Songs for a Long Flight

Songs for a Long Flight

Since we’ve been locked up for the past few years with COVID, chances are that you’re feeling a bit restless. Maybe, due to travel restrictions, you haven’t left the country in years. Or maybe, you’re a homebody and just recently got a passport. Well, either way, now is the time to indulge your wanderlust! Hop on a flight to the exotic destination of your dreams—Paris, Bangkok, Fiji—who knows where you’ll go!

And while you’re waiting to board that 9-, 10- or 12-hour flight, take a look at the playlist we made especially for you. These songs will help you to unwind, enjoy the view out the window and get you excited to explore a new city or village!

Willie Jones III, Steve Davis, Jeremy Pelt – Wave

I don’t know about you, but I always snag the window seat if possible. There’s nothing like soaring above the clouds at sunset, sipping on a glass of complimentary wine and listening to some instrumental jazz music, like this new 2022 song “Wave.” Featuring some of the top musicians in the industry today, this tune will inspire you to reflect on all the ups and downs in life while you gaze out the window.  

Ella Fitzgerald – April in Paris

Originally written in 1932 for a Broadway musical, this slow song reveres the beauty of springtime in Paris and creates the perfect atmosphere to get you in the mood for your trip abroad. Whether you’re going to Paris or not, traveling internationally will be sure to make your heart sing, and who knows, maybe you’ll stumble upon the chestnuts in bloom that Fitzgerald croons about so beautifully.

Otis Redding – (Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay

This charming 1967 hit is all about sitting and watching the morning sun, wasting time, which is exactly what you’ll be doing on your flight and during your vacation. So, enjoy it. Savor every moment. In our daily lives, we’re always rushing, like busy bees pollinating flowers, but we never stop to smell the roses. Well, this is your chance.

Willie Jones III, Steve Davis, Jeremy Pelt – My Ship

Yes, you are on an airplane, but with all the wine and exhaustion, do you ever look out the window and mistake the clouds for the sea? As adults, we don’t often indulge our imaginations, but why not? Why not imagine that you’re on a ship with sails that are made of silk, decks trimmed with gold and aglow with a million pearls?

If you’re single and looking for love, who knows, maybe this flight is taking you across the seas to find your true love and set the sails in your heart.

If you’re looking for more relaxing jazz music for your flight, check out My Ship and Old New Borrowed & Blue, which are both available in our store and on all major music platforms today!

Q&A Feature Friday with Stevie-D

Q&A Friday Feature with Steve Davis

Born in Worcester, Massachusetts, and raised in Binghamton, New York, trombonist Steve Davis has always had a gift for music, which led him to release twenty albums, gain recognition for his hard-swinging, lyrical style, perform internationally and teach jazz workshops at the Jackie McLean Institute.  

More recently, Davis—nicknamed Stevie-D—has joined with Night Is Alive to arrange the music, and play the trombone in the 2022 album, My Ship, which also features Willie Jones III (drums/bandleader), Jeremy Pelt (trumpet), Wayne Escoffery (tenor sax), Isaiah Thompson (piano), and Gerland Cannon (bass).

And since My Ship is about looking back fondly on your childhood dreams, today we’re going to get to know a bit more about Stevie-D’s childhood, family, and early musical influences!

JK: I read that jazz was played often in your household when you were growing up. Were your parent’s musicians?

Stevie-D: My parents weren’t musicians but they both loved music and my father, in particular, was a record collector—he had a lot of jazz, blues and rock ‘n’ roll albums. Growing up in the 70s and 80s, I had access to his vast record collection and then later CDs. So, there was always good music playing in the house, and just a culture of appreciation of jazz music in particular. And then my grandparents on both sides—my dad’s father, my grandsire, he was also a newspaper journalist like my father was at that time, but a big jazz fan and played the trumpet as a hobby. My dad played the electric bass and did a few gigs in my hometown of Binghamton, NY, but he was mostly just a music fan and played for fun. And my grandsire played the trumpet, and he could belt out “Sweet Georgia Brown” and “When the Saints Go Marching In” and he loved Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong.

 

And then on my mother’s side, my nana, I called her, she was a great stride pianist. She was the real jazz musician in the family. She was semi-professional and lived in Connecticut. She died when I was 19, but as a kid, I got to hear her play. When I started playing trombone as a teenager, I got to play with her a little bit when we would visit. She didn’t read a note of music, she played by ear—she was a real jazz musician, but being a woman at that time, it just wasn’t so acceptable for her to just do that, so when I look back on it, I think it was relegated more to the parlor entertainment, like “Oh isn’t that nice, you know, she’s playing the piano.” But she played all kind of Gershwin and American songbook standards and Ellington, and I learned a lot from her. She could really play.

