Tina Schlieske’s THE GOOD LIFE out now!

February 23, 2024  /  News

Twin Cities vocal icon Tina Schlieske ventures into new musical horizons with The Good Life her first jazz standards recording, out now.

Tina Schlieske, a revered figure in the Minneapolis music scene, is gearing up for the release of her inaugural jazz recording, The Good Life, scheduled to hit shelves on February 23rd, 2024, under the banner of Shifting Paradigm Records. Teaming up with a stellar ensemble featuring Cody McKinney (bass), Pete Hennig (drums), Bryan Nichols (piano), and special guests Jake Baldwin (trumpet), Brandon Wozniak (sax), and Kevin Gastonguay (organ), Schlieske embarks on a transformative jazz odyssey.

A luminary in the Minneapolis rock and Americana music circuit, Schlieske’s illustrious career spans over four decades, garnering numerous accolades, including a prestigious star adorning First Avenue’s legendary star wall. Renowned for her impassioned vocal delivery and magnetic stage presence, Schlieske’s pivot into the realm of jazz signifies a poignant milestone in her already illustrious career. Her transition into this new territory is a testament to her enduring artistic evolution and an exciting progression for her dedicated audience.

Schlieske’s affinity for jazz, long-held but unexplored until recent years, stemmed from an unanticipated desire to delve into the allure of classic standards within the contemporary musical landscape. “There is a certain simplicity in these complicated songs,” she reflects. “Singing jazz offers me the chance to push the boundaries of my vocal capabilities. It’s a whole new world compared to rock. Here, the voice becomes another instrument. Maintaining the essence of the melody while infusing personal interpretation presents a thrilling challenge that I find truly exhilarating.”

The album opens with the title track. Schlieske explains, “This song just resonates with me. It encapsulates the essence of a love song – a blend of longing and melancholy. This rendition stems from Tony Bennett’s classic interpretation.” Up next is the tried and true classic, “Witchcraft,” for which the idea came when Schlieske stumbled upon a video featuring Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley performing the song together on Frank’s television show. She says, 
 “The synergy between these two iconic voices, coupled with the song’s swing, got me instantly and just made me want to perform it.”

The set continues with Billie Holiday classic, “Don’t Explain,” drawing from the Nina Simone take. Schlieske says, “It’s a portrayal of the profound sadness within a love song—a testament to the turmoil of discovering your partner’s infidelity while grappling with the love for them being stronger than the will to leave.” Next up is another quintessential Nina Simone piece that holds a special place in Schlieske’s heart, “My Baby Just Cares For Me.”

Regarding “Do Nothing ‘Till You Hear From Me,” Schlieske says, “When I first started listening to Billie Holiday, this track embodied the essence of her voice. Its bluesy undertones make it incredibly relatable and deeply moving for me.” Another tune made famous by Holiday is “Them There Eyes,” and though the original recording by Holiday was a big band arrangement, Schlieske says, ”our rendition is inspired by her later live performances with her trio. I love performing this version, paying homage to Billie’s evolving style.”

The influence of Billie Holiday continues with “You Go To My Head.” Schlieske states, “Another soul-stirring Billie Holiday creation, this song’s lyrics resonate profoundly with me. Its depiction of being utterly captivated by someone strikes a chord with me. The lyrics just paint a perfect picture.” The album closes with “Lilac Wine,” another tune associated with Nina Simone, but the band also brings in the influence of Jeff Buckley’s haunting version. “This is just an achingly beautiful song. Our version drew inspiration from both Jeff Buckley and Nina Simone. I first encountered Jeff’s rendition, which led me to discover Nina’s version. The haunting beauty of this song left an indelible mark on me.”

The Good Life symbolizes Schlieske’s artistic evolution and her endeavor to embrace jazz while maintaining her distinctive vocal style. This debut jazz album promises to breathe new life into these timeless standards, inviting audiences to experience Schlieske’s heartfelt exploration of the genre.