Interviews

Joyce Spencer takes us in a new dimension with the album “Many Colors”

Joyce Spencer takes us in a new dimension with the album “Many Colors”

After her amazing album “Sweet Dreams”, Joyce Spencer gives us a new fresh flower, the album “Many Colors“. Joyce is known as a very humble person, who doesn’t spare her love and emotions. She is always inspired by love for music, and she shared her inspiration for the album with us.

“Many Colors” was inspired by my love for a variety of music.  Although I am classically trained, I grew up with many genres of music from traditional to contemporary jazz and RnB, including funk, fusion, pop, blues, zydeco, classic rock and hip hop.  I also fancied broadway and show tunes, too.  So, in this project, I endeavored to write and arrange music that represents the many colors of jazz, along with the many colors of my musical experience under the auspices of jazz.  

We concluded that nothing is too difficult for Spencer, she worked hard for this album, and the only difficulty she had were the costs.

The logistics and cost of recording this project were very challenging .  It took 19 months from the time I charted all of the tracks to the final mix and master, and then more than two months to pull every thing together for CD replication.  And, even before I started recording the project, it took months to get the project funded. 

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But she got over this opsticle and the album is here for us. If you haven’t listened to the album “Sweet dreams” do not miss the chance now. It’s different from “Many Colors”, and it has his own beauty.

The previous album, “Sweet Dreams, was all “smooth” and inspirational jazz.  Although I consider the second project inspirational, “Many Colors” reflects a broader range of musicianship, composition and arrangement with seven original compositions and three cover tunes.  The current project has a sentimental touch in that two tracks were written for relatives (Freeman Fontenot and Sharon Fontenot-Williams) who passed away.  Both Sharon and Freeman were an integral part of  my childhood and adult life.  “Freeman” was my grandfather who was one of the originators of zydeco music in Louisiana.  The other track, “The Rose of Sharon”, was written for my dear  cousin, Sharon, who won the battle of cancer in heaven.  While “Freeman” is a lively track and indicative of zydeco music, along with  actual old recordings of him playing  accordion and speaking French creole, “The Rose of Sharon” conveys a more heavenly and lamenting vibe.    

“Many Colors” describes Joyces life, her ups and downs, the peaceful ones and the challenging ones.

The highlights of this album are like a journey through life experiences. “Serenity” reflects the peaceful moments in my life and “New Phase” represents the challenging ones. “I See You” is my lyrical rendition of the cruelty of deception. And, to get through the challenges, the “ACDC” and “Many Colors” tracks will take you right through it with high powered rock/funk/fusion sounds.

For Joyce music is passion. She followed her dream besides the limited resourses she had in her home town. We wanted to dig a little bit further and ask about how did these love started.

My big brother, Paul, bought these amazing jazz albums while he was in the military and encouraged me to listen to them. It was The Crusaders and Weather Report that really caught my attention. I loved it from the first time I heard it. So when I switched from clarinet to saxophone in the 12th grade, everything just fell into place. Jazz and saxophone go together quite well. So, the desire to play jazz was not a hard task for me. It was a seamless transition.

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Joyce Spencer has a wonderful career, and a lot of experience, for that, every advice given from her is a bless, and all she wants is for you to have fun.

My advice to the next generation is to please enjoy jazz and try not to get too burdened down with the theory and logistics of jazz. I studied both classical and jazz in college, and I have no regrets learning the form, theory and analysis of both, but it was only when I allowed myself to “feel” the music that jazz became so enjoyable. To me, jazz improvisation is on-the-spot musical poetry flowing from the heart and soul of the musician and unique to the respective musician. The musical dynamics are “prepared” for you in classical music and that’s great and totally enjoyable, but in jazz (jazz improvisation), you create the dynamics from your heart and soul, which is equally great and enjoyable. So, have fun with jazz!

She is a hard working musician, so is no surprise that she’s already working on a new project, that we can’t wait to hear.

Although “Many Colors” was just released in August 2015 for digital download and November 2016 for physical album sales, I have already started writing more music for the next jazz project in 2016, along with a praise and worship/gospel meditation project.

 

Milena Staniskovska

November 18th, 2015

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