Singer, Hannah Burgé (bur-jeh) has just released her debut album, Green River Sessions. A synthesis of contemporary jazz and world music elements, GRS is a record of all heart.
Heart for the urban spaces and the quiet peace that forests bring. Burgé has been a city girl since 1999, when she moved to Toronto to pursue a career in music. Her roots are in Orillia, ON., where her English and Métis heritage caused her ancestors to settle. With ample forests to be lost in, the land has a particular hold on Hannah, which is evidenced in her music.
Green River Sessions is a record five years in the making. Caught up in the 2008 economic downturn, the recording sat dormant until the latter part of 2013. Completing a master’s degree in the interim, Hannah began teaching at Centennial College in the fall of 2014. Two children later the record (and its songs) is ready for release.
The record features four original compositions, “Art of Living,” a song inspired by water and the music of Cuba, “I’m In,” which found its inception in the concepts of South Indian Carnatic music, “Sunshine Samba,” a bossa nova exploration tale, and “Serenity,” a love song for the forest.
GRS features acclaimed New York City residing, world traveling, harmonica virtuoso, Hendrik Meurkens, who performs on the tracks “Be My Love,” and “Sunshine Samba.” With more than fifteen albums to his credit, and a formidable knowledge of chorro and bossa nova music styles, Burgé is pleased to be able to welcome Hendrik’s graceful and melodic sound to her debut album.
Rounding out the album is Horace Silver’s composition “Nica’s Dream,” with ending lyrics that pay tribute to Pannonica de Koenigswarter (née Rothschild), and Hannah’s African rhythm inspired cover version of the famous Alannah Myles song, “Black Velvet.”
Green River Sessions was produced by acclaimed Acapulco-born, Canadian bassist, Paco Luviano. A regular feature in the touring bands of artists such as: Jane Bunnett, Amanda Martinez, Dominic Mancuso and Patricia Cano, Paco lends a trademark crisp, bright sound, excellent craftsmanship, and specific knowledge of a wide swath of world music styles. His direct influence can be heard on the Spanish language track, “De Repente,” his Latin Jazz arrangement of the track, “Nica’s Dream,” and his distinctive bass line on “Black Velvet.”