JD WALTER: What the World Needs Now

Catalog # 71802

UPC # 602267180220

JD Walter, vocals;

Taylor Eigsti, piano 4, 7; Dave Liebman, soprano sax 8; Jean-Michel Pilc, piano 1, 5, 9;

Gilad Hekselman, guitar 7; Orrin Evans, piano 3; James Genus, bass 7;

Steve Rudolph, piano 2,10; Obed Calvaire, drums 7; Jim Ridl, piano 8;

Tony Marino, bass 6; Steve Varner, bass 1, 5, 6, 8, 9, 1; John Swana, trumpet 5;

Greg Hutchinson, drums 1, 5, 9; Marko Marchinko, drums 10;


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This album of overlooked gems reveals JD Walter’s skills as a composer, his mastery of the intimate ballad, his talent for reinventing pop and jazz Standards to bring a new depth to these songs, and his ability to swing, scat, and harmonize like no one else.

The album delivers a mix of three JD original compositions, reinterpretations of three pop hits (Stevie Wonder’s Golden Lady, Lennon and McCartney’s And I Love Her, Burt Bacharach & Hal David’s What the World Needs Now, and four poignant romantic Jazz Standards.

The implicit hope for this album is a plea for peace and love, as highlighted by the title song What the World Needs Now. Although the words seem quite simple as a pop hit, it took Hal David two years to complete them, given that the controversy of the Vietman War was an underlying meaning of the Hal David lyrics.

Song Selection:

TITLE                                       COMPOSERS                                                                          TIME

1. Golden Lady Stevie Wonder 4:30
2. I Was Telling Her About You Moose Charlap, Don George 5:19
3. What the World Needs Now Burt Bacharach, Hal David 5:00
4. *Dressed In A Song JD Walter 3:25
5. Beautiful Moons Ago Nat King Cole, Oscar Moore 4:14
6. Tell Her I Said Hello Jack Canning, Bill Hagner 6:26
7. And I Love Her John Lennon, Paul McCartney 3:41
8. *Keisha’s Coy JD Walter 5:53
9. It Never Entered My Mind Richard Rodgers, Oscar Hammerstein 4:50
10. *Now It’s Time To Go JD Walter, Steve Rudolph 5:58

Produced by: JD Walter and Bob Karcy

JD’s Comments:

Golden Lady – Growing up in the 70’s and 80’s Stevie Wonder’s music was a gift that kept on Giving, and I especially wore out the album “Innervisions” which contained the song “Golden Lady”. So adapting this song to an up tempo swing feel and retaining its magic was the goal, and it’s such a joy to sing and swing.  

I Was Telling Her About You – I was captivated by this song from the day I heard Betty Carter sing it. The details of the story seem so much more in-depth, compared to the typical jazz standard. The lyrics show how an innocent misconception, in the eyes of the loved one, can pave the way to heartbreak. 

What The World Needs Now – I randomly played this tune with Orrin Evans on a gig. His seamless offering of the tune in an untraditional 5/4 went unnoticed to me and felt very natural as it should, and we decided to try that same concept in the studio to our great satisfaction. Hal David’s lyrics were inspired by the Vietnam War, and are expressed as a prayer for peace.

Dressed In A Song – I was adopted before the age of one. This song was written for my Mother who was and is a musician. She nurtured me musically and helped me to find a place of intimacy and refuge as a sensitive child. This is dedicated to her. Taylor Eigsti did a study of what I’d written and his accompaniment is a gorgeous orchestration.

Beautiful Moons Ago – Nat King Cole had such a rich repertoire of lessor known gems. Over the years I’ve sung many of them, and relished the opportunity to record this song and create a sparser instrumentation to augment the possibility of hearing this unique melody more clearer. 

Tell Her I Said Hello – This sentiment of telling friends to tell a love interest or former lover “hello” or to see their reaction when mentioning my name resonated with me and I always connected with the story. I thought the Lament and longing was made alive with the arco bass part. 

And I Love Her – I played this in Greece upon the suggestion from bassist Petros Klampanis who wrote a simple arrangement along with Guitarist Gilad Hekselman who graces the track on the latest recording. 

Keisha’s Coy – Written for a friend with the same name, I liked the play on words and penned this song based on a blues…a longing talk about the temporary nature and impermanence of life and love. 

It Never Entered My Mind – a deconstruction of the classic song, which opens up more space for contemplation over the love-loss theme of the song. 

Now It’s Time to Go – I played for many of my younger years with Steve Rudolf (Rudolph?) who penned the song. He had the title, and I wrote to it, talking about at the sweet melancholy of goodbyes. But that wistful goodbye can surely lead to a new and intriguing hello.

About JD Walter:

Vocalist and songwriter JD Walter is considered by many in the jazz world to be the among the very best jazz singers, known for his immediately recognizable smokey sound, his virtuosic talent for improvisation, his compelling original songs, and his ability to reinvent standards.

Over the decades, Walter has performed as a featured artist at numerous American jazz clubs and festivals in the U.S., Europe, the Middle East, and Central America as well as over 80 tours in Russia. He remains a regular in the New York music scene, and has headlined at Dizzy’s Lincoln Center, The Jazz Standard, The Blue Note, and The Jazz Gallery, among other venues. JD Walter looking off camera

JD has shared the stage with many legendary artists including: Dave Liebman, Billy Hart, Tom Harrell, Kurt Elling, Taylor Eigsti, Eddie Gomez, Bob Dorough, Nicholas Payton, Jean-Michel Pilc, Mark Murphy, Greg Hutchinson, Ari Hoenig, Orrin Evans, Obed Calvaire, Dave Kikowski, Robin Eubanks, Eric Revis, and others.

JD Walter’s past, present, and future embodies music. From boy choirs starting at an early age to attending The University of North Texas Jazz Program on a full scholarship, Walter has become a pioneer of improvisation and electronic innovations in the world of jazz. His recording career spans over 20 years and his purist progressive approach to jazz music has been recognized worldwide.

JD Walter tipping hatAfter extended studies in Amsterdam with Jazz vocal Icon, Deborah Brown, Walter returned to the U.S. and embedded himself in the New York Jazz scene. He’s released eight albums as a leader and been a guest on over 100 recordings.

In late 2022, JD Walter and New York based Grammy Award Nominated label Arkadia Records entered into a long-term recording agreement for multiple new albums. Arkadia Records will also distribute JD Walter’s eight previously records albums.

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