One voice is all it takes. The right vocalist can make you fall in love at first listen, elicit tears, or bring you back to a different era altogether. A microphone and a stage remain the only necessities. That holds true for New York-based soul singer and songwriter Morgan James.
On her sophomore album, Reckless Abandon, James casts an unbreakable spell with a powerhouse voice and a soulful poise. Freedom and expansion are the threads that bind the collection of 12 original, co-penned tracks with writers from LA to NYC to Nashville and in between. The result is an fusion of pop, funk, and R&B with a classic approach.
James delivers an impassioned performance that showcases her virtuosic vocal range that spans from sultry to spontaneous and controlled, effortlessly. From The Juilliard School to Broadway, by way of a beaten soul-searching path, Morgan made leading appearances in Berry Gordy’s Motown: The Musical, Godspell, and more. Regardless of genre, James delivers passion and technical prowess that is rivaled by few.
Reckless Abandon is the follow-up to James’ debut album, Hunter and Morgan James Live (Epic Records). She can also be heard on countless theatre and concept soundtracks. James shines in adopting a diverse range of musical ideas to recreate them with her own identity and flare. Her rendition of Prince’s “Call My Name” was the last cover to be personally approved by Prince before his death. The track garnered success as it reached Top 15 on Billboard Magazine’s Urban AC chart, while The Wall Street Journal called Hunter “A superb new album.”
Since Hunter’s release, Morgan’s music videos have accumulated more than 75 million views (and climbing). Achieving viral acclaim while appearing in several videos with Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox, Morgan also joined the collective on globe spanning tours through the US, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand. As a solo artist, Morgan has performed at such notable venues as the Hollywood Bowl, Montreal Jazz Festival, Carnegie Hall and The Kennedy Center. She continues to wow audiences the world over through electric live performances with her touring band.
BAILEN – When they’re not touring with jazz virtuoso Raul Midón, or starring on London’s West End in the hit show Close to You; Bacharach Reimagined, 25-year-old twins Daniel (Bass) and David Bailen (Drums) are playing and singing in three part harmony with their 19-year-old sister Julia (Guitar), in their band BAILEN. The three have been writing songs and performing since they can remember. As children, the siblings were all soloists in the Metropolitan Opera’s children’s chorus, singing alongside the likes of Pavarotti, Rene Fleming and Placido Domingo. And before that, they were performing and touring with their parents, both professional NYC freelance musicians. Childhood friend Pierre Piscitelli (Keyboards) is the fourth member of BAILEN, and the only “non” Bailen, but the band says they are working on that.
BAILEN has collaborated with artists such as Burt Bacharach, Bill Withers Alex Clare, Raul Midón, Jon Batiste and Stay Human, AJR, Kyle Riabko, Dianne Reeves, Liz Wright, Richard Bona, Marcus Miller, Bob Thiele Jr. and Joe Mardin. They have written music for Sons of Anarchy, Victoria’s Secret, Paper Magazine, Marc Jacobs, Ansel Elgort and can be heard on Raul Midón’s new album “Don’t Hesitate” as well as Jon Batiste and Stay Human’s “My NY.” In 2014 they won the Elfenworks Foundation songwriting award: In Harmony With Hope. They have performed internationally and are regular guests at Madison Square Garden for the National Anthem. Grammy U and College Battle named them the Best College Band in the Northeast.
This past year the band has been cultivating a presence in London, where they have played dozens of shows, recorded with Grammy winning engineer Ricardo Damian (Uptown Funk), and have garnered a faithful following within the London folk scene as well as in NYC. The groups’ three-part sibling harmonies have been compared to The Fleet Foxes and The Staves, and Entertainment Weekly described them as having “harmonies to rival Simon Garfunkel.”
- See more at: http://highlineballroom.com/show/2018/01/12/icm-partners-2018-apap-showcase-feat-morgan-james-bailen/