With a voice that caresses like melted caramel and lyrics that touch the deepest recesses of your emotions, singer/songwriter Brenda Russell proves that a glowing talent only deepens with time. Author of such gems as "Piano In The Dark," "If Only For One Night," and the much-loved anthem "Get Here," Brenda returned in 2004 with the release of Between the Sun and the Moon on Dome Records, an R&B-focused label based in the UK.
The album aptly displays her song craft and richly nuanced voice but mixes up-tempo grooves amid her classic balladry in a work that will satisfy longtime fans while it enraptures new listeners. It was recorded in both the UK and the U.S. and includes production and writing collaborations with such notables as Bluey from Incognito, Lee Ritenour and Patti Austin.
The album is her first since 2000's Paris Rain (Hidden Beach Recordings), and Brenda has been promoting the set with live performance dates in the U.S. and Japan. The first UK single, "Make You Smile," became a top 5 Smooth Jazz hit in that country. She co-wrote (with Allee Willis and Stephen Bray) the music for a stage production of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Color Purple by Alice Walker, which opened regionally to sold out audiences and standing ovations at the Alliance Theatre in Atlanta on September 9, 2004 and is slated to debut on Broadway in the fall of 2005. She also co-wrote the song "Justice of the Heart" with Stevie Wonder for the Denzel Washington movie John Q---a song that Wonder performed. And her co-composition with Brazilian artist Ivan Lins, titled "She Walks This Earth," was recorded by international superstar Sting for the all-star tribute album Love Affair: The Music Of Ivan Lins. Sting's inspired performance of the uniquely beautiful song earned him a Grammy Award in 2001 for Best Pop Male Vocal Performance.
"Don't You Talk To Me Like That" (co-written with Vinx and Mark Cawley)--a Top 20 Urban AC hit from his 2002 Verve Records album Sensual Journey. Solomon Burke's critically acclaimed and Grammy-winning 2002 comeback album Don't Give Up on Me (Fat Possum) features "None of Us Are Free," co-written by Brenda, Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil. Get Here contained the Grammy-nominated "Piano In The Dark," the gorgeous "Le Restaurant," and the title cut, which was a hit for Oleta Adams a few years later.
After a 1992 Greatest Hits package and her 1993 set Soul Talkin'(EMI Records), Brenda took time off to regroup and travel. Continuing to write, produce, and collaborate with other artists, Brenda honed her craft and contributed tunes to other projects, including albums by Diana Ross, Tina Turner, Patti LaBelle, the score to How Stella Got Her Groove Back, as well as writing and performing two songs in director Barry Levinson's film Liberty Heights.
As one of few artists who have successfully been able to incorporate a wide range of musical influences--rock, pop, R&B, jazz, classical, Latin--into a distinct style that defies categorization while attracting fans around the world, Brenda Russell's music endures through time and trends. As evidence, her self-titled debut was re-released on CD by Universal Records in 2000; and the label, which now owns her A&M catalog, released Brenda Russell: Ultimate Collection in 2001. And in 2003, music writer David Nathan's Ambassador Soul Classics label reissued Two Eyes.
"I never write songs that are without hope," the accomplished artist explains. "People have to be inspired to another level. Like: My heart can go on! I may feel like I'm going to die, but I won't because something good could be around the corner. I take responsibility on myself to inspire people and even make them cry. Yes, I'll make you cry but I won't leave you hopeless."