China Moses in Cannes,2012
January 9, 1978 |
Los Angeles, California, United States
|Genres||Jazz, RnB, Soul, pop|
|Labels||Blue Note, EMI, UMG|
Life and career
China Moses, daughter of Dee Dee Bridgewater and director Gilbert Moses, has been steeped in music and the theater world since she was a child. Exceptionally gifted, she released her first single Time (1996) at the age of 16 along with her first video directed by Jean-Baptiste Mondino. This success was followed by three albums: “China” (1997), “On Tourne en Rond” (2000) and “Good Lovin” (2004), turning her into a force to be reckoned with on the French R’ n’ B scene. Her albums saw her work with Swedish hip hop label Breaking Bread as well as renowned names like DJ Mehdi, Diam’s, Karriem Riggins, Guru, Anthony Marshall and sound engineer Bob Power.
With that old saying sharing is caring close to her heart, she loves to share her passion for music by appearing on music channels such as: MCM (1999-2001) and MTV France (2004-2011). In 2011 she joined the team for the 8th season of French TV show Le Grand Journal on Canal+ which she left in July 2012. From October 2011 to December 2012 she has been presenting Jazz Radio’s Made in China a daily program which aired from 7 to 8pm. In a bid to manage her diverse activities as an entertainer, China launched her own production company in 2008 called MadeInChina Productions.
Raphaël meets China Moses, one of Camille’s backing singers. Something clicked between them and they created a show called “Gardenias For Dinah”, a tribute to their mutual idol Dinah Washington. She was the inspiration for the album “This One’s For Dinah“ which was released in 2009 by Blue Note and given a unanimous, big thumbs up by the critics.
After their worldwide tour (Europe, India, Lebanon, Canada, Japan...), China Moses and Raphaël Lemonnier push their exploration of Dinah Washington's universe further. Their latest opus is a tribute to the great blues and jazz female singers that have inspired her or been influenced by her. “Crazy Blues“ is released in 2012 (MadeInChina Productions/Decca/UMG).
In 2013, she is wooed by the French group bringing electricity to customers (ERDF) and becomes their music expert consultant. She hosts the documentary "Soul Power" as part of the summer series "Summer of Soul" on Arte.
Further to her participation to "So in love" by André Manoukian in 2010 (Blue Note France/EMI), China Moses presents from fall 2013 a new show piano-voice based with this singular TV personality. The show re-visits torch songs such as Don't let me be misunderstood, Lullaby of Birdland, I've got you under my skin. Additionally, she performs in "Cafe Society Swing", a show written and produced by Alex Webb (musician) and that revives the good times of the legendary 1940s New York nightclub, Cafe Society, which promoted racial equality and progressive causes and where Strange Fruit was performed for the first time by Billie Holiday.
She co-presented and sang at the first International Jazz Day in Paris at the Unesco in 2012 and performed numerous times for US Unesco. She initiated a documentary on the first and second International Jazz Day in Paris. She also initiated a documentary on the first and second International Jazz Day in Paris. In 2013, she was invited to participate in the Young Leaders Program of the French American Foundation.
- 1997 : China (Source/Virgin)
- 2000 : On tourne en rond (Source)
- 2004 : Good Lovin (EMI)
- 2009 : This One's For Dinah (MadeInChina Productions/ Blue Note France/ EMI)
- 2012 : Crazy Blues (MadeInChina Productions / Decca/ Universal Classics and Jazz International)
"Crazy Blues", a project that features China as both vocalist and producer was conceived as a tribute to some of the Great Dames of Blues and Soul whose careers have fascinated China over the years. They include Dinah Washington and some of her precursors and peers: Mamie Smith, Helen Humes, Lil Green, Ma Rainey, as well as stars like Esther Phillips, Nina Simone, Janis Joplin, Etta James, Ann Peebles and Donna Summer. This project was not without its challenges. If you walk cautiously down a musically majestic pathway marked by sublime masterpieces from the past, sung by exceptional musical greatness and the splendour of a bygone musical era you risk being the center of unflattering comparison, a bit like being an amateur painter in a museum reproducing great works of art without revealing any secrets. To avoid this trap China Moses and Raphaël Lemonnier decided to exploit the resources provided by their own personal journeys marked by discovery, musical encounters and passion without worrying too much about labels or being confined by specific genres. Therefore the songs veer from the originals with an innovative twist on composition and arrangements