Simultaneous with the release of jazz pianist Beegie Adair’s ambitious six-CD Centennial Composers box set, Ms. Adair has signed a four-year contract extension with Green Hill Productions/Hillsboro Jazz, announces company President Greg Howard.
Adair, who is based in Nashville, originally signed with Green Hill in 1997 and has released albums on both the Green Hill Productions label (which handles the alternative, gift-store market) and Hillsboro Jazz (which receives mainstream record store and music department distribution through EMD, one of the country’s major distribution conglomerates). Both labels are divisions of Spring Hill Music Group, Inc., and some product appears on both imprints. She has one-year left on her original contract before the new contract begins.
In addition, The Steinway Company has named Adair a "Steinway Artist," an honored title for only a select upper echelon of pianists. Adair will now perform exclusively on Steinway pianos.
"Beegie has become an integral part of our company," states Howard, who also serves as Adair’s Executive Producer. "We are currently developing several future projects with Beegie and now that we have another long-term contract with her, we can move ahead with the final conceptualization, planning and recording of them. Her last single-disc project, I’ll Take Romance with The Jeff Steinberg Orchestra, was so successful, we will definitely be teaming them up again in the future. The appeal of Beegie Adair’s playing is that she makes jazz very accessible to the listener. She has a very classy and elegant style."
"Green Hill is an unusual company in that it fosters a high degree of artist input on the projects and allows me a lot of freedom," says Adair. "I feel like I am part of a family. I have a close relationship with Greg Howard, the executive producer, and with Jack Jezzro, the on-site, in-studio producer. They have been absolutely great to work with."
Beegie’s latest Green Hill release is the four-and-a-half-hour Centennial Composers six-CD box set with new renditions of a dozen or more of the best-known tunes by six of America’s greatest composers -- Irving Berlin, Hoagy Carmichael, George Gershwin, Jerome Kern, Duke Ellington and Richard Rodgers -- all born roughly a century ago. With a full CD devoted to each composer, this expansive set (on the Green Hill label) contains instrumental versions of 75 of the most-memorable tunes from the first half of the Twentieth Century, plus biographies and extensive song notes. The box set can be purchased on-line at amazon.com or greenhillmusic.com.
In addition to Centennial Composers and I’ll Take Romance (classic love tunes by famous composers), Adair has built a large and loyal fanbase with a series of jazz instrumental albums featuring classic material made famous by various singers -- The Frank Sinatra Collection, The Nat King Cole Collection, Love, Elvis (containing the romantic Presley repertoire) and other collections of standards (Dream Dancing: Songs of Cole Porter, Sax & Swing also featuring saxophonist Denis Solee, and Jazz Piano Christmas). Beegie plays in a traditional jazz style, most often with her trio (bassist Roger Spencer and drummer Chris Brown). Adair also has a lengthy list of credits backing top acts including Chet Atkins, Henry Mancini, Johnny Cash, Al Hirt, Dolly Parton, Waylon Jennings, J.J. Cale and Englebert Humperdink.