Sun Songs f. Laila Biali

(1 customer review)


In the land where jazz and pop meet, two genres that have always been intrinsically woven together, Sun Songs becomes the template for a new weave. Every track is an exquisite tapestry of modern harmonies and rhythms, layered with memorable melodies and potent lyrics. Featuring her prodigious quartet of Tilden Webb (piano), Jesse Cahill (drums), and Steve Kaldestad (tenor saxophone), Jodi shines an even brighter light on this album with the addition of singer Laila Biali, whose luminous vocals lift the songs to unparalleled heights.


Jodi Proznick’s new album Sun Songs invites the listener into a musical experience that explores the depths of and reverence for the dualities of life. Infinitely talented as a songwriter, producer, and player, she is also a mentor for the next generation of musicians. Sun Songs represents the unbridled potential of every woman’s most powerful contribution – her story.
Sun Songs: Reviews and Reflections

1 review for Sun Songs f. Laila Biali

  1. jodiproznick


    24 DOWNBEAT MAGAZINE, April 2018

    Ten years ago, bassist Jodi Proznick’s ascending career hit a plateau due to fam- ily matters. After earning a Juno nomination for her 2007 quartet album, Foundations, Proznick discovered she was pregnant, and she learned that her mother had been diagnosed with early-onset dementia and therefore would need a great deal of assistance and care.

    Today, Proznick is re-energizing her career as a bandleader with the new album Sun Songs (Cellar Live), a collection of eight original com- positions and an interpretation of Stephin Merritt’s “The Book Of Love.” Proznick’s top-notch band includes pianist Tilden Webb (who is also her husband), saxophonist Steve Kaldestad, drummer Jesse Cahill and vocalist Laila Biali. Featuring emotionally charged material, Sun Songs is a powerful artistic statement.

    Music was central to Proznick’s life even as a toddler. Starting on the piano at 3 years old and musically literate by age 5, Proznick settled on the bass in the eighth grade. “I had not seen many girls play the bass and that was cool,” she recalled. “I dug the idea that the bass was in the back of the band and I could just do my thing and play and be a support [player].”

    At age 13, she experienced a pivotal moment at the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival, where she saw a trio performance by pianist Gene Harris, bassist Ray Brown and drummer Jeff Hamilton. “We were in the fourth row,” she reminisced. “I was a 13-year-old kid with my jaw on the floor. It felt like the most joyful thing I had ever seen in my life.”

    A first-call bassist, Proznick has played on 40 recordings. Among the luminaries with whom she has performed or toured are pianist Harold Mabern, saxophonists George Coleman and Seamus Blake, singer Dee Daniels and multi-in- strumentalist Phil Dwyer. A dedicated jazz edu- cator, Proznick is a faculty member at Kwantlen Polytechnic University and serves as the artistic director of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra’s School of Music Summer Jazz Workshop.

    Her accolades include numerous National Jazz Awards in Canada, and she was the featured bassist for the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Winter Games’ closing ceremonies and soundtrack.

    Sun Songs represents a new chapter in her career. Proznick and her bandmates Webb, Kaldestad and Cahill began playing music together at Montreal’s McGill University in the 1990s. These musicians, along with Biali, helped Proznick craft an album that honestly and sen- sitively explores her experiences of motherhood, as well as the difficulties of her own mother’s struggle with dementia.

    Because Proznick had so many caretaking responsibilities for several years, she didn’t have a great deal of time to compose music. During those years, whenever inspiration struck, she would sing a melody into her cell phone. “[Musical ideas] were coming from my body, my voice, my words,” Proznick explained. “This whole album is not about showing what a good bass player I am or how clever. It is just about the heart.”

    The opening track, “Listen,” features a luminous, uplifting lyric collaboration with songwriter Shari Ulrich. The exquisitely emo- tional and cathartic “Let Go” was inspired by Proznick’s life: “One day, Mom was crying and kind of panicking, and I watched my dad put his hands on either side of her face, look her in the eye and just say, ‘Patty, I’m here. It’s OK; you are safe.’ That changed me forever.”

    Another collaborator on the album is poet, dancer and scholar Celeste Snowber, who co-wrote “Ancient Yearning” with Proznick. Inspired by Snowber’s lyrics, the bassist recalled, “I was imagining if Trane was to write a lyric, what would he write? That’s what I hear in A Love Supreme—that longing, that crying out.”

    “It was pretty remarkable,” Kaldestad said regarding the process of creating Sun Songs. “[Proznick] had such a clear inspiration for this project. The music is just something she had to do. It is powerful and so personal.”

    Proznick is planning to promote the album with a tour of intimate concerts. “Everyone has been through difficult times, and I am hoping people will feel their own stories in these songs and know they are not alone—because we are all in this together,” she said. “At the end of the day, it’s about love.”

    —Kerilie McDowall

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