ireland’s first all-female jazz group,
Major to Minor. In addition to her work with Zrazy she hosted a jazz radio programme
on Dublin’s Jazz FM, focusing on female artists. She cites interviews with jazz and jazz/folk innovators respectively, Patricia Barber (Blue Note) and Jane Siberry of Canada.

Carole Nelson: A Londoner, Carole moved to Dublin in 1985. She has written and performed
music for theatre, film, and television and is currently writing an opera for which she received
an Irish Arts Council award. Carole has been playing jazz saxophone and piano for twenty years.

Zrazy have been concentrating on expanding their fan base in the USA and Europe since ’97 and have been touring steadily. The song “Private Wars” was placed on an episode of “Passions” - a TV series on NBC TV aired in march ’02 amongst other projects.

They have sat in with Patricia Barber (Blue Note) on her set in Chicago’s Green Mills Club; Mimi Fox, the jazz guitarist who recently played the ’02 Cork Jazz Festival has joined Zrazy on several numbers from San Francisco to Michigan. And Carole and Maria formed a quintet with the Daugherty McPartland Trio for gigs in the mid-west USA.

After a four year absence from the recording studio Zrazy will release two albums in 2003. This March sees the release of a live album called “Living our Lives”. Available directly from the internet (CDBaby.com), it captures the magic of a Zrazy live performance. Some old songs and some new, the music takes the listener on a journey from the opening calm simplicity of “Amen” to the anti-war techno track of “Make the Connection” to the goofy humour of “Suburban Girl” and “Going Up”. This is one that was promised for the fans.

The next studio jazz album still untitled and due to be mixed between Dublin, Belfast and Nashville was recorded in January in Belfast. Another collection of original jazz material aided with funding by the Arts Council, it leads on from the mellow mood of Private Wars to a more outward, upbeat, joyous sound. It is an ongoing process in the maturing and development of artistic expression with the Quintet. Due to be released late summer on their own ALFI label.

Contact Information

zrazy Email:zrazy@iol.ie

Tel: +353-1- 230-2871 PO Box 103, Blackrock, Co.Dublin, Ireland

 
     
 

PRESS QUOTES FOR “PRIVATE WARS”

JEFFREY WEBER, USA: "I found Private Wars by Zrazy to be thoroughly captivating. An incredible compositional sensitivity is married to unique, thoughtful lyrics. Maria Walsh has a wonderfully intimate vocal style, and her evocative delivery adds an elevated dimension to the already excellent material. Carole Nelson, the other half of Zrazy not only wrote most of the songs, but also plays some simply amazingly emotional saxophone (alto and soprano). If it sounds like I'm gushing a bit, I am. I love the intensity and purity of the songs. I like the conception and the execution. I love the whole damn thing."
Jeffrey Weber - Grammy award winning Record Producer (McCoy Tyner, Diane Schuur, Count Basie Orchestra, Stanley Clark, Chick Corea, David Benoit, Tom Scott, etc.)

MUSE MAGAZINE (Ireland)
“Through the century, we've been blessed with a few masters of this art such as Gershwin, Cole Porter, Lennon and McCartney, and Burt Bacharach. With Private Wars, Zrazy show themselves to be firmly in this tradition…
A fine album that shows that the art of sophisticated songwriting is alive and well and living in Ireland.” Ronan Guilfoyle – Jazz Educator and Composer

Patrick Arena, NEW YORK Review, and Southern Voice, Atlanta
“ ….In the midst of all this wonderful original material lies a fine and pure version of
'God Bless the Child' that is the definitive version of this song right next to Billy Holiday. Take them home and turn out the lights”.

Chris Wilson, Two Way Radio, Los Angeles
“…Who would have thought that two women from Ireland could so perfectly execute the jazz genre, something we in the USA often take for granted as exclusively ours?
This is truly an extraordinary recording…”

Impact News, New Orleans
“…this is gorgeous, intimate work… It's what Walsh and Nelson know and do best, despite
their very accomplished past forays into more pop-dance fare, and it's a
sheer delight to hear..”

IRISH TIMES
“This may be the single most sensuous, moody, set of love songs released by any Irish act this year.”
“Wonderful stuff, with lyrics written mostly by Carole Nelson and then dipped in the honey that seems to permanently drip from Maria Walsh's lips. Nelson also knows how to handle a saxophone. Beautifully” Joe Jackson

HOT PRESS (Ireland)
“Zrazy are back with a bang. And boy, do they know how to renew old acquaintance with style… they've produced one gem of an album that could alter forever the notion of 'mood music' if only it gets a chance……sheer panache and savoir faire”

GCN (Ireland)
“It’s also something of a return to first love as they take us hand in hand through a sublime selection of their own jazz cuts. The exquisite I Just Just Like To Drink Alone that has classic written all over it.”

