Anita Baker will be a headliner at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival on April 25th, and has just started work on a new album in Nashville, planned for release by Blue Note Records later in 2010.
"I'm going to Nashville to mix it up, shake it and see what comes out" says the eight-time Grammy winner with obvious glee.
Baker will be producing the album with George Duke, Nathan East and Daniel Moore, recording in Nashville in part because, she explains, “they still know how to make a record in analog.” Baker has some long time friends in Nashville – just last month, when she performed at the TJ Martell Honors Gala there, attendees were surprised to find out that she counts many country stars and personalities among them.
Singing Vince Gill’s “Little Liza Jane” at the dinner, Baker was backed by a cohort of Nashville players. Inspired by their performance, she’s invited the “badass Nashville cats,” as she terms them, to record with her this month alongside NYC and LA session musicians.
The album will also include Baker's collaboration with Snoop Dogg on a “big, lush” version of Curtis Mayfield's "Give You My Love" that she promises "is going to raise eyebrows." The rest of the album will be original material.
Baker is enthusiastic about the upcoming sessions. "I'm turning it up in a lot of ways," she says
Over 75,000 fans enjoyed her 2009 headlining performances at the Essence Festival (New Orleans), Macy’s Music Cincinnati and Mt. Diablo Festival in San Francisco, and now they will have the chance to see Anita Baker mix it up live at 5:25 p.m. on Sunday April 25th on JazzFest's Congo Square "My Louisiana" Stage. And what will Ms. Baker play at JazzFest? “As always, the audience is in charge of the set list, kind of like being at a Grateful Dead show” the star says with a laugh.