Press for "No One Ever Tells You"

The new record has gotten some excellent press that I want to share with you! Hope you are enjoying it, too!

“…mightily satisfying… her most impressive album to date.” – Jazz Times

"...a top-notch jazz singer..." - Downbeat Magazine, 4-stars

"...the good parts of No One Ever Tells You are good enough that you sense that a remarkable date is still to come from this interesting, resourceful jazz singer." - Will Layman, PopMatters.com

"No One Ever Tells You (Anzic Records) by singer-songwriter Amy Cervini crisscrosses genres with the ease of a ballet dancer." - Mike Greenblatt, The Aquarian Weekly

"No One Ever Tells You" is a treat...Cervini is a singer, a story-teller, and has a good ear for finding songs that not only fit her voice but also entertain and entrance the listeners. And, the band shines throughout." - Step Tempest

“…a roots-and-rock through line and a pull-no-punches presentation separates it from the pack.” Dan Bilawsky, All About Jazz

"With the aid of a backup band that brings a bluesy jazz-rock edge to the proceedings, singer Amy Cervini puts a new spin on breakup and torch songs on this captivating and thematically focused program of ten songs." - NYC Jazz Record

"Both the vocal and instrumental performances on No One Ever Tells You are glorious. But it is the unremitting melancholy of with which Miss Cervini treats a classic idiom, turning every song into an evocative tableau that is the signature element of this disc to die for." - Raul Da Gama, Jazz Da Gama

"The blues-drenched results...are striking." - Hot House Jazz

"Amy Cervini has created a collection that draws in the listeners, and holds their interest throughout." - Jersey Jazz

"...her newest release is a genuine surprise." - Thomas Cunniffe, Jazz History Online

 

Amy Cervini
"No One Ever Tells You" Available today!

"No One Ever Tells You" is available for purchase and streaming today! I'm really excited to share this music with you and I hope you like it. I hope you'll consider giving it a rating and review on your favorite site. It's very helpful and lets people know that they should check it out.  Hope to see some of you tonight at SubCulture in NYC. 

Amy Cervini
Throwback to Jazz Country
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Jazz Country was released in 2014 and features my friends Jesse Lewis and Matt Aronoff.  We had been performing together as a trio for at least 3 years before we recorded this and these arrangements came about over that time. We had a lot of really exciting special guests join us for the session; Nellie McKay sang and played ukulele, Marty Ehrlich played alto saxophone, Anat Cohen played clarinet, Nadje Noordhuis played trumpet, Oded Lev-Ari played piano and Gary Versace played accordion. Matt Wilson produced the session and Oded Lev-Ari did all the post-production work. We recorded at Sear Sound in NYC with Brian Montgomery engineering and mixing and Mark Wilder mastered. 

Working with Jesse and Matt on this record was an absolute joy and we had a great time performing these tunes live for audiences across the States and Canada.

Favorite track:

There are so many favorites on this one. I love all the guest performances on this record. Each one was a pleasure to work with and brought such beautiful musical ideas and great vibes to the session. Gary Versace’s accordion work on “Penguin Dance” delights me to this day. 

As I mentioned, we had been working on these tunes for a while before going into the studio so we were very comfortable with each other and the music. I’m so glad we decided to record Jesse singing on “Calling You.” It’s something he started doing live and I loved it so much. When it came time to record, I knew I wanted to capture it on record as well.  Jesse’s work on this makes my hair stand on end every time I hear it. Beautiful.

Matt’s solo on Smile is maybe my favorite bass solo ever. It’s beautifully melodic and it’s rare that I can sing along with a bass solo but this one gets me every time.

Small world connections:

Dominique Eade was my voice teacher at New England Conservatory. I fell in love with her tune, “Go Gently to the Water” after hearing her perform it. I wanted Oded to be on the record and thought it would be a perfect duet for us. Oded is known mostly as an arranger, composer and producer but he plays the piano so beautifully. It was such a pleasure to be able to play this tune with him. Also, to sing a tune by a woman who inspires me so much and taught me so many valuable lessons was really special.

I mentioned that I recorded a Nellie McKay tune on “Lovefool” and I was so excited when she agreed to be on this record. I’ve been a big fan of hers for years and this was a dream come true.

“Song for the Mira” is a song I grew up singing in choirs in Toronto, Canada. It was inducted into the Canadian Songwriter’s Hall of Fame this year.