JK: That’s an amazing story, but a shame that she wasn’t able to pursue it more.

Stevie-D: Well, she did to some degree. Boy, she would sit down—she had a piano in the house, it’s a Steinway, my parents still have it—and she’d sit down at that thing and just start swinging and play all kinds of things—”Honeysuckle Rose,” “Them There Eyes,” “Undecided”—some of the old swinger tunes, and she’d sing a little bit. She just had it. She knew what to do. So, then I would get my horn out eventually and she would teach me some of these tunes and I did it just naively, and we had fun together. So, I did get to play with her, and looking back all these years, forty years later, I cherish those memories very much. She’s a big influence on me for sure.

JK: Did you have a most beloved song growing up?

Stevie-D: Wow. Um. There’s so many. Well, one of the first songs I learned to play on my trumpet—I started on trumpet then I switched to baritone horn, and they suckered me into the tuba for a while at school, and I would up on trombone at 14, so I was a bit of a latecomer—but one of the first songs I could play on any of those instruments was “When the Saints Go Marching In,” just by ear. I always like that song, but I think everyone loves that song. My nana’s favorite song was “Embraceable You” by George Gershwin, and I played it at her funeral when I was 19 years old and I did it, again, the best I could by myself. I didn’t even appreciate or understand the depth of that moment the way I would now. So, I love that ballad.

There are so many songs I love, and plus as a kid, I was listening to the blues, B.B. King and Muddy Waters, and rock ‘n’ roll, Rolling Stones and the Beatles, Jimi Hendrix. There’s lots of great music but “Embraceable You” was a special one because it was my nana’s favorite, so I think that one’s very close to my heart.

JK: Have you played it since then?

Stevie-D: Here and there. It’s one of those tunes that I, you know some songs are so special to you that you hold it out for the right time. There are some other American Songbook standards that I wanted to play in my 20s when I had become a serious jazz musician and now that I’m 55 years old, I finally feel ready to play them in the way that I was dreaming of as a younger musician. My wife, Abena—her name is Abena Koomson Davis—she’s a great singer and knows a lot about the American Songbook. She loves “Polka Dots and Moonbeams,” so I always play that one for her and I love that song too. There’s so many obviously, that was one of the things that was so fun about the project with Willie and everyone—we always delve into some of the great standards, and I think all of us really appreciate the opportunity to interpret some of the American Songbook classics and put a little bit of a fresh spin on it, but also play the tones hopefully with a great deal of integrity and genuine feeling.

JK: Do you think you’ll record a rendition of “Embraceable You” at some point?

Stevie-D: I’d love to. I look forward to it. I haven’t yet. I’m just holding that one. I appreciate the question. I’m looking forward to it; probably sooner than later.

And the conversation will continue . . . Look for the next installment of the interview next Friday! And in the meantime, if you’re looking for more Stevie-D, check out our album My Ship, which is available in our store and on all major music platforms now. 

Night Is Alive Featured in Downbeat – February 2020

Night is Alive featured in February 2020 Issue of Downbeat

Kathy Salem, managing director of Night is Alive, opens up about her journey from a small, boutique Jazz agent, to becoming a nation-wide Jazz Powerhouse.

“We started off very small: I was only doing management for jazz musicians,” said Kathy Moses Salem, managing director of Akron, Ohio-based Night Is Alive Productions. “But musicians come to me all the time, asking Can you ‘do this, can you do that?’ We realized that there were bigger needs, and we ought to be 360-degrees.”

That’s how Salem’s five-person company expanded from focusing on artist management to a mind-boggling list of services. Night Is Alive’s purview includes audience research, social media curation, digital and physical media design, advertising and promotion, and recording and production for the company’s new eponymous record label.

But Salem, at 75, is a newcomer to most of these aspects of the music business. And at first, she didn’t even plan on working as an artist manager. Salem’s background includes advertising at the Cleveland Plain-Dealer and lobbying in Washington, D.C. But after her husband passed away in 2004, she decided to channel her energy into a lifelong love of music.

You can read the full article here!

Marketing Insights: Night is Alive and Lovers and Love Songs

There is no right answer when it comes to marketing, whether you are a small business or large corporation. Though numerous studies have attempted to solve the riddle behind effective marketing tactics, users generally report that roughly 70% of all marketing is either ignored or disliked – and that leaves only ¼ of all marketing to be considered effective.

