Tracey Whitney
  • Female
  • Albuquerque, NM
  • United States
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Where are you located?
Albuquerque, NM
What is your affiliation to the Jazz World?
Musical Artist, Producer, Vocalist, Record Label, Arranger
Tell us a little about your background...
On her stunning sophomore album, Tracey Whitney pays joyful homage to a diverse mix of musicians who have inspired her own singing and songwriting. Rounded out by three original tracks, I Am Singing…Songs I Love features the Los Angeles/Albuquerque-based singer’s stirring renditions of classic yet lesser-covered songs by artists like Stevie Wonder, Michael Franks, and Antonio Carlos Jobim. At turns breezy and beautifully moving, the follow-up to 2007’s much-acclaimed Love…A Fable in 9 Acts serves up more of the silky R&B/jazz/pop fusion that’s become the trademark for this former child singing sensation and backup vocalist for the legendary Ray Charles.

The latest release from Tracey’s own BabyDoll Entertainment and Records, I Am Singing…Songs I Love first began taking shape in the midst of a reignited infatuation with “Eli’s Coming” (a Three Dog Night hit authored by Laura Nyro). “I couldn’t get ‘Eli’s Coming’ out of my head, so I ended up heading into the studio and recording my own version to get it out of my system—but then we just kept going,” recalls Whitney. Working with co-producer and multi-instrumentalist Herman “Hollywood” Dawkins, Tracey went on to lay down seven more covers and several original songs that elegantly flaunt her tightly honed harmonic sense.

Though I Am Singing…Songs I Love marks only her second solo album, Whitney’s musical history stretches all the way back to age 11. At the famed Coconut Grove in Los Angeles, Tracey made her debut as part of The Whitney Family (a singing ensemble that included her mother and seven brothers and sisters). Over the next decade, The Whitney Family toured the world and recorded two albums (including “Let Me Be Your Woman,” a Billboard top singles pick). Tracey struck out on her own at age 22, becoming a hit nightclub act in Los Angeles before landing her role as a Raelette in Charles’s 1991 tour of the United States. “After singing with Ray Charles in a five-part-harmony structure, my brain can no longer hear anything in fewer than five parts,” she notes, adding that Charles greatly deepened her understanding of melody. She then spent 5 years performing throughout Japan, and doing session work and concerts with Japanese superstars Sing Like Talking, Tokiko Kato, and Namie Amuro.

But while Whitney’s extraordinary career has played a key role in shaping the smooth sound heard throughout
I Am Singing…Songs I Love, her pop instincts, soulful sensibility, and irresistibly natural ease behind the microphone are all essential to the album. Whether reimagining Garth Brooks’ Beatles-esque country pastiche “Wrapped Up In You” as a soaring, scat-laced celebration of love or giving a sweet nod to the Jackson 5 by joining her brother (and fellow former Whitney Family singer) Glynn Whitney on an update of Michael Jackson’s jazzy “I Can’t Help It, ”Tracey pairs her dynamic vocals with refined arrangements to glorious effect. On her original numbers, meanwhile, Whitney introduces innovative elements that let her own singular style shine through: “Heartbreak 2011,” for instance, combines a quietly powerful beat and aching lyrics (“I lost my chance at heaven”) with a heart rending spoken-word intro and outro.

No matter if she’s delivering an original song or a cover, Tracey infuses her songs with a slick sophistication that’s uncommon in today’s musical landscape. “It’s lovely if younger people enjoy my music, but I’m really singing for adults, and telling real stories about real situations,” says Whitney. “What I hope is for people to hear my songs and connect with them on a very emotional level—and ultimately get a sense of calm and joy from that.”

~ Elizabeth Barker
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At 1:44pm on July 15, 2012, Tracey Whitney said…

This video is my cover of the Barry White classic, "I'm Gonna Love You Just A Little More Baby." I hope you enjoy it...

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Tracey Whitney's Blog

Music is where the heart is...

Posted on July 15, 2012 at 12:06pm 0 Comments

I recently moved from my hometown of Los Angeles to Albuquerque, NM. People think I'm crazy since most musicians WANT to be in L.A. Well. L.A. is lovely, and I can appreciate the allure of the bight lights. But being from L.A. myself, I can tell you that it's not all it's chalked up to be – and if you’re not from there, it can break your heart (not to mention your soul). Instead, I chose to follow my heart (which has been pulled for years - no real logic), to the Land of Enchantment! I’m…


















Jaijai, what a wonderful mission you've undertaken to create such a place for artistic minds to meet and share their hearts. A place to renew faded determinations, and revive lessened momentums. A place to display our wares and reconfirm to one another that we actually are on the right track.

I commend you, Jaijai, for caring so much that you created this castle of the heart for all of us. I want to share my praise for all of the new friends as well as old friends that I've met and will meet here in our castle. Here we can garnish the where-with-all, the strength, the conviction, and the selflessness through our symbiosis, to share our gift to the world with an unbiased agenda.

My mentor, Daisaku Ikeda says of art: "A beautiful flower delights and refreshes the hearts of all people equally, no matter what soil it grows in. That is the power of beauty. The same is true of great art. It is this spirit that the German poet Heinrich Heine sang of when he wrote that once the peapod bursts open, the sugar peas inside are for everyone to enjoy."

Let's be audacious, my friends!

Buster Williams


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