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A longtime fixture in Southern California’s jazz scene and always a delightful presence, Amber Weekes recently released her latest recording, Pure Imagination. She is heard at her best on this collection of standards and lesser-known gems which includes three Oscar Brown Jr. classics, two very different versions of “When October Goes,” and a vocal duet apiece with Sue Raney and Mon David.
Amber Weekes was born and raised in Los Angeles. Her grandparents owned Weekes’ Luncheonette in Harlem and among their regular customers were Duke Ellington, Billy Strayhorn, Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, Harry Belafonte and Diahann Carroll. “My parents are Harlemites and they were both singers. My father loved Frank Sinatra while my mother was more of a classical singer, so it is not surprising that I was born singing. In the house we heard everything: Frank Sinatra, Ray Charles, the Beatles, Barbra Streisand’s early recordings, classical music, Motown, Ella, Sarah and Billie. I have memories of standing on my parent’s coffee table and singing when I was three or four.”
Amber goes through “Pure Imagination” track by track.