Carolyn Leonhart, daughter of jazz bassist Jay Leonhart and sister of the trumpeter Michael
Leonhart, is perhaps best known as a jazz singer, but is equally at home singing R&B, Soul,
and Funk. She has performed as a back-up vocalist for Steely Dan on several tours and
recordings. Her influences include Sarah Vaughn, Carmen McRae, and Johnny Hartman as
well as Stevie Wonder, The Doobie Brothers, Earth Wind and Fire, and, of course, Steely
Early in Carolyn's career, when pressed at a Thelonious Monk International Vocal Jazz
Competition, as to whether she considered herself a "jazz singer" she quickly responded,
"No way I just consider myself a singer." And sing the lyrics to Waiting for the Day she
does by turns, smooth, vulnerable and achingly soulful on the edge of breaking until she
finally soars throughout the third verse a masterful performance.
BARRY STRUTT / MONTBARK MUSIC
"Waiting for the Day" is at once smooth jazz and pop-- but pop with perhaps higher
aspirations as attested to by the music video that accompanies the song which stands as
one possible interpretation of the lyrics. The tune was written by Barry Roark Strutt,
formerly of Mystic Merlin (Capitol Records) and cleverly arranged with the help of Clyde
Bullard, the bass player for Mystic Merlin (whose bass line here is unique--at times standing
up almost as a lead "second voice"), and the master keyboardist Ray Naccari.
Mystic Merlin signed with Capitol in 1980 and released the, Charles Kipps produced, album
It featured the dance classic 'Just Can't Give You Up', a U.K. Top 20 single (the acappella
from which was utilized by the U.K. group Life On Earth on their single 'Can't Give You Up').
Mystic Merlin's sound on "Just Can't Give You Up" was ahead of its time and anticipated
what later became known as "smooth jazz."
A second album, entitled 'Sixty Thrills A Minute' followed in 1981.
Recorded in Hollywood, the album featured the original line-up with further artistic input
from Paulinho Da Costa, Jim Gilstrap, Bill Champlin, Cheryl Lynn, Gene Page, Charles Veal
and Ernie Watts amongst others.
With their third album for Capitol, 'Full Moon", they added Freddle Jackson to the group.
The album included 'Mr Magician', hugely popular among U.K. soul / dance fans.
Well known in the UK and throughout Europe and world-wide for that matter, Mystic Merlin
has enjoyed a resurgence of late as Big Break Records licensed the three albums from
Capitol. Then after carefully remastering each of them (with bonus tracks), they added a
slick, detailed booklet penned by music journalist J. Matthew Cobb, who conducted
numerous contemporary interviews with the group that at once reprised their career, even
as it revealed some secrets. Finally BBR repackaged the albums and released them all on CD.
HELEN LALOUSIS / FACE OFF PRODUCTIONS
Behind every successful businesswoman is a great deal of faith, creativity, determination,
and a lot of nerve. Helen LaLousis is no exception. As CEO of Face OFF Productions, Inc.,
she has used her lifetime of entrepreneurial experience to position this company as one to
Face OFF Productions was founded in 2003. Face OFF is a boutique entertainment company
based in New York focused on designing projects that elevate consciousness and inspire the
recognition of human achievement.
As an artist and creative individual, Helen has produced a number of video, television and
multimedia projects that have appealed to a diverse audience. In recent years, her projects
have begun to reflect more of her personal perspective on life and care of the human spirit.
Face OFF Productions is not just a company and Helen LaLousis is not just a corporate
entity. She is a fresh, bold perspective on what media and the arts can do for our world. Her
excellent management and financial skills, coupled with her genuine love of people and her
unique perspective on how to make the world a better place for everyone, make Helen the
only choice for projects that are designed to teach, to enlighten, and to draw attention to
what is good about us all.
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