Singer Cheryl Fisher drops a new jazz album

Creating her new Quietly There album was a magical experience for Red Deer jazz singer Cheryl Fisher.

Creating her new Quietly There album was a magical experience for Red Deer jazz singer Cheryl Fisher.

“There was a confluence, a synchronicity. It’s hard to believe everything came together,” recalled Fisher, whose just-released recording is already getting airplay on CKUA, CBC and U.S. radio stations.

The first case of serendipity that paved the way for the Quietly There was that song selections for the new album survived a storage locker break-in.

Fisher had left a collection of little-known standards, which had been suggested for her repertoire by various supporters, including radio DJs, behind in a U.S. locker when she moved back to Canada several years ago.

Although many other mementos were stolen from storage, the collection of songs saved for future recording was shipped back to her after the break-in. Getting them back “was kind of wonderful,” said Fisher, who eventually chose 11 favourites for the new CD.

“The second magical thing that happened,” she recalled, is that acclaimed Portland guitarist John Stowell happened to be coming to Alberta for a series of concerts last spring. She initially considered asking him to accompany her on just a guitar and voice recording.

But then things quickly fell into place for a full-orchestra session.

Most notably, American pianist/arranger John Toomey, whom Fisher had “screwed up (her) courage” to contact, agreed to come to Alberta to play with Stowell on her album. His Virginia university even covered his expenses.

Fisher also signed up other instrumentalists, including her husband, renowned woodwind artist Eric Allison, and the bass and drummer team Jeff Johnson and John Bishop.

After learning music producer Paul Johnston, of Montreal, was now living in Edmonton and could produce her album, Fisher was equally thrilled that a new recording space with a jazz bent — OCL Studio near Calgary — could accommodate the dates she requested.

“It was pretty amazing,” said the singer, that this special synchronicity continued throughout the recording process. The assembled musicians had never all played together before, yet nearly half the album is, remarkably, made up of songs recorded on the first take.

Fisher was relieved everything fell into place — “especially since I’ve never done a concept album before.”

Quietly There is made up of mellow songs from the Great American Songbook that were selected for contemplative listening. “Sometimes you want to put on an album that you can listen all the way through,” said Fisher. “You want to hear songs that match your reflective state of mind, when you feel like sitting by the fireplace with a glass of wine …”

The most famous tune that she gives the modern jazz treatment is Let There Be Love, popularized by Nat King Cole. Several others were also recorded by well-known artists (I’m in Love Again by Peggy Lee, It Amazes Me by Blossom Dearie and I Never Went Away by Cleo Laine), but these tunes largely flew under the radar with the public and never became huge hits.

Fisher described them as “undiscovered gems … Songs that had the quality to rise to the top. “

She chose the tunes for their relatable lyrics. “I could never truly deliver a song unless it means something to me,” said Fisher, who also wrote one original song, Flowers In the Sink, after dreaming about someone preparing for a party.

She’s gratified her new album is getting so much radio attention — particularly the song Let There Be Love. Her Quietly There CD was the only Alberta recording to make CKUA’s Top 30 list of all musical genres earlier this month. It’s available from Amazon, iTunes and other online music distributors.

Fisher will preview songs from the album when she performs at 8 p.m. Saturday at the Sylvan Lake restaurant Viva La Sirena (4903 Lakeshore Dr.). Reservations are recommended by calling 587-877-9453.

She will return to the same restaurant for an official CD release concert on Oct. 22. (Please call the venue for ticket information.)

Fisher will also be performing at 9 p.m. on Sept. 9 at Lolita’s Lounge in Calgary, and at The Blue Chair Cafe in Edmonton at 8 p.m. on Oct. 1. More information is available from these venues.

Just Posted

Alberta’a chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said Thursday that there are more than 328,000 vaccine appointments booked over the next seven days. (Photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Alberta surpasses 2 million doses administered of COVID-19 vaccine

Red Deer down to 835 active cases of COVID-19

Alberta has made a more detailed framework for those looking to acquire an exemption to the mandatory indoor mask bylaw. (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)
Alberta changes requirements for mask exemptions

Masks wearing has been recommended for almost a year and provincially mandated… Continue reading

Red Deer Public Schools is projecting a $4-million budget deficit for 2021-22 school year. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
Red Deer Public Schools prepares $124-million budget

$1 million COVID recovery plan to assist students

(Black Press file photo).
Central Alberta’s ‘screen-based storytellers’ can apply for $5,000 grants

Calling all filmmakers, gamers, educators, and videographers… TELUS STORYHIVE released its first… Continue reading

Some routes on the Red Deer transit system will start earlier next week. (Advocate File Photo)
Red Deer transit gets earlier start

Transit service in Red Deer will start earlier for some routes starting… Continue reading

Bo’s Bar and Grill owner Brennen Wowk said the hospitality industry is looking for more clarity from the province around what conditions must be met to allow for restaurants reopening. (Advocate file photo)
Frustated restaurant owners want to know government’s reopening plan

Restaurant owners feel they are in lockdown limbo

A man wearing a mask walks out of a Canadian Tire store in Toronto on Wednesday March 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Demand for bikes and barbecues ratchets up Canadian Tire’s profit and sales

Demand for bikes and barbecues ratchets up Canadian Tire’s profit and sales

A man works in the broadcast centre at the TMX Group Ltd. in Toronto, on May 9, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darren Calabrese
North American stock markets rebound from three-day losses; loonie falls

North American stock markets rebound from three-day losses; loonie falls

The symbol for Aurora Cannabis appears above a trading post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange as the Canadian company lists on October 23, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Richard Drew
Aurora Cannabis reports $164.7 million loss in Q3, launches cost efficiencies plan

Aurora Cannabis reports $164.7 million loss in Q3, launches cost efficiencies plan

Adam Feller reacts as he gets his Pfizer-BioNTech shot at a COVID-19 vaccination clinic on Thursday, May 13, 2021, in Montreal. Quebec has become the latest province to stop giving Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 shot as a first dose.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Ontario keeps stay-at-home order; Quebec pauses Oxford-AstraZeneca shots

Ontario has announced it’s keeping its stay-at-home order in place until at… Continue reading

The flag of the Supreme Court of Canada flies outside the building following a ceremony in Ottawa, Monday March 15, 2021. The owners of a horse that was disqualified after initially winning the Canadian Derby more than three years ago might have run out of legal room to reclaim the title. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Supreme Court won’t hear appeal from horse owners over derby dispute

OTTAWA — The owners of a horse that was disqualified after initially… Continue reading

People take part in a protest called 'Justice for Joyce' in Montreal, Saturday, Oct. 3, 2020, where they demanded justice for Joyce Echaquan and an end to systemic racism. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
Quebec coroner’s inquest into death of Joyce Echaquan begins as her family testifies

MONTREAL — The husband of an Indigenous woman who was subjected to… Continue reading

Quebec Premier Francois Legault, centre, speaks during a news conference on the COVID-19 pandemic, Tuesday, May 11, 2021, at the legislature in Quebec City. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jacques Boissinot
Quebec tables revamp of French-language law, toughens rules for businesses, schools

MONTREAL — The Quebec government reasserted the right of Quebecers to live… Continue reading

Permanent residency
Canada announces new pathway to permanent residency for families of crash victims

Ottawa is launching a new policy to help the families of victims… Continue reading

Most Read