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Comment: This is a good ex-library copy with the usual markings. The disc is near flawless and like new. The booklet is very clean and free of rips and creases but unfortunately one of the library markings covers the girls face on the cover of the booklet. The case is free of cracks and contains very few if any minor imperfections. A nice copy nonetheless.
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Nikki

4.5 out of 5 stars 38 customer reviews

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Audio CD, May 4, 2010
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$8.67 & FREE Shipping on orders over $49. Details Only 6 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

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Product Description

2010 debut studio album from the young Canadian sensation, whose recording of 'I Believe'- the official theme song of CTV's Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games - has been certified triple platinum. Nikki was produced by 15-time Grammy-winning producer Phil Ramone and Grammy-winning songwriter and producer Jesse Harris. It is a collection of newly arranged standards, classic selections from the American Songbook and elegant originals Yanofsky co-wrote with Harris, Canadian singer-songwriter Ron Sexsmith and others. A composition written for Yanofsky by acclaimed Canadian songstress Feist also appears on the album.

About the Artist

Over the past year, Montreal-born songstress Nikki Yanofsky has headlined major jazz festivals from Canada to Japan, played Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and The Kennedy Center, toured with award-winning composer Marvin Hamlisch, performed with the legendary Count Basie Orchestra, collaborated with influential hip-hop artist Wyclef Jean, released a live CD/DVD paying tribute to her favorite singer, Ella Fitzgerald, and been interviewed by NBC's Brian Williams. Her voice can be heard on the uplifting theme song for Canadian television's coverage of the 2010 Vancouver Olympics entitled "I Believe," which climbed to No. 1 on Canada's iTunes singles chart and the Billboard Hot 100 -- the highest debut of any Canadian artist in Soundscan history. In addition, Yanofsky performed the Canadian National Anthem at the Winter Games' opening ceremony before a worldwide television audience of 3.2 billion. Sounds like the career of a seasoned performer, right?

Yanofsky is indeed a seasoned performer...who happens to have just turned 16. Her live debut at the age of 12 -- singing for more than 100,000 people at the 2006 Montreal International Jazz Festival -- made her the youngest artist ever to appear there. She was also the youngest artist ever to record for the renowned jazz label Verve when her cover of "Airmail Special" was included on the 2007 compilation We All Love Ella: Celebrating the First Lady of Song (alongside contributions by Natalie Cole, Diana Krall, Michael Bublé, and Gladys Knight). Canada's Maclean's magazine has praised her "multi-octave range, impeccable pitch, increasingly rich tone, and unexpectedly soulful power" noting that "the jazz world has celebrated many a prodigy, but none has been met with this much unanimous adulation or hope since Wynton Marsalis drew his first raves in the early '80s."

But to Yanofsky, age is nothing but a number. "People are always asking me how it feels to be so young and singing at this or that event and my response is always, `I don't know, I've never been older!'" Yanofsky says with a laugh. "I think it's funny that people are so fascinated by a number, because, really, that's all it is. It's more my experience that matters."

Experience is something Yanofsky has in spades and she puts it to good use on her debut studio album, Nikki, which will be released in May by Decca Records. Produced by 15-time Grammy-winning producer Phil Ramone (Ray Charles, Frank Sinatra, Burt Bacharach) and Grammy-winning songwriter and producer Jesse Harris (best known for his work on Norah Jones' Come Away With Me and Feels Like Home), Nikki is a fizzy, spirited collection of newly arranged standards and elegant originals Yanofsky co-wrote with Harris and Canadian singer-songwriter Ron Sexsmith that reflects her love for jazz, blues, R&B, soul, and traditional pop vocal styles. "The album is very personal and allows the listener to get to know me," Yanofsky says. "You hear where I came from, through the musical influences, and you hear where I'm going through the originals." Though it's clearly a showcase for Yanofsky's preternatural vocal gifts, Nikki rises above the novelty of a teenaged singer taking on selections from the American Songbook thanks to the modern, youthful spin she puts on the arrangements. George and Ira Gershwin's big-band classic "I Got Rhythm" opens with a sultry vamp before Yanofsky counts off "1,2,3,4" and kicks into a swinging version of the tune popularized by Ella Fitzgerald and many others. Yanofsky's take on Billie Holiday's signature song "God Bless The Child" combines her rendition with a version by jazz-fusion band Blood, Sweat & Tears, while the intro to Jimmy McHugh and Dorothy Fields' "On the Sunny Side of the Street" features the notorious riff from Led Zeppelin's "Fool In the Rain" -- a nod to Yanofsky's love for classic rock. Finally, Billy Strayhorn's swing standard "Take the `A' Train" features new, original lyrics ("When I'm in New York City I go see theater / I love NY, the T-shirts say they love me too") that namecheck the musicals Yanofsky has seen (Wicked, Rent, Legally Blonde, and Hairspray all get a shout-out) before she takes the A train to go to Sugar Hill way up in Harlem.

Several stunning original compositions round out the proceedings. Yanofsky co-wrote the languid acoustic ballad, "For Another Day," "Never Make It On Time," the sprightly "Bienvenue Dans Ma Vie," and the soulful, R&B-flavored "Cool My Heels" with Harris and Sexsmith during writing sessions in the basement of her home in Montreal. "Working with them was amazing," Yanofsky says. "Jesse has written some of the most beautiful songs around and has really helped to shape my sound, and Ron is one of my favorite lyricists ever. He gets everything that's in my head onto paper." And then there's producer Phil Ramone, whom Yanofsky holds in huge regard for his vast experience. "He is a living example of what you can accomplish if you work really hard and believe in your dream," she says.