Behind the scenes:

“Wallflower Lonely” features Nellie McKay on ukulele and yours truly on saxophone. In case you didn’t know, I actually went to New England Conservatory as an alto sax player. I decided to focus on my singing by the end of my time there but continued to play occasionally. I wanted to try to play on this tune and we recorded it at the end of a day where no one was really left in the studio. Luckily, Matt Aronoff was there to give me guidance as I recorded. He mostly told to me to play less. If you are a musician you understand how wise and helpful those words can be. Thank you, Matt. 

“Je Danse Avec La Neige” is a tune that I wrote lyrics to with music by my friend Aaron Kotler. He called me a few months after I had Ethan and asked if I could write some lyrics in French for a commercial pitch he was submitting. I was starved to use my brain after 2 months of baby-land and said yes immediately. I needed some help with the grammar but managed to wipe the cobwebs out and get these lyrics happening. It was for a Macy’s commercial so the working title was “Macy’s Backstage” for the longest time.  We didn’t get the commercial but I’m happy because it meant I got to keep the tune for myself!

Check out this Spotify playlist of the versions that inspired our takes on these songs. 

Amy Cervini
Spotlight on Jared Schonig
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Jared Schonig plays drums on “No One Ever Tells You.” Jared has the most beautiful and powerful energy behind the drum set. There’s nothing quite like it.

Get to know Jared Schonig:

How we met:

I’m not exactly known for my memory but I think I met Jared doing a project with vocalist/pianist Brenda Earle. I remember thinking that he was insane but a great drummer that I hoped to work with more in the future. When I started looking for a new drummer to play with, I knew I needed to find someone sensitive but not afraid to poke and prod me (and the rest of the band) from behind the drums. Jared is that guy. I LOVE being on stage with him. I still think he's insane but I love it. 

What we’ve done together:

Jared and I have recorded 2 albums together. We’ve travelled a bit, but not enough. Enough to have some stories to tell though.

Fun fact:

My kids love Uncle Scho AND he brings them donuts. They love when he comes over for a visit. Jared also came into my son’s classroom to talk about playing drums on Broadway, the class loved him, too. Yes, Jared plays often on Broadway. He’s been in a lot of great shows including The Color Purple. 

My favorite thing:

I love that Jared texts me when I play with another drummer to see how it went. It makes me smile and makes me really happy. I love how Jared really propels me and pushes me on the bandstand. I love when Jared fills rests with grunts and other vocalizations. He is equal parts sensitive and monster chops. The one and only, Big Scho. 

Amy Cervini
Throwback to Digging Me Digging You
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I released this record in 2012. It is a tribute to my favorite singer, Blossom Dearie. Blossom sang, played piano, wrote songs, had her own record label, and was an all around bad-ass lady. We recorded the record at Sear Sound in NYC with James Farber engineering. We recorded the main tracks for the record in one day and did the cellos and a few vocal overdubs on a second, half-day. The record features some amazing musicians: Bruce Barth on piano, Matt Aronoff on bass, Matt Wilson on drums, Jesse Lewis on guitar, Avishai Cohen on trumpet, Anat Cohen on clarinet, Jeremy Udden on alto saxophone, Jennifer Wharton on bass trombone, Josh Sinton on bari sax, James Shipp on percussion, and Yair Evnine, Rubin Kodheli, Yoed Nir, Jessie Reagan Mann and Alex Waterman on cello. Phew. They are all amazing musicians and you should check them all out.  Oded Lev-Ari is the real star, he produced and arranged this record – brilliantly.

Favorite track:

It’s so hard to pick and choose…I’ll just highlight some of my favorite things…

  • I love the 8 cello arrangement of Figure Eight. I wanted to pay tribute to Blossom’s contribution to School House Rock and this song seemed perfect. At first when Oded suggested eight cellos, I thought he had lost his mind but once again, he was right.
  • The arrangement on Rhode Island is soooooo fun. We didn’t rehearse for this record and we recorded live. The horns were in the same room as most of the rhythm section and these guys nailed it.
  • Avishai’s solo on Down With Love.
  • Bruce Barth on I Like You You’re Nice. Talk about feeling safe and supported. Bruce is masterful.
  • All of the 5 horn arrangements are incredible. Just such a joy to sing over and these musicians really did such an amazing job.

Small world connections:

I went to school at the New England Conservatory of Music and this record has a lot of NEC alums on it! Josh Sinton, Jen Wharton, Jeremy Udden Oded and I were all there at the same time.

When I was around 12, I participated in a music competition where I sang and played saxophone. The juror wrote in the notes that I played saxophone like Paul Desmond and sang like Blossom Dearie. I hadn’t heard of either of them and I went home and checked them out. They became my favorites.