SORTED MAGAZINE (Ireland)
“Stripped-down jazz, with enviously low-tempo vocals and superior production, makes this a blissful trip through the group's third album. Erykah Badu, the queen of Nu Jack Soul, would kill for some of the songs and rhythms Zrazy have created.”
“This is an early contender for Specialist Album of the Year and a must for all contemporary jazz fans.”

SUNDAY TIMES
“The saxophone playing of Nelson is superb”

PRESS QUOTES FROM CONCERT REVIEWS
AND PREVIOUS RECORDINGS

WASHINGTON BLADE (USA)
“Come Out Everybody offers a rare transcendent experience – slip it into the CD player and prepare to be taken.”

TIME OUT (London)
“Smooth-as-silk Dublin-based world-jazz-funksters who mightily impressed on their last visit. Although impossible to pin down, their music is creamy and rich, yet studded with nuggets of social conscience.”

QUOTA MAG. (Toronto)
“The lyrics have an authentic simplicity and emotion is articulated in such a way that illustrates Zrazy’s songwriting is clearly in a cliché-free zone.”

IRISH TIMES
“Maria Walsh’s vocals unravel smoothly into wonderful shapes, leaving the listener with images that remain long after the final sighing notes.”

THE ADVOCATE (USA)
on Come Out Everybody
“Zrazy are…masters of their own danceable grooves. Their spirit of experimentation is as contagious as their boppy tune Suburban Girl.”

HOT PRESS (Ireland)
“Brilliant…Ranging from hardcore techno to soft undulating dance rhythms, and from funky disco to unadulterated ballads…such a diverse creation…it’s like one big party and all kinds of strange and wonderful folk are welcome.”
“…brilliant songs which resonate in the head long after the disc has become silent…”

VARSITY (Toronto)
“The dynamics between them bounce off walls - it’s electrifying!.”

OUTSMART MAGAZINE, Houston, USA
“Zrazy’s way sexy in both look and sound.”

XL MAGAZINE (Ireland)
"…How come you haven't been listening to Zrazy forever?

Dublin Event Guide
“Joyous, affable, irreverent and upbeat ”


DISCOGRAPHY

1994 Give it All Up: on Velo Records. Produced by Zrazy. Featured the single I’m in Love
With Mother Nature – described as “one of the most important singles ever released in Ireland” – Joe Jackson, Irish Times.
1996 Permanent Happiness: on ALFI Records. Produced by Kim Fowley and Zrazy. Re-released in -
1997 as Come Out Everybody in USA by Pure/Mercury Records.
1999 Private Wars: on ALFI Records Produced by Zrazy.
2002 Private Wars released and distributed in USA by Morada Music.
2003 Living our Lives released on internet thru’ CDBaby.com and distributed in USA by Goldenrod Inc.

Compilation Albums include:
1993 I‘m in Love With Mother Nature: on worldwide release with Scotti Bros’ Straight
Outta Ireland Vol 2 USA
1996 Come Out Everybody: on Sing Don’t Sign released by Reprise Records USA.
1999 How Can I Be Sure? On Forever Dusty, a Dusty Springfield tribute on R&D Records USA

AWARDS

1992 Gold disc for Irish #1 Hit single Ooh Ah Paul McGrath.
1993 Hot Press/Smithwicks Irish Music Critics Award for Best New Band.
1997 Nominated for a GLAMA award (Gay and Lesbian American Music Award) for Best Out Song.
1998 Awarded an Irish Arts Council Grant for Contemporary Composition for the
making of Private Wars.
1999 Awarded a USA GLAMA Award for Best Jazz with the song Remember (That You Did it first with me)
2002 In the top 3 winners of Billboard USA International Song Writers Contest - Jazz category.

FILM AND VIDEO

Pop Videos: I'm In Love With Mother Nature; Laughing So Hard; When U Cry; Confession
Film/TV Soundtracks: The Happy Gordons, (French Award winner) Splitting, (UK Channel 4) Walk with me, (Northern Visions, Belfast). Private Wars placed on “Passions”, NBC TV, USA

MAJOR FESTIVALS AND VENUES PLAYED (Partial List)

‘Wie es ihr Gefelt’ International Music Festival (Berlin, Zurich, Vienna )
Toronto: Ultrasound
New York City: The Fez, Luna Lounge, CB’s Gallery, Judy’s, Pyramid Club, Sin E
Berlin: Tacheles, SO36, Ufe Fabrik, Kulturbrauerei
Paris: Espace Culturale
Belgium: Vooruit
London: The Wag Club, The Fridge, The Africa Centre
Dublin: The Shelter@ Vicar St , Renard’s Jazz Club, Whelans, Rock Garden,
Galway Arts Festival
Michigan State University Women in Jazz Series (‘01
Venues in LA, San Francisco, Chicago, Philadelphia, New , New York and many more..

 
 
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