Call it a revelation. For jazz vocalist Ann Hampton Callaway, an afternoon stroll through Times Square in the heart of New York City was music to her ears. She describes finding refuge from the noise and chaos all around her by thinking of the word "slow." With a sudden burst of creative energy, she returned home and transformed her newfound mantra into words and music. Callaway's finished product is a collection of love songs and ballads simply titled Slow.
Inspiration can come from anywhere at anytime. For Ann Hampton Callaway, it was a never-ending chorus of car horns, the shrill of shouting voices, and the roar of diesel engines reverberating at the foot of New York's tallest skyscrapers. As unlikely as it seems, Callaway claims that at that moment "the stars were aligned and inspiration came when it was needed."
New York can have that effect. After all it's referred to as "The Big Apple,; "The city that never sleeps;" "Gotham City;" "The Empire City;" "Naked City;" and sometimes just "The City." No matter what its moniker, New York will always rank as one of the world's most romantic cities, where according to Ann Hampton Callaway, taking one's time to savor its temptations can lead to serious consequences.
Born and raised in Chicago, Ann Hampton Callaway, like so many adopted New Yorkers, came to Manhattan to pursue a dream. Hers was music, and within three days after her arrival she won a singing job at a piano bar. Next came a recording contract, a solo album, a hit theme song for the television show The Nanny, and finally Broadway. Almost 20 years to the day she moved to New York, Callaway won a Theatre World Award for Outstanding Broadway Debut for her role in Swing!.
Along the way there have been numerous albums and tours, including tributes to three of her favorite performers: Duke Ellington, Count Basie and Ella Fitzgerald.
Composer Carole King is also a Callaway favorite, and on her new album Callaway sings the King classic "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow," as well as an original tune written, produced and performed with King titled "Tonight You're All Mine."
There's a little bit of everything on Ann Hampton Callaway's new release Slow, including Latin jazz, pop standards and four self-penned ballads. Another guest appearance comes from Ann's sister Liz who joins Ann on a slower-than-usual version of Van Morrison's Moondance.