Behind the scenes:

My son, Ethan, was just 6 months old when we recorded this album. He came to visit the studio and I remember being amazed that Oded and I managed to accomplish anything, never mind putting together this album so soon after he was born.

Here is a video of the background vocals on Doodlin’ Song. I remember being so happy that these bad-ass musicians were willing to do this for me. Bruce Barth, Anat Cohen, Matt Wilson, Matt Aronoff, and Oded Lev-Ari did an awesome job! You can even here James Farber in the background saying, “They sound good!”

Listen to my versions and Blossom's versions back-to-back on Spotify

Amy Cervini
Spotlight on Matt Aronoff
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Matt Aronoff plays bass on “No One Ever Tells You.” He was on that very first show where the seed for this band was planted. We took a bit of a detour with Jazz Country in between but I’m so glad got around to making this record. Matt sounds amazing.  

Get to know Matt Aronoff:

How we met:
I met Matt when he was my brother’s roommate when they were at Manhattan School of Music (thanks Ernesto for introducing me to such awesome humans and musicians!). If I remember correctly, Matt was on tour with the circus at the time! The first gig we ever played together, was a bat mitzvah and I played saxophone. The fact that there was ever a second gig is a testament to his patience and sense of humor.

What we’ve done together:
Matt and I have recorded 4 albums together. We have toured the West and East Coast of the United States. We’ve played countless gigs, good and bad, fun and not so fun and always have a good time.

Fun fact:
Matt and I share a love of dental hygiene. It’s more of a duty, both of our fathers were dentists and we just don’t know any different. Matt brought Ethan a huge bag of candy for his one-year birthday…best present ever, I ate the whole thing very happily. Matt’s nickname, at least for me, is Aronofski. The band calls him Scaremoff but I just think that’s mean. ;)

 

My favorite thing:
There are so many things I love about Matt…he is a great musician, first off. He is a great friend, we’ve been through a lot together and over the years and I know he always has my back. 

Amy Cervini
Throwback to Lovefool
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I released this record in 2009 with ACQ. The band on the record is Michael Cabe, Mark Lau and Ernesto Cervini. We recorded at Skyline Productions with Paul Wickliffe engineering and Oded Lev-Ari producing. We also had some special guests on this album: Joel Frahm on tenor sax, Marty Ehrlich on bass clarinet and a string quartet (Jesse Reagan, Earl Maneein, Matt Szemela and Jon Weber). Besides their main instruments, Michael Cabe sings and plays Rhodes and accordion, Ernesto sings and plays accordion, bass clarinet and percussion, Mark got away with just singing on this one.

Favorite track:

Oh, my.  It’s hard with this one. Oded wrote an amazing String Quartet and bass clarinet addition for Love Fool that makes me smile every time I hear it. The guys also sing AMAZING background vocals on Sad Songs and Waltzes and especially, The More I Go Out.  Michael’s intro to The More I Go Out is definitely happy making.  I also love a good Joel Frahm “foof.” He is a monster musician and truly excellent human and I love him.

I really love the eclectic song choices on this record. We dug deep for repertoire and ended up with some pretty cool tunes and arrangements. Check out the Spotify playlist to see what I’m talking about.

Small world connections:

We recorded “I Want to Get Married” a great tune by Nellie McKay on this record. Nellie actually came to our record release at The Jazz Standard for this record. I was so honored. She is supremely talented and a lovely human being. Two albums later I recorded with Nellie McKay on Jazz Country. Just Nellie and her uke and me and my saxophone.

Behind the scenes:

The original on this record is called, “Lonely Highway.” I had originally written a song to a Shel Silverstein poem but didn’t get permission to use the poem on the record. So, I went back and with the help of Ernesto and Oded, we came up with the lyrics you hear on the record.

I did the record release for this album at The Jazz Standard in NYC, one of my favorite places to play in the city. I was about 5 months pregnant at the time with my first. I had really easy pregnancies, so I was feeling great (thank goodness). The great Fred Hersch stopped by and played his tune, Lazin’ Around with me. What an honor. 

We actually recorded “Good Riddance” for the first record but it didn’t make the cut. We kept playing it live and tried again for the second album.

The melodica you hear on Sad Songs and Waltzes is yours truly.  Ernesto plays both accordion and bass clarinet on Lonely Highway – overachiever. 

Amy Cervini
Spotlight on Jesse Lewis
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Jesse Lewis plays guitar on “No One Ever Tells You.” His guitar intro many years ago on a tune we did for the Blossom Dearie record actually planted the seed for this whole band. He shreds, he loops, he sings, he is “The Poet.”

