A voice – mellow, unvarnished and full of warmth. While pop music spins with ever greater glare and über-sound effects, Mystéfy exudes sensuality, soul and pure sensibility. Accompanied simply by piano, double bass and drums, the sparse arrangements allow for a wonderful, relaxed yet tantalizing album: Spark Within
Nine of the twelve songs were self-penned by Mystéfy and pianist Roberto DiGioia (Klaus Doldinger’s Passport, Joe Lovano, Albert Mangelsdorff, and his very own project Marsmobil). The trio was completed by world class bassist Dieter Ilg (Rebekka Bakken, Charlie Mariano, Till Brönner…) and drummer Matteo Scrimali (Freundeskreis, Max Herre). Christian Prommer (currently highly acclaimed for his ‘Drumlessons’ project, but also know for Fauna Flash, Trüby Trio, Voom Voom) functioned as a producer.
Jimmy Somerville, the unmistakable, mega star singer of Bronski Beat and The Communards fame, appears as a special guest on Spark Within. His counter tenor voice is matchless to this day. Somerville duets with Mystéfy on “I Will” – a classic love song from Dean Martin’s repertoire – now revamped in a highly romantic fashion. Jimmy & Mystéfy discovered, much to their surprise, while in the studio (there was no rehearsal prior to recording the tune) that their voices, phrasing and even vibrato harmonised in an exceptional way.
“Lady Grinning Soul”, a David Bowie song, was carefully selected as the only other cover on the album. “I grew up listening to Bowie, I heard his early stuff when I was 8, was the biggest fan at 12 – and so this is my tip of the hat to my former idol. Also, I’m really a rock chick with the voice of a jazz diva…”, Says Mystéfy. All the other tunes, too, are personal; some are linked to an ex-lover such as ‘Stardust I Keep’ or ‘Bye Bye, Baby’. “You can live through the blues many times, and survive – but never lose humour or faith in love. Hence why most of my lyrics are encouraging, rather than plain melancholic.”
The musical aim was to create modern jazz standards, as Mystéfy wasn’t content with merely interpreting the same old compositions. She expected creativity and innovation not just from herself but also from the musicians who performed on this album: “Roberto DiGioia felt precisely what I wanted to express and carefully put my lyrics and melodies into a charming context of harmonies. The band and I had a wonderful chemistry going in the studio – and jazz thrives on spontaneity!“
How did Mystéfy find jazz music? “It found me. Whether rock songs or arias in my (classical) vocal training years: when singing these genres I had a feeling of observing myself. But when I sing jazz I’m in different spheres – and that’s what it must feel like for me… the only other music I sing with conviction is soul”
Born in ‚Bergisch Land’ near Cologne, Germany and having lived in Bremen, Germany for a long time, the passionate painter now resides in Ottawa, Canada. Her background is that of a live singer, roaming clubs and bars from London to Nashville and Germany, performing ad-hoc at jazz sessions and getting a wealth of positive response to her vocal skills. Yet, it was a while before Mystéfy took her talent seriously.
Then, one evening in 2004 in a club in North London, the future revealed itself. Mystéfy visited a club in Highgate with her acquaintance Ray Davies, rock legend of The Kinks. After Mystéfy had the audience worked up to an ecstatic state by a slick performance of some Billie Holiday classics, Ray took her by the hand, looked deep into her eyes and stated dryly: “You’re a star!“
That Ray’s compliment wasn’t mere idle talk, is something Mystéfy knows for sure: “Whatever someone tells me is not as important as what the person reveals through body language and aura. Even as child I strongly perceived people, I truly felt their emotions physically.”
Her talent for the extrasensory perception often reveals itself in nightly visions, in which she already uncovered lies, received warnings – or foresaw the future, for instance her current and happy life in Canada.
However, there’s others who also predicted Mystéfy would have a successful career as jazz diva. The (sadly) recently deceased Grammy-nominated jazz & blues aficionado Jeff Healey also influenced ‚Stéf’ – they jammed and listened to historic jazz tunes from Jeff’s recordings collection. Roger Odell (Shakatak) loves Mystéfy’s voice – ever since her first guest appearance at his “jazznights” live music series – and legendary producer Bob Rose (Beach Boys, George Harrison, Roy Orbison, Julian Lennon,…) noticeably states: “With Spark Within a new voice finds its much deserved place in the world of soulful and sexy music. Mystéfy is not just another singer but another legend in the making. Her voice? Sometimes sweet, sometimes not, but always pure sexy breathy brilliance. If talent is any basis for success then she will take her place alongside the best!”
Mystéfy will make an exclusive tour in Germany in support of her new release in 1st week of July 08 that is not to be missed!!! Tour dates will be announced very soon. In the meantime, enjoy a sneak peak and check out the charming video clip for song “Eye Candy“, available now on her MySpace Site.