PAULA ATHERTON, CAN YOU FEEL IT REVIEW
by Eliana Fermi on September 12, 2020
Saxophonist, flutist Paula Atherton has enjoyed a long and varied career in contemporary and mainstream jazz. Her acumen on her instruments are poised and adept. Her full-length album Can You Feel It has already begun to garner real accolade with her single also titled “Can You Feel It,” landing a #1 hit, three weeks in a row on Billboard. What is even more cementing about this accolade is she also landed #1 slots on Mediabase and #1 on the Smooth Jazz Network. Each track is produced by various producers including, Bill Heller, best known as the legendary keyboardist for the Ripppingtons. Longtime collaborator guitarist Lou Gimenez who has co-written several of Paula’s tunes historically. Other co-writing and production credits include keyboardist Greg Manning, multi-instrumentalist Matt Godina, including multi-instrumentalist Nathan Mitchell, Paul Brown, and the notable Schuyler Deale known for his work with Billy Joel, Michael Bolton, Jeff Lorber, and more. So what does this all-star line-up of producers and contributors add up to for Atherton? Simply put, a canvas to which Atherton can shine her abilities in the highest preeminent way on her latest album Can You Feel It.
New York based sax player/vocalist and songwriter Paula Atherton has shared the stage with such contemporary jazz notables as The Rippingtons, Nick Colionne, Chuck Loeb, Cindy Bradley, Brian Simpson, Althea Renee, Four80East, David Sanborn, Bob James, Marc Antoine, Hiroshima, Gerald Albright and Chieli Minucci. Paula has also worked in the traditional jazz field; one of the notable performances being a week long engagement at the Blue Note NYC with pianist and jazz legend, Hank Jones. . Paula also performed with Grammy award winning singer Dee Dee Bridgewater at the Annenberg Theater, for the Palm Springs Women’s Jazz Festival.
Some tour dates include The Bishop Arts Theater in Dallas, The Empire Theater in San Antonio, The John Ruffin Theater in Chicago, Jazz in the Park in Birmingham, AL, Smooth Jazz Festival in Atlanta, Palm Springs Women’s Jazz Fest in CA, Las Vegas Jazz Festival, Capital Jazz fest and Low Country Jazz fest with Jazz in Pink, Smooth Jazz at Sunset in MI (opening for Marc Antoine), Southern Tier Jazz festival in Elmira (opening for Rick Braun), the 3rdannual Women’s Jazz festival in Huntsville, AL, Lake Arbor Jazz Festival in MD, the Hub City Fest in NJ (4 years in a row) and the Pensacola Jazz Festival.
Paula performed at the Hot Smooth Jazz festival in Madrid, Spain, in April 2019 at Maria Guerrero theater. Other 2019 performances include Jacksonville Beach Jazz series, Dauphin County Jazz Fest, Potomac Jazz Festival, Brass City, Grand Rapids, and Legacy Jazz Festival. Paula just released the 1st single from her forthcoming 6th release, entitled “Can You Feel It.” It was produced by Greg Manning, and written by Paula and Greg. As of April 4th, 2020, “Can You Feel It”, was #1 on Mediabase, #1 on the Smooth Jazz Network, (for 4 weeks) and as of May 2nd, has been #1 on Billboard for 3 weeks.
Preceding “Can You Feel It,” Atherton has enjoyed 5 Billboard Top 30 charting singles, “Sassy Strut,” “Herbie,” “Between You & Me,” “My Song For You,” and “Into the Night.” Atherton was also featured on Cindy Bradleys’ single, “Girl Talk,” which hit #2 on Billboard.
Atherton’s sixth release, Can You Feel It includes music from a few different producers. Including Greg Manning, Paul Brown, Nate Mitchell, Matt Godina, Schuyler Deale (who produced “Herbie” and “Low Rider” on previous releases), and Lou Gimenez, who has produced the majority of Atherton’s music.