ARTIST NAME: Spider Saloff
SONG TITLE: Boogie Woogie Santa Claus
ALBUM TITLE: Cool Yule
She’s been heard around the world as the host/star of the syndicated public radio series Words and Music, but for thousands, the most familiar way to enjoy Spider Saloff has been through live performances. The Chicago –based jazz vocalist and comedienne has won accolades around the world for her introspective yet comedic approach to the genre, most profoundly through her one-woman tribute to George Gershwin, The Memory of All That, conceived with the blessing of the Gershwin estate and headlining the Gershwin Centennial in St. Petersburg, Russia.
With full symphony orchestras or intimate jazz groups, Saloff is acclaimed as one of the great interpreters of the American Songbook. Saloff has composed multiple concert tributes to Cole Porter, Irving Berlin, Stephen Sondheim, and many others. At the famed Chicago Jazz Festival, she performed to audiences of over twenty-six thousand at Chicago’s Millennium Park as well as many other venues.
Saloff’s concert career includes recent performances at the Poznan Poland Jazz Fest, The Pheasantry in London, as well as Jazz at Lincoln Center, Overture Center, Ravinia Music Festival, The Auditorium Theater, and the Smithsonian Institution.
Her major nightclub engagements included turns in Chicago at Winter’s Jazz Club, The Green Mill, and Jazz Showcase, and in New York at Birdland and Feinstein’s among many others nationwide.
As composer, playwright, and actress, Saloff wrote a one-woman musical, The Roar of the Butterfly that played in Chicago, Los Angeles, and Melbourne, Australia. Her original song When You See Me; a jazz/R&B tune has garnered over one hundred thousand views on YouTube.
She has taught master classes in the UK, Italy, and all over the US with private students and group classes. Her philosophy in teaching is to work with the voice that is the individual and create a style that is unique and natural to that particular voice. Students have described working with Spider as “life-changing”.
2 Bistro Awards (New York)
5 MAC Awards (Manhattan Association of Cabarets)
Gold Coast Award for Excellence (Chicago Night Clubs)
Special Citation from NARAS (Grammy Awards)
2 Emmonds Awards (LA press award for live performance)
Her discography includes nine national releases: 1938, Sextet, The Memory of All That, Cool Yule, A New Set of Standards, The Women Who Swing Chicago, Like Glass, Cole Porter Live at Maxim’s, Ella, Ella, Ella: A Musical Tribute to Ella Fitzgerald. Her Christmas CD entitled Cool Yule was a finalist for the Indie Awards.
Tune: It’s a cool song and we build it by making the sound fuller, especially when the sax line comes in.
Feedback: We have had such a great reaction to this album. And it was nominated for Holiday Recording of the Year.
Changes: The big difference is in the way things are produced now. In earlier recordings, a lot of the music had to be produced in a live setting with little room for retakes or overdubs. The recording, for the most part, was done in a live setting.
Experience: I have worked with a lot of great musicians in some amazing settings. One of the biggest opportunities was when the Gershwin family worked with me directly on concert and recording projects.
Lyrics: I heard the original recording of Louis Armstrong and knew we had to include it in this Holiday Recording.
Timeless Music: It just happens. I love to keep the pure emotion that I am feeling at the moment. I feel if it is honest, it will transcend time and be around forever.
Creativity: The sound of the music and what is there in the lyric that is relatable.
Musical Ideas: So many things. Rhythm, a groove, a phrase, dynamics…
Greatest Song: As a songwriter, I am very proud of my jazz/blues song ‘You Better Watch Yourself With That One. It was on my CD release called ‘Like Glass.’
Composition: I will get my initial ideas as the lyric appears to me. Then as I start developing the lyric, the music will begin to come to me at the same time.
Song: The song is about seduction. How wonderful and dangerous it can be at the same time.
Artist’s Name: Spider Saloff is my name, professionally, and came from a nickname. I did not choose it. It chose me and people remember it.
Album’s Title: The title of the album ‘Cool Yule’ came from one of the songs on the album that was written by the great Steve Allen, who I got to know for a short time. He, unfortunately, passed away just before the album was released.
“The voluptuousness of Saloff’s soprano, as well as the intelligence of her readings, make the oft-played Christmas standards sound utterly refreshed!”
– Howard Reich
“It’s one of the best Christmas albums that I’ve ever heard-forget Christmas, it’s one of the best albums I’ve ever heard!”
– Hugh Martin
Composer, “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas”
“A wicked way with a lyric and a glint of well-controlled mischief.”
– The New York Times
“Saloff’s flexible pop soprano pipes are tops.”
“More than ever, there was a simplicity of phrasing, a fine actor’s way with storytelling, and a musician’s mastery of rhythm and time that combined to make her an even more accomplished entertainer. She is, to use a well-worn phrase, at the top of her considerable game.”
-Gerry Geddes, BistroAwards.com