A couple of months ago we got a first glimpse of the songstress Jade Elizabeth Taylor and her CD “Shades of Jade” which she started recording in 2006 at Ridgetop Studios with Keith Greeninger and Tim Prince, and miraculously finished after a series of allergies and illnesses from which it seems she has since recovered. But you’ve probably read that story already and know the hardships this talented woman has gone through to fulfill her lifelong dream of recording an album.
How she developed adult-onset allergies, lost her voice, and then recovered it in 2010 after receiving anti-allergy shots weekly; or how she was diagnosed with full-blown diabetes in 2011, only to completely reverse the process with diet and exercise.
These are clear examples of the strong character Jade Elizabeth Taylor possesses. Then when you watch her videos or listen to her music, you witness the strength of her personality too! She exudes a visible aura of inner strength and tranquility that can only mature and flourish with life’s experiences…and hardships.
Hers is not the brazen and brash self-confidence of let’s say, Rihanna or Beyoncé, respectable an awe-inspiring in its own right, but rather more like the world-weary surefootedness of Ella Fitzgerald or Nina Simone. I personally put it down to that fine line, between those artists ‘who live to sing’ and those who ‘sing to live’. Jade Elizabeth Taylor, without any doubt in my mind, belongs to the former collective.
There have been certain singers over the past century with alluring qualities about them and whose impact has etched them into history. It’s when music becomes more than music. It’s when it becomes a part of our collective consciousness and everyday lives. It’ music your grandmother or your daughter would enjoy at the same time, as it transcends genres and styles, having its only imperative in excellence.
Jade Elizabeth Taylor is one of those artists. You feel every word she sings. Notwithstanding the fact, that she is backed by a group of superlative musicians, her delivery is always the real showcase. She sings straight from her gut, but never loses her elegance while doing so. Her voice is smooth, rich and lovely, all at the same time.
Above all, her songs are absolutely timeless in appeal, and when mixed with her downright honest and heartrending lyrical approach as on the blues ignited, “Boozin’ Blues”, where she unabashedly tackles a serious social problem like the devastating effects of the often unfair and blatantly unjust male –female interrelations, you have no choice but to be inexorably drawn into her musical interpretations of real life!
In the song, Jade sums up the desolating truth in one simple line: “My baby left me for a bottle of cheap wine…”, and then continues to explain: “The bruises may have faded but the memories lingers on.” Fortunately though, she is able to sing: “I’m feeling so much safer now that my baby’s gone.” Confirming, unlike many, many others, that she did not take him back!
Over and above affronting this tragic social theme though, Jade is going one step further, by donating the proceeds from “Boozin’ Blues” to the YWCA Safe House Program.
Once you’ve experienced the above song, I beg you to checkout my absolute favorite Jade Elizabeth Taylor performance, “Little King”. A song written by Jeremy Thomas Lindsay, so mesmerizing and languid in its interpretation and so deeply poetic, lyrically, that I can never manage to listen to it only once at a time!
And while you’re there, also listen to Jade do her own personal version of Vance Gilbert’s “Unforgivable”, which she says is one of her “favorite songs in the world”. Recorded in just one take,each note of this song is art. Language shudders under the weight of describing how wonderful Jade’s simple interpretation is. When the song ends, you wish that she and John R. Burr on piano, would just carry on endlessly.
If you’ve never listened to Jade Elizabeth Taylor, don’t deprive yourself of such an amazing talent any longer. God knows, she waited long enough herself, to record her album of true gems!
As far as I understand These songs should be available alongside others, on a collection entitled, “A Taste Of Things To Come” ( you’ll need to track Jade’s website for official news) and is a great place to get started. Chances are, once you hear these, you’ll want to hear more. Then just go and grab the CD “Shades of Jade”.
As for me, I think I’m going to sit back in my easy chair, put my feet up, and put Jade Elizabeth Taylor through the stereo. Ah, yeah, it doesn’t get much better than this!