Thinking monetarily, when only $.25 of every dollar is spent “productively”, you would think that those working in the marketing field would spend a majority of their time and energy trying to resolve the issue and win back consumers. However, fear begins to play a large role in methodology. Businesses tend to rely heavily on “what works” with little positive growth rather than risk new methods that could yield worse results. That said, there are a couple of general marketing tactics that stand out when attempting to reach a wide audience.

Targeting

The safest approach to cultivate and grow interest is targeting. This is a game of attention, the end goal to maximize audience engagement. Simply put, you make changes to who receives your ads and finesse your audience to maximize engagement. Using metrics, or measurable values that demonstrate the effectiveness of campaigns, to track marketing goals is effective here. Targeting is a tried and true formula that has immediate feedback, especially in today’s internet age where nearly all ad platforms provide analytics to the marketer.

MailChimp is one example of an email marketing service that does a wonderful job of targeting. After sending an email campaign, the marketer receives data on how many clicks, opens, bouncebacks, etc. their email yielded. It provides instantaneous feedback for future, similar campaigns.

Personalization

The trickier, but much more rewarding, process is innovating and personalizing the style of content you are delivering to your audience. A compelling ad campaign can cross demographics and bring in audiences you might not reach using standard targeting. Night is Alive is taking an alternative reality marketing approach for the upcoming release of Lovers and Love Songs. Without giving too many details away, the idea is to create an environment that encourages interaction between the audience and the promotion. This interactive experience will allow people to feel more directly involved and connected to the campaign itself. Creating a storyline within a scavenger hunt environment is one method: the audience can find clues, solve puzzles, and, ultimately, reach the finish line. This could set the stage for a rewarding exchange of information.

Crafting a positive community around your brand is a lofty goal for any business or agency. This “holy grail” focuses on building lasting relationships, not solely on the number of clicks their ads receive (not to discount the importance of targeting, which has a time and place!). While cultivating a community comes with many potential benefits for both the business and the audience, it also runs the risk of consumer exploitation. Users are much savvier than they used to be, and they will be quick to call out any marketing behavior that attempts to hijack their emotions or intelligence. Therefore, if you want to make the marketing experience exciting and rewarding, it is always best to respect your audience from the start.

For more information about Lovers and Love Songs and the musicians with Night is Alive, please visit our web page (http://nightisalive.com/) or contact directly via phone.

Article by Benjamin Lehman and Elizabeth Carney, Content Editor, Night is Alive

Press Release: Lovers and Love Songs

Night is Alive Album Release September, 2019: Lovers and Love Songs

Night is Alive, under the leadership of Managing Director/Producer Kathy Moses Salem, is thrilled to announce the release of Lovers and Love Songs on September 9th, 2019.

After selling out two concerts in Fort Lauderdale and Fort Myers, FL, Ms. Salem suggested bandleader Willie Jones III and his All-Stars take their performances to the next level and create a studio recording. The group, made of big-name bandleaders in their own right, so thoroughly enjoyed playing together that they agreed, thus leading to the birth of Lovers and Love Songs.

Along with Willie Jones III (drums), the album features Terell Stafford (trumpet), Ralph Moore (tenor saxophone), Donald Vega (piano), Steve Davis (trombone), and Gerald Cannon (bass). It should also be noted that Eric Reed (piano) and Robin Eubanks (trombone) were involved with the two live concerts but were unable to record.

The excitement felt by the musicians was almost tangible in the studio, revealed by the following first-hand comments Ms. Salem documented during the recording process:

“One of the best recordings I have made in the past ten years.” – Ralph Moore

“So relaxed and smooth.” – Terell Stafford

“This is my first time to play with the band…what fun!” – Donald Vega

Gerald Canon, showing his commitment to the album’s success, hosted a rehearsal at his apartment, while other musicians insisted on recording extra takes to “fix two wrong notes”.

The album features the following:

1.) I’ve Never Been In Love Before
Terell Stafford, melody
solos by Terell Stafford, Ralph Moore, Steve Davis, and Donald Vega

2.) First Time Ever I Saw Your Face
Donald Vega and Ralph Moore, melody
solos by Ralph Moore and Donald Vega

3.) I’m An Old Cow Hand
Ralph Moore, melody
solos by all members

4.) From This Moment On
Terell Stafford, Steve Davis, and Ralph Moore, melody
drum solo by Willie Jones III

5.) Gee Baby Ain’t I Good To You
Ralph Moore, melody
solos by Ralph Moore and Donald Vega

6.) Here’s That Rainy Day
Donald Vega and Terell Stafford, melody and solos

7.) Cry Me A River
Steve Davis, melody
solos by Steve Davis and Donald Vega

8.) Jitterbug Waltz
features trio Donald Vega, Gerald Cannon, and Willie Jones III