Releases August 2nd
Pre-Order Now on Bandcamp

1. Blackbird (John Lennon/Paul McCartney)
2. Everything I Love (Cole Porter)
3. The Secret Life of Plants (Stevie Wonder)
4. It All Goes ‘Round and ‘Round (Bernard Ighner)
5. Blues and the Abstract Truth (Oliver Nelson/Jeff Pittson)
6. You’ve Got a Friend (Carole King)
7. I Get Sentimental Over Nothing (Minette Allton/Nat King Cole)
8. Never Never Land (Comden/Green/Styne)
9. Without a Song (Youmans/Rose/Eliscu)
10. Love’s the Thing* (Slide Hampton/Mike Holober
11. Something More (Buster Williams)
12. What Can I Do?  (Wayne Green/Brian Potter)

Suzanne Pittson: voice, piano soli ()
Jeff Pittson: piano, chromatic harmonica (4)

Featuring
Evan Pittson: viola (5, 11, 12)

Arrangements by Suzanne Pittson, Jeff Pittson
String arrangements by Evan Pittson 

Produced by Evan Pittson
Executive Producers: Suzanne Pittson, Jeff Pittson
Recorded by David Stoller, January and October 2022at Samurai Hotel, Queens, NY
Assistant Engineer: Grady Bajorek 
Mixed by David Stoller
Mastered by Mike Marciano at Systems Two

Photography by Janis Wilkins
Hair and makeup by Shelley Van Gage
Graphic design by Evan Pittson

*Love’s the Thing: Instrumentally known as “Frame for the Blues,” music by Slide Hampton, lyrics and arrangement by Mike Holober.

 

Emerge Dancing is a very special recording for me, presenting some of my favorite music and capturing the ever-evolving musical dialogue between Jeff and myself, developed over many years. Our son Evan Pittson, as violist and producer, was indispensable in this project, with his organizational skills, musicality, and vision for the big picture.

Ten years ago, I began having serious vocal problems which made it difficult to sing and teach. Though I continued to perform, teach, and take voice lessons, I was at a crossroads — should I continue or give up? Thanks to my Buddhist practice, my wonderful voice coach, Sophie Lair-Berreby, and my family and friends, I decided to continue and embarked on a journey to find my true voice, using my art to bring joy to others. Over two and a half years of the pandemic, I spent each day practicing and improvising over hundreds of tunes. As time went on, I discovered new ways to express myself, eventually replacing fear and doubt with heartfelt freedom, authenticity, and the confidence to be truly in the moment — something I continue to strive for. I believe this comes across on our recording and makes playing music so exciting!

With this awakening, it seemed fitting to title the album Emerge Dancing. This phrase is found in a writing by 13th-century Buddhist priest, Nichiren Daishonin: “You should all perform a dance… When Bodhisattva Superior Practices emerged from the earth, did he not emerge dancing?”My mentor, Daisaku Ikeda notes that the dancing of the Bodhisattvas of the Earth symbolizes “the tremendous joy of learning the supreme truth of the universe,”2 then taking on the mission to share that joy with others. 

My heartfelt love and appreciation to Jeff and Evan for inspiration, creativity, and insight on a daily basis. I look forward to our family’s ongoing collaboration.

Special thanks to David Stoller at Samurai Hotel for his skillful engineering and for keeping everything relaxed and joyful, and to Mike Marciano at Systems Two for his exceptional mastering. My sincere appreciation to Buster Williams, Mike Holober, Danny Nagashima, Sophie Lair-Berreby, Janis Wilkins, Shelley Van Gage, Brian Potter, Karen Potter, Lisa Green, Susan Damante, Don Sickler, Grady Bajorek, Melissa Bentley, Oliver Nelson Jr., and the late songwriters Minette Allton and Wayne Green.

Suzanne Pittson

1 The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, Vol. 1, 1119
2 Daisaku Ikeda, The New Human Revolution, Vol. 7, 36