New York, NY–A intimately serene setting at New York’s Blue Note Jazz Club is the right vibe any given night. Wednesday evening’s special musical guest however gave it just that added flare to compliment its easy flowing tone blending them together perfectly.
The blissful crowd extended a warm welcome to the mellifluent sounds of Macy Gray and the California Jet Club shifting gears from sound check mode to entertaining pleasure favoring the sold out tasteful venue.
Gray, looking beautifully polished, engaged the suave session enjoying the love and support of her longtime fans as she rocked out to her mix set list of new tracks and hit classics.
The singer/actress had her share of highs and lows throughout her thirty plus years in the industry with a talent she viewed initially “as something fun” not knowing it would be her calling and gift to the world.
Studying the art of Jazz after a friend offered her a singer spot in his band, the Canton, Ohio native made her way to the City of Angels where she self trained her unique voice to be noteworthy landing her gigs at LA bistros catching the ears of then Atlantic Records A&R Tom Carolan signing her first record deal.
Though the opportunity was short lived after Carolan parted from the label, Gray traveled between home and LA in hopes of the next best thing linking up with top AR/Executive Producer Jeff Blue suggesting a fresh look and new sound.
The advice paid off leading her to sign with Epic Records releasing her 1999 debut album On How Life Is making Gray a bonafide success reaching triple platinum in the U.S. and quadruple platinum in the U.K. Singles “Still” and “Why Didn’t You Call Me” were on heavy rotation but “I Try” became the album’s biggest track winning her a Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance in 2001 branding it her signature smash hit.
Gray collaborated with several fellow artists on projects including Black Eyed Peas and Slick Rick on “The World Is Yours” from the Rush Hour 2 soundtrack while landing her first acting gig in thriller “Training Day” along side Denzel Washington and Ethan Hawke. Later that year, Gray received backlash at the Pro Football Hall Of Fame exhibition game forgetting the lyrics to the national anthem.
Her second release The Id peaked at number eleven on Billboard’s top 200 gaining more notoriety in the UK going certified gold together with continuing her acting skills starring in film Spider-Man contributing music to the soundtrack as well as other ventures partnering with Santana on 2002’s track “Amore Sexo” and Red Hot Organization, a not-for-profit foundation on the fight against AIDS in company of fellow prominent Neo-Soul, Hip-Hop, and R&B artists.
It was by Gray’s 2003 third album The Trouble With Being Myself that things started to spiral for the controversial multiplatinum performer. Despite the album doing well overseas making it her third top twenty in the UK, it wasn’t received well by fans in the US. She went on to release a greatest hits collection album before taking a hiatus from the business for several years.
After her return in 2007, Gray made a comeback with her fourth album Big having the single “What I Gotta Do” featured on Shrek The Third’s soundtrack in addition to collaborating with heavy hitters Natalie Cole, Justin Timberlake, Fergie, and will.i.am for the project.
Later appearing on Oprah’s Where Are They Now, she spoke candidly on issues with drug abuse stating she was ill-prepared for the the level of fame she received. Going through those unfortunate times, Gray was able to find the strength to overcome those obstacles and learn from valuable lessons releasing several other records in coming years including her newest “The Reset” featuring The California Jet Club.
Performing a classy array of melodies from “Strange Brew”, “Caligula”, “Me With You”, “Fly Me To The Moon” to signature fan favorite “I Try”, Gray clearly has a newfound attitude and perspective in life, enjoying it to the fullest potential with gratitude.