(HUDSON, N.Y.) – Spencer Day, a singer-songwriter who occupies that amorphous niche somewhere in between pop and jazz, brings his original compositions and renditions of standards to Club Helsinki Hudson on Friday, April 26, 2013, at 9pm. Day himself captures his range and stylistic fusion best when he cites Chet Baker and Paul Simon, Cole Porter and Joni Mitchell, George Gershwin and John Lennon as his major influences. Day is also outspoken as a gay activist who is a native of Utah raised as a Mormon.
Spencer Day’s 2004 debut album, Introducing Spencer Day, was primarily a collection of standards, but the title track from Movie of Your Life, released the following year, won the San Francisco Academy of Art University’s 2005 competition for best original song. The resulting video was selected by Dolby Laboratories as a demonstration video for the global launch of the Dolby 7.1 system.
Day performed at the 2007 San Francisco Jazz Festival, and has been a recurring headliner in a number of high-profile Bay Area clubs, including Yoshi’s, the Plush Room, the Great American Music Hall and the Herbst Theatre. On the opposite coast, he has earned raves for performances at the Town Hall, Joe’s Pub and the Canal Room in New York City, and the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. He has also appeared at both the Monterey Jazz Festival and the Tanglewood Jazz Festival (2008).
Vagabond, released in 2009, was a musical hybrid that drew from the so-called Great American Songbook, but also maintained an alternate aesthetic that sidestepped easy categorization by borrowing from influences like Burt Bacharach, Roy Orbison and Dusty Springfield.
Spencer Day’s latest release, The Mystery of You, on Concord Records, is filled with stylistic nuances that range from smoky noir to Latin jazz to surf guitar to Middle Eastern and Asian melodies. But while The Mystery of You also draws from a range of sources, the result is a much more personal tale. In the end, Day sees The Mystery of You as an effort to chronicle a relationship in much the same way as an abstract painting would. “It’s going to be a different experience for everyone, and different tracks will resonate differently with each listener,” he says. “But I think the goal is to let people find themselves somewhere within the music, and find something in common with the experiences that inspired the writing of the music. I think the goal of any artist should be to take a situation that’s personal and draw out those things that are universal.”
For reservations in The Restaurant or in the club call 518.828.4800