Get to know Jesse Lewis:

How we met:
I first heard Jesse at IAJE with my brother, Ernesto. He was playing with a big band and I remember being blown away.  My brother said, “Just wait…he can do ANYTHING.” He was right. Not sure that I met him that day, but it was the my first “Jesse Lewis experience.”

What we’ve done together:
Jesse and I have recorded 5 albums together. We have traveled to the West Coast of the US, and around the Northeast of the US. We have kids around the same age and have grown into this parent/artist thing together, too.

Fun fact:
Jesse taught me about the “shower beer.” Hard to believe that a beer-loving Canadian didn’t know about it! Hot shower and cold beer. Nothing better.

My favorite thing:
My favorite thing about Jesse is that he really can do anything. He can play super straight ahead, shredding blues, sensitive acoustic guitar…anything.  That, and his sweaters.

Amy Cervini
Throwback to Famous Blue
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Famous Blue

This was my debut recording that was released in 2007. I had been in NYC for 7 years but hadn’t found my music “people” until a few years before we made the record.  The band on the record is Michael Cabe, Mark Lau and Ernesto Cervini. We recorded at Firehouse 12 in New Haven, CT with Nick Lloyd engineering and Oded Lev-Ari producing.

Favorite track:

It’s a tie between “Extraordinary Machine” (Fiona Apple) and “Holiday” (Weezer). Looking back, it was pretty ballsy to record these tunes on my debut jazz record but it never occurred to me that I shouldn’t. Ernesto plays clarinet and Michael plays accordion on “Extraordinary Machine” and the band sings AMAZING back ground vocals on the Weezer tune. They make me smile to this day.

Small world connections:

I recorded a Feist tune called “Mushaboom” that I first performed with Ingrid Jensen at Joe’s Pub having never met her. We were just in Vancouver together at the Juno Awards hanging out and I had forgotten all about our first meeting!

Vocalist, Laila Biali, also recorded “Mushaboom” on a record released around the same time.  We got a joint review in the Ottawa Citizen. I had never heard of Laila at that point (my fault…I was too out of touch with the Canadian jazz scene) but just recently recorded a podcast with her for “Harmony and Hijinks with Duchess” and had our sons first (American) Thanksgiving together years ago!

I also recorded a Jonatha Brooke tune called, “Because I Told You So.” I was a big fan of her music after a friend (thanks Matthew Libman) introduced me to her in college.  Since recording the tune I have had the pleasure of meeting and hanging out with Jonatha a number of times through mutual friends and my admiration has just grown!

You all know how tight I am with Melissa Stylianou and I recorded a tune that she wrote lyrics to on this record, “Sliding Down.” We had met only a year before I made this record but as soon as I heard her lyrics for this Edgar Meyer tune, I knew I had to record it.

Nicest thing anyone said about this record:
“...cool, assured delivery and a sensibility that demands finely honed, well conceived arrangements." - Peter Hum, The Ottawa Citizen

Meanest thing anyone said about this record:
A DJ in Florida told me that he was sorry that he had to be the first to tell me this and that my friends and family really should have told me years ago but that I was a horrible singer and I should “just stop now.”

Amy Cervini
Spotlight on Michael Cabe

Michael plays piano on "No One Ever Tells You." He is a sensitive accompanist and brilliant soloist. All that, AND he's an excellent friend. 

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Get to know Michael Cabe:

How we met:
We met through my brother, Ernesto Cervini who went to Manhattan School of Music with Michael. In our first years together we logged many hours in the basement of his building “rehearsing” (mostly laughing, drinking beer, hanging out).

What we’ve done together:
Michael and I have recorded 5 albums together and have traveled across the United States and Canada together making music. We’ve had a lot of beer, a lot of laughs and a lot of fun.

Fun fact:
Did you know that Michael can drive a tractor? He also has a Vespa (that I refuse to ride on) and is one of the best drivers I know, despite my questionable navigation techniques – taps on window to signal right turn. 

My favorite thing:
My favorite thing about Michael is how absolutely sweet and thoughtful he is. Not to mention his piano playing. I have been known to take Michael out of his comfort zone musically and he is always down to try something new. I mean, he played accordion and sang on my first two records. It doesn’t get much better than that.

Learn more on his website.

Amy Cervini
Welcome to my new site

Thanks for stopping by! Enjoy the new site and hope to see you at a show sometime soon. Thanks to Shervin Lainez for the new photos!

Amy Cervini