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Jazz Vocalist Jonathan Karrant Discusses Superb New Album 'On And On'
Q: "On and On," your new album, consists of covers of jazz standards. Do you find it a challenge to emotionally connect to lyrics that you did not write?
A: Not at all. I usually pick songs I can relate to; however, if I'm singing a song I don't quite connect with, a little acting may be involved. Anytime I sing a song, I really focus on the words and try to imagine myself in a scenario that fits the lyrics. I think that helps to get the point of the song across to the audience.
Q: How familiar were you with these tunes prior to recording the CD?
A: Some of them I've been singing for years and others came to me just a few months before recording. Performing live, I don't mind singing a song that's been done a lot, but I usually try not to record tunes that have been recorded many times before.
Q: Do you write songs, too?
A: I'm working on some songs now. I must say I'm pretty spoiled singing material by such amazing writers as Johnny Mercer, Irving Berlin, the Berman's, etc. On my next album I expect to have a few originals.
Q: Who are the musicians backing you on the album, and how did you meet them?
A: Pianist Josh Nelson, bassist Rob Thorsen, guitarist Mark Shapiro, and drummer Duncan Moore. Some of them I knew from the jazz/musician circles in California, and my producer Tyler Monks connected me with Josh Nelson and Mark Shapiro. I am so happy to have all these guys on the album. They are some of the most accomplished and respected musicians in California. Josh Nelson and Rob Thorsen both have several albums out of they're own.
Q: How long have you been singing?
A: All my life. I believe my first solo was at church at age seven with pianist and organist Nancy Vernon.
Q: What are some of the challenges that you have faced as an independent jazz artist and how did you overcome them?
A: Well, I'm still overcoming them. Around every corner I learn something new, but for starters, being so impassioned by jazz probably doesn't help. If I were in a more mainstream genre things could probably be easier. Also, being independent you have to be more than just an artist. You have to be an agent and a manager. It's a lot of work.