PATRICE JÉGOU (pronounced Zhay-goo) is a singer’s singer. Her new CD, IF IT AIN’T LOVE, is a diverse album of jazz and pop tunes that encompasses big band and huge orchestral arrange- ments, power ballads, and a cappella adaptations.
Jégou, a Canadian-born, classically trained mezzo-soprano, is an ex- gure skater who took up singing at the suggestion of a cast-mate who heard her amazing voice when she was skating in an ice show on tour in Mexico. Years of study culminated in a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in vocal performance from Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University.
IF IT AIN’T LOVE features renowned arrangers JORGE CALANDRELLI (Barbra Streisand and Tony Bennett), JOHN CLAYTON (The Clayton- Hamilton Jazz Orchestra, Diana Krall), and MARK KIBBLE of TAKE 6. To round it out, she enlisted heavyweights DAVID PAICH of TOTO (writer of such hits as “Rosanna” and “Africa,” and son of legendary arranger Marty Paich), and celebrated L.A. studio pianist MIKE LANG.
Jégou really swings on this album, as she so clearly demonstrates on her collaborations with the inimitable CLAYTON-HAMILTON JAZZ ORCHESTRA. On tunes like “Waltz for Debby” and “Estate,” both arranged by Grammy-winning and Oscar-nominated JORGE CALANDRELLI, Jégou takes a thoughtful and sensitive approach to the lyrics. But she can also get her groove on, and we hear that in the funky Allen Toussaint tune “Yes We Can, Can.” In this track, arranged by DAVID PAICH of TOTO, Jégou sings a duet with gospel diva TÀTA VEGA. But whether she’s swinging, feeling the groove, or interpreting an intimate ballad like “It Might Be You,” Patrice clearly captures the heart and soul of a song, no matter the genre.
IF IT AIN’T LOVE was recorded at the famed Capitol Studios and United Recording in Los Angeles by two titans of the music industry: legendary recording engineers DON MURRAY and AL SCHMITT. And the results are impressive. IF IT AIN’T LOVE is a stunning showcase for PATRICE JÉGOU’s wide-ranging talents.