What Is Love

by Queen Esther

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"What is Love?" is the new CD release from stunning vocalist, Queen Esther. In this collection of jazz tunes, Queen Esther brings to mind great singers like Sarah Vaughn and Nina Simone but ends up sounding uniquely like Queen Esther. Backed by a stellar band of New York's finest players and produced by Grammy nominated composer, J.C. Hopkins, Queen Esther creates a growling, crooning, and passionately expressive piece of work.

The band consists of Kenyatta Beasley on trumpet, Vincent Chancey on french horn, Hilliard Green on bass, and J. Walter Hawkes on trombone and ukelele. Patience Higgins blows tenor sax, Matt Ray plays piano, and Warren Smith plays drums. This band really cooks and the production from J.C. Hopkins is topnotch. But this is Queen Esther's show and she commands the stage. The first cut, a Hopkins penned tune called Remember When? is an uptempo cool jazz that really showcases Queen Esther's powerful voice. Higgins' sax is the perfect cool complement to Esther's hot vocal.

The title cut, What is Love? is another Hopkins' penned jazz piece. In fact, J.C. Hopkins wrote 7 of the 10 cuts on What is Love? and his work stands up very well against some of the jazz classics that Queen Esther covers here. On What is Love?, Esther's vocal is again right on target and joined nicely by Higgins on sax and Beasley on trumpet. On the classic, I Cover The Waterfront, Queen Esther delivers an amazingly expressive and emotive vocal backed only by Hawkes on ukelele. Her phrasing is impeccable and the result is riveting.

The more I listened to Queen Esther, the more I wanted to listen to Queen Esther. The band is one of the top jazz ensembles around, the songs from Hopkins are deliciously memorable and well written and Queen Esther's performance is an instant classic. She seems to bring her amazing voice from the very core of her soul and owns every song she sings. This is the best jazz album I've heard this year.

-- Don Sechelski, Muse's Muse


released March 24, 2010

Produced by Queen Esther and JC Hopkins

Queen Esther - vocals
Kenyatta Beasley - trumpet
Vincent Chancey - French horn
Hilliard Greene - bass
J. Walter Hawkes - trombone, ukulele
Patience Higgins - tenor sax
Matt Ray - piano
Warren Smith - drums

Engineered by Jason Candler
Recorded and mixed at The Maid's Room, New York City
Mastered by Fred Kervorkian at Kervorkian Mastering



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Track Name: Stardust
And now the purple dusk of twilight time
Steals across the meadows of my heart
High up in the sky the little stars climb
Always reminding me that we're apart

You wandered down the lane and far away
Leaving me a song that will not die
Love is now the stardust of yesterday
The music of the years gone by

Sometimes I wonder why I spend
The lonely night dreaming of a song
The melody haunts my reverie
And I am once again with you
When our love was new
And every kiss an inspiration
But that was long ago
Now my consolation
Is in the stardust of a song

Beside a garden wall
When stars are bright
You are in my arms
The nightingale tells his fairy tale
of paradise where roses grew
Though I dream in vain
In my heart it always will remain
My stardust melody
The memory of love's refrain
Track Name: What Is Love?
Queen Esther - vocals
Hilliard Greene - bass
Patience Higgins - tenor sax
Matt Ray - piano
Warren Smith - drums
Track Name: I Cover The Waterfront
Away from the city that hurts and knocks,
I'm standing alone by the desolate docks
In the still and the chill of the night

I see the horizon the great unknown
My heart has an ache/It's as heavy as stone
Will the dawn coming on make it light

I cover the waterfront
I'm watching the sea
Will the one I love
Be coming back to me

I cover the waterfront
In search of my love
And I'm covered
By a starlit sky above

Here am I
Patiently waiting
Hoping and longing
Oh how I yearn
Where are you
Have you forgotten
Will you remember?
Will you return?

I cover the waterfront
I'm searching the sea
Will the one I love be coming back to me
Will the one I love be coming back to me
Track Name: Everything Is Going To Be Alright
The sky's not falling and I'll tell you why
I don't see heaven when I look up in the sky
Everything is going to be alright
Everything is going to be alright

Newspapers and radio
Little boys and girls
And famous people all over the world
Everything is going to be alright
Everything is going to be alright

So you fell off your horse
Two times, maybe three
'Til you get through the hurt
You're unable to see

That the sky is not falling
And the reason I know
I don't see heaven when I look up from below
Everything is going to be alright
Everything is going to be alright
Track Name: I'll Never Be The Same
I'll never be the same
Stars have lost their meaning for me
I'll never be the same
Things aren't what they once used to be

And when the song birds that sing
Tell me it's spring
I can't believe their song
Once love was king but kings can be wrong

I'll never be the same
There is such an ache in my heart
I'll never be the same
Since we're apart

Though there's a lot that a smile may hide
I know down deep inside
I'll never be the same
Never be the same again