Tianna Hall: Jazz Singer Unafraid Of Soundgarden, Radiohead
It's hard to describe how difficult it is to be a good jazz singer. Jazz is such a nuanced, sometimes overwhelming experience, that vocalizing it is, at times, akin to juggling bulldozers. And crap, man, bulldozers are heavy.
Which is why when singer Tianna Hall's music got dropped in our lap (via Houston Press Music Award winner Jennifer Grassman), she was ushered up to the front of the Artist of the Week line. She is talented, personable and entirely capable of corralling a certain amount of mystique; she even possesses that smoky stare every jazz singer should have.
So we bugged her a bit and asked her to answer all sorts of silly questions, including some about Montell Jordan, gangs, time traveling and the Karmin Covers lady.
Rocks Off: First, tell everyone everything they need to know about Tianna Hall in exactly six words.
Tianna Hall: Mommy by day, jazz nerd by night. I cheated. That's 7 words.
TH: I do a lot of covers of songs from other genres of music and throw them into the jazz world. My next CD with the Mexico City Jazz Trio - who I also recorded my first CD with - will include that Radiohead song along with 10cc's "I'm Not In Love" and Soundgarden's "Black Hole Sun." Why the hell not?
RO: Could we possibly persuade you to do a version of Montell Jordan's "This Is How We Do It"?
TH [sings]: THIIIIS IS HOWWWW WEE DEWWW IT! Why the hell not? I do a bossa nova version of Michael Jackson's "Rock with You" and a swing version of Lady Gaga's "Poker Face." That's the beauty of improvisation. There are no bad songs.
RO: Speaking of, how many times did you say, "I'm soooo much better than that chick" when you watched the girl from those Karmin Covers video?
TH: Ummmmm, I have no idea who the chick is from the Karmin Covers video is or even what that is. Do I lose badass points now?
[Googles Karmin Covers]
Okay, yeah... no.