by Raphaël Lemonnier – who sometimes incorporates a Wurlitzer piano. As well as utilizing the skills of musicians well versed in this type of exercise, they added horn orchestrations by Francois Biensan to bring a breath of fresh air to Why Don’t You Do Right, a classic by Lil Green with a memorable version by Peggy Lee; Crazy Blues by Mamie Smith which kick-started the trend for blues singers, Cherry Wine, the duo with Sly Johnson, originally sung by a young Esther Phillips, and Donna Summer’s hit Hot Stuff. With the same spirit in mind, You’re Crying is performed on this album using a string section – arranged by Jean-Claude Ghrenassia – that does not appear in Dinah Washington’s version. Other songs on this album include the iconic Work Song by Nina Simone; Closing Time, a duo with Hugh Coltman, who also penned the words put to music by Raphaël, a song that brings the atmosphere of a bar at the end of the night to life and The Mailman The Butcher and Me, an original composition by China, Raphaël and Alex Webb (musician) dedicated to different men evoked in the blues scene such as the doctor in Dr Feelgood, the dentist in Long John Blues and the TV repair man in T.V. Is The Thing This Year. An agile rhythm section backs the time-honored and talented performances of a range of soloists. And to top it off there’s China Moses, with her wonderful voice. Her growing confidence is evident in the authority of her performance of Resolution Blues by Dinah Washington, You’re Crying (embellished by an exquisite solo by Luigi Grasso), the joyful dynamism of Etta James’s I Just Wanna Make Love To You and coy emotion of Just Say I Love Him immortalised by Nina Simone with a fabulous trombone intro played by Bastien Ballaz. In short, by favoring spirit over form, these interpretations are a million miles from being a simple copy of the original. Along with these album songs, other songs have been recorded specifically for stage performances such as: Kitchen Man by Bessie Smith, the Empress of the Blues, Today I Sing The Blues by Helen Humes and Aretha Franklin and Love Me Or Leave Me sung so memorably by Billie Holiday. And that’s because China and Raphaël prefer nothing more than to perform live in front of an audience surrounded by their musicians. ‘We have been on tour to India, Japan and Montreal,’ she says ‘We opened for on B.B. King and Dionne Warwick. Our stage performances are organized like a show. I love to tell stories, I see myself as a jazz storyteller and I like to make sure that people smile in between songs.’ A wonderful program indeed.
Compilation albums and sidewoman
- 1995 : Sol En Si (Solidarité Enfants Sida)
- For your love (duo with Dee Dee Bridgewater, her mother)
- 1997 : Rue Case-Nègres by Nèg'Marrons
- Ménage à 4
- 1997 : Jazz à St-Germain
- Lover man
- 1998 : Détournement de son by Fabe
- Superstars, superheros
- 2000 : Loa Project Vol. 2 by DJ Cam
- 2000 : Les lascars contre le sida
- Ton passé
- 2001 : Kimberlite
- Tell me how much (duo with Will Roberson)
- 2001 : Supernova superstar by Sinclair
- Qu'est-ce qui me pousse
- 2001 : Les Voix de l'espoir, a feminine collective founded by Princess Erika
- Que serais-je demain ?
- 2001 : Jalane by Jalane
- 2003 : Flic$ & Hor$-La-Loi by Gomez & Dubois
- Hôtel Commissariat
- 2003 : Brut de femme by Diam's
- 2003 : Soulshine Vol 2 by DJ Cam
- He's gone
- 2004 : Honneur aux dames by Takfarinas
- Sih sit
- C'est l'amour
- 2005 : Peines de Maures by La Caution
- Boite de Macs
- 2005 : Mr Freedom by Gabin
- The Other Way Around
- She's Still Watching Me
- Thousand And One Nights
- Just Be Yourself
- 2007 : Tribute to Polnareff
- Lettre à France (duo with Weepers Circus)
- 2010 : The Princess and the Frog by The Walt Disney Company : Tiana Disney
- 2010 : Alpha Omega by Wayne Beckford (sings on "Come On Over")
- 2010 : So In Love by André Manoukian
- 2010 : Alarash by Alarash
- 2013 : Swingin the Count by Cedric Caillaud Trio
- Lil' darlin
- 2013 : Ikiz Checking In by Ikiz
- 1997 : Time directed by Jean-Baptiste Mondino
- 2000 : Être La Bas directed by Kool-Mangaa
- 2004 : Ce serait si simple (with Djibril Cissé) directed by John Gabriel Biggs
- 2009 : Mad about the boy directed by Aurélien Poitrimoult
- 2009 : Dinah's blues
- 2009 : Dinah's blues live
- 2009 : Fine Fine Daddy live produced by MadeInChina Productions
- 2013 : China Moses à l'International Jazz Day
- 2013 : Crazy Blues directed by Alastair "Gee- Lock" Christopher
- 2007 : Sound design for MTV France Channels
- 2009 : The Princess and The Frog : Tiana (French dub)
- 2012 : Advertising Levi's Go Forth 2012 France
- 1997: Moesha (TV Series): Chyna
- Songs in the Key of Strife (1997) ... Chyna
- 2013 : Battle of the Year: MTV France Host
- "China Moses - Bringing back the good times". RFID JOURNAL. Retrieved 2014-08-25.