After many years of writing, producing and recording the music that is so very much a part of her DNA, singer /songwriter Joy Mover is taking her first giant step toward actualizing her lifelong vision with the July 31st, 2012 release of her self-titled debut, Joy Mover.
To say that Joy’s roots are steeped in music is an understatement. Beginning with her great- grandfather, through her maternal and paternal grandparents and uncles, followed by her parents, brother and cousin, Joy’s family has long been populated with professional musicians and singers. A Boston native, Joy has added a new dimension to the family’s musical legacy with her ability to craft original songs, six of which see the light of day on Joy Mover, which will be released on her own Joy Mover Music label on July 31st, 2012. Those originals share space on the album with her distinctive, inimitable take on such classic tunes as “Nature Boy,” “Till There Was You,” “Corcovado,” “Fever,” and “Dream A Little Dream of Me.”
Joy’s creative energy was so sparked when working on the material for this album that she also composed an original verse for the sultry “Fever,” and wrote rap lyrics to introduce her rendition of “Till There Was You,” layering a thoroughly modern attitude harmoniously atop the romantic standard with no trace of discord.
Joy’s uncanny knack for attracting incredible musical talent to help her realize her vision, along with her ability to transcend eras and styles are key elements that set her apart from the multitude of talented vocalists working today. The legendary trumpeter, flautist, saxophonist, flugelhornist, and multi-Grammy®-recognized Ira Sullivan (who has known Joy since her childhood) emerged to add his distinctive stylings on trumpet, alto flute and tenor sax to four tracks. Joy’s brother, Bob Mover, an acclaimed saxophonist who has performed with such seminal jazz artists as Chet Baker and Charles Mingus, and who is currently working with Esperanza Spalding, provides strong tenor sax support on two songs, offering up a stellar solo on “Till There Was You” and romping through “Nature Boy.”
Ira Sullivan was effusive in his praise of Joy’s talent. “To follow Joy Mover in song is to exercise the mind. Sometimes easy and fluid, sometimes intricate and challenging, her voice is always… beautiful,” he said. “Her original compositions possess wit. They are contemporarily ornate and her vocal expression is exciting.”
The collection of artists participating in the making of Joy Mover is beyond impressive. From Joy’s hometown of Boston, guitarist/arranger John Paul, winner of a Billboard Song
Achievement award, New England Music Company’s “Best Guitarist” award, and a spot among Jazziz magazine’s “International Top Ten Guitarists,” takes on guitar, bass, synth and vocal duties throughout the project. Paul also arranged several tracks, and co-wrote the instrumental chorus on Joy’s original, “Have You Ever Loved?” Drummer Vinny Damaio (Adam Ant, Jody Watley, Wilson Phillips, and Dianna Krall) provides rhythmic support on Joy’s utterly gorgeous rendition of Antonio Carlos Jobim’s “Corcovado,” as arranged by John Paul.
Hearkening back to her days at the University of Miami’s Jazz Vocal Department, Joy also makes use of a strong cadre of musicians from the South Florida musical arena, including: pianist/arranger Mike Levine (Jaco Pastorious Big Band, Ed Calle); bassists Jamie Ousley (upright) and Javier Carrion (electric,); saxophonist and flutist Billy Ross (James Brown, Julio Iglesias, Frank Sinatra, Mel Torme’), and drummers Sammy Levine and Lee Levin (who has performed with Ricky Martin, Julio Iglesias, the Bee Gees, and Jon Secada, and played on more than 1,000 recordings for such artists as Christina Aguilera, Pink, Nelly Furtado, Enrique Iglesias, and Kelly Clarkson). Guitarist Dan Warner (Celine Dion, Justin Timberlake, Shakira, Gloria Estefan, Enrique Iglesias), and percussionist/multi Grammy® Achievement Award winner, Richard Bravo, (Ricky Martin’s MTV Unplugged and Shakira’s multi-platinum Hips Don’t Lie) round out the stellar contingent.
Joy Mover opens with a set of the songwriter’s original tunes: “Have you Ever Loved,” an up-tempo Salsa propelled by the Latin percussive grooves of Richard Bravo & Lee Levin (drums) which also features standout performances from John Paul on guitar and flautist Billy Ross; “Maria’s Song,” an alluring rock-flavored track that could easily stand alongside Joni Mitchell’s 1970s work; “If I Could Tell You,” a Bossa ballad that again emphasizes the musical chemistry between Joy and guitarist Paul; “Midnight Oil,” a breezy paean to the weekend that is made even cooler courtesy of Ira Sullivan on trumpet; and the gentle, reggae-laced “Only the Wind.”
The Mover family’s musical heritage is immediately evident on “Nature Boy,” as Joy’s soothing yet sultry vocals play off of brother Bob’s strong, supportive tenor sax. Effortlessly gliding between genres, Joy returns to her original compositions with the romantic, mellow “Home Sweet Home.”
Joy adds a truly contemporary spin to Meredith Wilson’s “Till There Was You,” opening the track with an original rap, and eventually turning things over to Bob and Ira both for some burning sax, before Dan Warner closes things up with his equally hot guitar licks. On Antonio Carlos Jobim’s well-loved “Corcovado,” Joy truly shines, her voice weaving through a musical tapestry crafted by Paul’s exquisite guitar, Sullivan’s haunting alto flute, and Richard Bravo’s percolating percussion. Joy’s sultry vocals swing both hot and cool against a backdrop colored by Sullivan’s trumpet and Mike Levine’s piano on “Fever,” leading into the CD’s closer, a light honky-tonked swinging version of “Dream a Little Dream of Me.”
Joy’s decision to combine her own striking original songs with distinctively unique interpretations of familiar material, and to surround herself with an assortment of players that both challenge and support her prodigious vocal talents is proof that while this eponymous album may be her recording debut, she is an artist with a boundless career ahead of her.