On the heels of more than four decades as both vocalist and poet, Pierre L. Chambers’ debut Shining Moments is an album whose time has come. Dedicated to Chambers' father and mother, jazz bass legend Paul and Annie, and the influence they had on his artistry, Shining Moments is a collection of beloved standards showcasing unique interpretations across a range of styles, and intimate personal portraits as accompanied spoken word.
Chambers’ love of jazz is in his DNA. Born in New York, raised in Detroit and resident now of Los Angeles for more than twenty five years, his love of and exposure to music across a wide range of genres and legends have all contributed to a rich musical heritage, championed by his mother, Annie. Jazz legends such as Hank, Thad, and Elvin Jones, Barry Harris, Gerald Wilson, Milt Jackson, Yusef Lateef, and many more influenced his canon.
Tenures on both saxophone and clarinet, as well as a long history of chorale singing from high school and well beyond, deeply influenced and helped cement his musicianship. For nearly a decade, he sang with East Coast-based Lance Hayward Singers, a 24-voice crossover jazz ensemble. Then next half decade paired Chambers with Bill Lee, father of Spike Lee, and his vocal ensemble the Family Tree Singers who sang music from Spike’s first four movies.
“When I was 13, I was the only kid
on my block who could scat to
Miles Davis’ ‘Flamenco Sketches.'"
A move to Los Angeles and work with local promoter, Dolores Peterson, on solo shows prompted a fortuitous introduction to two other jazz scions, Lisa Herbert and Mitch Ellis. Together, they formed Chambers, Herbert & Ellis, a vocalese trio that took on the music of Lambert, Hendricks and Ross, interpretations of their fathers’ music and music of their day. The group sang together for nearly a decade, ending with a yearlong residency at the legendary Gardenia Lounge in Hollywood.
A chance encounter with producer and vocalist, Cathy Segal-Garcia, was all the spark that was needed to set his most recent project in motion. Chambers’ resonant, soulful voice that cuts right to the emotional center of a song. His emotive renditions of classic jazz tunes reveal an artist who is not only well-versed in the language of jazz but a poet who is sensitive to the affective nuances of language.
Shining Moments is an auspicious debut for an artist who has been flying under the radar for far too long.