Spoken Word - Great American Songbook - Jazz Demo

The Juliette Gray Trio is a collaboration between Juliette, her clarinetist/saxophonist husband, Gary Gray and well known jazz pianist Bill Cunliffe. Juliette believes that many of the lyrics in the repertoire of the Great American Songbook’s are overlooked, both as stories and as a historical juxtaposition of the way life experienced largely for Jewish and African American musicians & songwriters who were immigrants to the U.S. between the World Wars.

These songs, even the upbeat ones have an element of yearning, pathos and strong emotion, and the lyrics when combined with beautiful melodies, stand on their own as literature and poetry.

With Juliette’s musical background always close to her heart, she decided to record these songs in the jazz idiom, but speaking rather than singing the lyrics. These particular songs include the verse of the song in addition to the well known song itself. This is a kind of preamble or pre-life to what is to come when the main melody starts and also helps enhance the poetic nature of the lyrics. This was a common tool used by Broadway composers of the 30’s, 40’s and 50’s.