Dreams are important to Yanofsky, who's been singing ever since she could talk and knew she wanted to be a performer since the age of four. "My dad was always saying to my mom, `It's weird, she's four, but she doesn't go off-tune,'" she says. "When I was five, I fell in love with the Beatles, Stevie Wonder, and Aretha Franklin. I didn't start listening to jazz until I was 12. I became obsessed with Ella Fitzgerald after downloading a bunch of her songs from iTunes. She's the one who introduced me to jazz and really taught me how to sing. She had the most amazing technique -- her timing and her tone, she never hit a bad note in her live performances. And she sang with so much emotion."

Such was Yanofsky's love for the First Lady of Song that when she was invited back to perform at the Montreal Jazz Festival in 2007, Yanofsky decided to devote her entire set to Fitzgerald. A reprise of that show is captured on the 2008 live CD/DVD entitled Ella...Of Thee I Swing, which was recorded at the Place des Arts in Montreal in October 2007. The package was nominated for two Juno Awards - Canada's version of the Grammy.

Although Fitzgerald remains her primary inspiration, Yanofsky does not consider herself a jazz singer. "I consider myself an `everything' singer," she says. "Jazz is definitely my first love and I will always want to sing it, but I also love to sing pop, R&B, blues, and everything else, and Nikki definitely reflects that. For me, performing isn't about fame and fortune, it's about expressing myself through music. I'd be just as happy singing in a restaurant as I am in front of a huge crowd as long as I'm singing. The fact that I could put out my own album at such a young age is a dream come true."

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 4, 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Decca
  • ASIN: B003EPPEP4
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #67,209 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
While listening to this CD this afternoon, at times I had to remind myself that Nikki is only 16 years old. Occasionally, her voice betrays her in that it sometimes lacks the timbre or range that will come naturally in the next few years. However, her musicianship is superb and she brings a unique touch to this great collection of jazz standards. Her orchestra and band are top notch. This is one of those rare debut albums that 20 years from now will be the foundation of what I expect will be a stellar discography. I really look forward to listening to her voice mature and musicianship develop in the coming years, we're all in for a real treat.
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I begin this review of Nikki Yanofsky's second album, self-titled "Nikki" as I did my review of her first album, "Ella . . . Of Thee I Swing," with a paragraph of instructions to you, the reader:

If you have bought "Nikki" and you do not have Nikki's first album (a combination CD and DVD album), set "Nikki" aside, buy her first album, and--well--watch the DVD from that first, then listen to "Nikki." Do that and you will understand the roots of this young, but already-so-experienced jazz singer. If you are thinking of buying this album, I absolutely recommend--at the risk of sounding like Nikki Yanofsky's marketing manager--that you buy both of her albums and view and listen to them in the order that I set forth above.

Now, about "Nikki." I will freely admit that the jazz purist in me was ready to dislike some of this album. Unlike her first album where, with the exception of one of the bonus studio tracks, she stuck to jazz standards and popular tunes penned over a half-century ago, Nikki ventures partially here into singing some pop tunes, most that she co-wrote. Happily, also included are a healthy dose of more jazz standards. Gone here, too, is the big band, replaced with various smaller instrumental groups, with and without backup singers. About those musicians, their playing is impeccable, swinging where that is the mood called for--which, with Nikki's jazz chops, is pretty often. Still, I miss her swinging that full big band--maybe that will return in a future album. This is also purely a studio album. It is mastered perfectly--but, again, while Nikki swings deliciously on some tunes in this album, I miss (and I suspect that she did, too) the electricity of her singing her heart out in front of a live audience.
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I was never a jazz person but since great artists like Brian Setzer and Nikki Yanofsky, i'm slowly turning.

This girl has a fantastic voice and her songs are very upbeat. Her band sounds great and even her mellow music is good because it really showcases her beautiful voice.

This young lady has a fine future. She is highly talented and i can't wait for her next CD. This one is only $7.99 and a steal for that price.

But there is one bad thing about this album. 'Somewhere Over the Rainbow'. I am so sick of that song.
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She is awesome! One of the best CD's of all time. To hear such maturity in her voice at such a young age is amazing. I highly recommend this for anyone who likes a good vocalist. "Nikki" is a needed part of any music collection.
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It's very encouraging to hear someone so young recording these great old songs, and singing them so well. I especially love her scatting. I also
ordered her Ella Fitzgerald record and can't wait to hear it. She's a talented singer. I hope that she has a long, successful career.
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I first heard Ms. Yanofsky when my local jazz radio station played “I Got Rhythm” off this album. I thought to myself, “Who IS this woman?” I know all the reigning divas (Ella, Billie, Sarah, Diana, Norah, Madeleine, Melody, etc., etc.), but I did not know who this was. I immediately checked the station playlist and ordered this CD. This is not a typical jazz album – it is a mix of standards and easy-listening pop-sounding songs (Jesse Harris, who wrote a number of songs for Norah Jones, contributed to a number of songs on this album). This IS, in fact, a wonderful album! I listened to the whole thing while walking around a lake on a drizzly winter day. No interference from electronics – just Nikki’s voice and a fantastic, very tight band backing her. Her technique is amazing, especially on “I Got Rhythm”. By the time she was part way through “You’ll Have to Swing It” I was head-over-heels in love. Yes, others can say Nikki is young and her voice, style, and technique will mature over time, but for me, Nikki Yanofsky has the voice of an angel who touches my soul.
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I purchased this CD on the advice of other reviews and am glad I did.
This is a new artist with a new style and voice that is brought to us....

Nikke brings her own style of Blue to us that I think you will be happy to have,
Try her out, You maybe happy you did as I was meeting a new artist......
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By Jimmy C on March 20, 2012
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I love Nikki Yanofsky's music even more than some of Ella Fitzgerald's. Nikki is one of my favorite artists because her songs are like the old standards, but more modern somehow, clearer and brighter than all my other favorites. She always manages to brighten up my day.
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