"CHARLES RUGGIERO AND HILARY GARDNER PLAY THE BIRD AND THE BEE" CD RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NEWEST RELEASE FROM SMALLSLIVE “CHARLES RUGGIERO AND HILARY GARDNER PLAY THE BIRD AND THE BEE” AVAILABLE APRIL 23, 2019 SmallsLIVE announces the release of a new album from drummer CHARLES RUGGIERO and singer HILARY GARDNER, “CHARLES RUGGIERO AND HILARY GARDNER PLAY THE BIRD AND THE BEE.” Smart, playful and swinging, this album is an unabashedly jazz-rooted tribute to one of the 21st century’s most compelling pop songbooks. Beginning April 23, "Charles Ruggiero and Hilary Gardner Play the bird and the bee" will be available worldwide via Apple Music/iTunes, Amazon Music, Google Play, Spotify, YouTube, Tidal and all other streaming platforms. CDs available at CD Baby, Amazon and SmallsLIVE.com. Longtime friends, drummer Charles Ruggiero and vocalist Hilary Gardner, initially connected over their shared love of the bird and the bee, a Los Angeles-based synth-pop duo helmed by Greg Kurstin and Inara George. The bird and the bee made their recording debut on Blue Note Records in 2006, delighting mass audiences and musicians alike with what Entertainment Weekly hailed as "space-age pop that cunningly combines bossa nova languidity with Beach Boys-style lushness.” In 2014, Ruggiero asked Gardner to sing on his cover of the bird and the bee’s “I’m A Broken Heart” for his first solo release, “BOOM BANG, BOOM BANG!” [Rondette Jazz]. This collaboration planted the seed for a more in-depth exploration of the bird and the bee’s music. “”BOOM BANG, BOOM BANG!” was my first record as a leader,” says Ruggiero. “I desperately wanted to cover the bird and the bee’s song “I’m A Broken Heart” because the melody, chords and harmonic motion of the song lent itself so well to becoming a jazz arrangement. It went sowell that Hilary and I decided to do an entire record of their music.” “Charles and I talked on and off for years about recording a tribute to the bird and the bee,” says Gardner. “I was a little skittish about doing a tribute album, to be honest--why do something that’s already been done, right? But digging into this repertoire in a straight-ahead jazz context felt completely fresh and new. The bird and the bee songs marry this incredibly sophisticated musical architecture with witty, intelligent lyrics. We had so much fun with this project.” After selecting eight of their favorite songs by the bird and the bee, Ruggiero and Gardner called upon New York City jazz stalwarts Jeremy Manasia (piano) and Neal Miner (bass) and headed into the studio. The collaborative quartet deftly navigates catchy-but-complex melodic and harmonic structures while finding new interpretive possibilities within the lyrics putting the listener’s focus squarely on the songs themselves. The pair’s admiration and affection for Inara George and Greg Kurstin’s music has not gone unnoticed. Upon hearing Ruggiero and Gardner’s tribute to the bird and the bee, Inara George responded, “Greg and I are very familiar with how much work it takes to cover an entire record’s worth of music by another artist. It takes a great amount of care and respect for the artist you are covering. So, when I first heard Charles Ruggiero and Hilary Gardner’s record, I was blown away. All the players are obviously insanely gifted. I was beyond flattered and I had so much fun hearing how they had interpreted our songs. It was a real pleasure to hear and a great compliment for which we are very grateful.” Ruggiero and Gardner have individually garnered critical acclaim for their eclectic and far-reaching approaches to jazz: in addition to his aforementioned debut album, Ruggiero’s recorded oeuvre includes an imaginative collection of TV themes, “As Heard on TV” [Rondette Jazz], and an atmospheric rendering of songs spanning pop, soul and jazz, “Meets Laura Mace” [Rondette Jazz]. Gardner’s debut album, “The Great City” [Anzic Records], juxtaposed venerable jazz standards with songs by Tom Waits, Joni Mitchell and Nellie McKay, while her follow-up release, “The Late Set” [Anzic Records], plumbed the depths of the Great American Songbook, highlighting seldom-performed songs primarily from the 1920s through the 1940s. ruggierodrums.comsmallslive.comhilarygardner.com
CHARLES RUGGIERO Releases Second Solo Album "AS HEARD ON TV" On Rondette Jazz - October 16, 2015
Rondette Jazz announces second solo album from drummer CHARLES RUGGIERO, "As Heard On TV." On October 16, "As Heard On TV" will be available through Rondette Jazz (rondettejazz.com) on CD and via digital download on iTunes. Limited edition vinyl will also be available.
A direct follow up to his 2014 premiere solo album, "Boom Bang, Boom Bang!," Ruggiero along with regular collaborators Jeremy Manasia (piano), Ian Hendrickson-Smith (flute, alto sax), Alex Norris (trumpet), Stacy Dillard (soprano sax), Mike Karn (acoustic bass) and Laura Mace (vocals), brings some of the most celebrated TV theme songs into the jazz genre including "Bewitched," "Law & Order," "Game of Thrones" and "The Honeymooners."
"Show tunes have always been the perfect platform for jazz. The Great American Songbook - the standard repertoire - is almost entirely made up of music written for Broadway. There's a reason for that... Well, it's not 1961 anymore, and although it is as popular as ever, the bright lights of Broadway have been dwarfed by the LED lights of the television screen. In 2015, the small screen reigns supreme. "Oklahoma!" has been replaced with "Dallas" and "On the Town" with "Sex and the City". Shows today are 13 episodes a season rather than 2 acts. Thankfully though, show tunes remain show tunes. Quick, catchy, malleable, and popular... Everything you want in a musical canvas." - Excerpt from "As Heard On TV" liner notes by Charles Ruggiero, July 2015
Ruggiero's footprint into professional jazz began at a young age when, at 23, he toured with Chuck Mangione. He has performed with jazz artists such as Molly Ringwald, Brad Mehldau, Bob Reynolds and Peter Bernstein as well as toured with rock bands Slunt and Circus Diablo. Ruggiero has been featured on numerous recordings and regularly plays throughout the world spending extra time in New York City and Los Angeles. He is endorsed by Zildjian, Yamaha and Remo.
About "As Heard On TV" "When you listen to Charles, you hear the past as well as the future. You want to know what 'Good Times' is? It's the way he plays it!" - Gregory Hutchinson "Charles Ruggiero and his stellar bandmates have created a truly enjoyable jazz album. A very rare thing these days!" - Peter Bernstein "Ruggiero crushes. One of the hardest swinging drummers on the scene.” - Brian Charette "I'm lovin' the record. I knew it was KILLIN' when my daughter came out from her room and said to me 'That's the iCarly song.'” - Jonathan Blake