Jazzmérica

by Alexa Weber Morales

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06:24
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about

I love all music—the kind that makes you dance, the kind that makes you think, the kind that makes you dream. I wrote my first songs during a few gypsy months in 1990, and one of them, “Down in the Everglades,” appears here. At the beginning of Miles Davis’s “All Blues,” we offer up a canto to Yemayá, the Afro-Cuban orisha of the sea, and we end the album with a song fed by images from my travels across North and South America as well as my journey as an artist. I’m fascinated by how the African diaspora colored each European culture it was brutally blended with—the Anglo in America, the Spanish in Mexico and Cuba, and the Portuguese in Brazil. And so, among other things, we’ve got jazz, salsa (a version of Stevie Wonder’s “Smile Please”), bolero (Caetano Veloso’s ode to the circle of life and how man destroys it with his fist), reggae (a lilting look at the apathy and greed driving us into environmental destruction), samba (a futile effort to flee the vortex of passion), and something Wayne and I wrote together: “I Did It, I Live It.” We think we’ll call it samba caribe: a gumbo with reggae, samba and Trinidadian flavors. Enjoy!

credits

released October 5, 2004

Executive Producer: Alexa Weber Morales
Producer, Arranger: Wayne Wallace
Engineer: Gary Mankin
Assistant Engineer, Bay Records: James Frasier
Photography: Yael Dahan
Makeup: Abbie Scianamblo
Design: Dwight Been

Recorded at Bay Records, Berkeley, CA; Emeryville Recording Company, Emeryville, CA and Knob and Tube, San Francisco, CA.
Mastered by Ken Lee Mastering, Oakland, CA.

© 2004 Crazy Monkey Productions. All rights reserved.

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about

Alexa Weber Morales Oakland, California

Since 2004, Oakland, Calif.-based multilingual (French, Spanish, Portuguese, English) songwriter Alexa Weber Morales has made 10 studio recordings, including 2 solo albums and a solo EP, From Me To Yule. In 2010, her vocals graced the Grammy-nominated latin jazz album Bien! Bien! In 2011, Alexa made her first all-original, fan-funded album, I Wanna Work For You. She loves to gig! ... more

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Track Name: But I'm Weak
But I’m Weak (BMI)
Music and lyrics by Alexa Weber Morales © 2004

I know I shouldn't catch your eyes watching me
Beware the curve of your smile and your casual style
I know I shouldn't
But I'm weak

I know the dangers of electricity
Reject the hand brushing past mine and leave the laughter behind
I know I shouldn't
But I'm weak

Fight this tension
Siezing me deep inside
Turn off this force field
That has me sensitized
Stop imagining
Run away and hide
But I’m weak, weak, weak

Tempting flames
Your careless touch proclaims
The moment I feel most alive
Is when I
Die

I know I shouldn’t bask in your steam as we dance
Shrink away as your arms draw me near and your lips touch my ear
I know I shouldn't
But I'm weak
Track Name: I Did It, I Live It
I Did It, I Live It (BMI)
Music by Wayne Wallace and Alexa Weber Morales
Lyric by Alexa Weber Morales
Copyright © 2004 by Alexandra L. Weber Morales, all rights reserved.

I got what I wanted it wasn’t enough
No path to Nirvana just mountains of stuff
Be there, breathe air, be there
Breathe air

I planned for the future got stuck in the past
No time like the present to do what they ask
Be true, be you, be true
Be you

Little by little you build a lot
Stand back and see what you’ve got
I did it I live it
I feel it I’m givin’ it

Time moves outside of truth

I tripped on a price tag got caught with a card
No need to be cautious buy clothes by the yard
Stay clear, no fear, stay clear
No fear

I lied to my family, myself and my child
No harm in pretending with my mind gone wild
Take care, play fair, take care
Play fair

Little by little you build a lot
Stand back and see what you’ve got
I did it I live it
I feel it I’m givin’ it

I love being free
The spirit is everywhere
These milestones have passed
My life lies ahead of me
Track Name: All Blues
All Blues
Music by Miles Davis
Lyrics by Clifford Brown Jr. (not shown)
New lyrics by Alexa Weber Morales

The air you’re breathing
Softly is seething
With a pale green fear
So much beauty in a tear
Liquid love
Silver soul
Sail away

Blood when it drips
The color of every lie
Love’s on your lips
And life is in your eye

You’re afraid to feel
But the water is real
Dive all the way down
And there’s no one around
Purple waves
Azure nights
Blues in flight
Track Name: Down in the Everglades
Down in the Everglades (BMI)
Words and Music by Alexa Weber Morales
Copyright © 2004

Down in the Everglades it was hot and steamy
I stood still as a stork so the man wouldn’t see me
But aiming his glasses he caught the flash of my eyes
And thrilled to have found such an elusive prize
He wasted no time netting his prey
I’d been flushed out, I was forced to play

Birdman
Shielding his eyes as he’s looking so high ’gainst the glare of the sky
Me in my blue plastic sandals stuck in the muck
Standin’ at low tide

Down in the Everglades the air was alive
Strumming cicadas watched the crocodiles arrive
His mating ritual seemed strange and trite
As he clenched me closely in the dwindling light
My bones were all hollow, my spirit was trapped
His breath sounded shallow and in the dark something snapped

[chorus]

Down in the Everglades dawn lifted slowly
Sun filtered down to the wet ground below me
The sea had forgotten her early morning mist
I tried to remember if ever I’d been kissed
He lay in a stupor, his ammunition spent
I tested my wings, unfurled them and went

[chorus]
Track Name: Smile Please
Smile Please
By Stevie Wonder
Spanish coro/pregón by Alexa Weber Morales

Coro (3x): Tu sonrisa tan bonita ilumina como el sol
Coro (5x): Dame, dame, dame tu sonrisa

Pregones:

Ilumíname, ilumínate, ilumínanos
Olvida tus pesares

Si tu mal tiene remedio ¿para qué te apuras?
¡La vida es para vivir!

Fondos agotados, permisos negados, deseos frustrados
Sonríe—superarás todos

Injusticia, avaricia, codicia, violencia—
Enfréntalo todo como si fueras Mona Lisa

Salte de este laberinto
Sigue tu curso, ve a donde vas
Con positividad lo lograrás
Track Name: Mountains to Flatten
Mountains to Flatten, Valleys to Fill (BMI)
Words and music by Alexa Weber Morales © 2004

All my life I’ve been in the middle
Well not really, but I could always see the other side

I have a natural aversion to zealots, but who doesn’t
You say black I’ll say whi-yi-yi-yi-yite

Just to be contrary and spark a fight
But I’m not colorblind, my mind’s a hard thing to unwind

We’re all the same ostensibly
This is a true democracy ’sall about me and me and me and me

Mountains to flatten, valleys to fill
Rivers to reroute, dams to build
Deserts to water, forests to burn
Skies to darken, seas to churn

My Daddy always said, “The clothes make the man”
It don’t matter if your soul is just a tin can

There was no way I could meet my potential—but I owned the Rangers
Better to pass the time with lies and minor cri-yi-yi-yi-yimes

Now I’m the big big boss and might is right
The meek are mice and the cake is oh so ni-yi-yice

Mountains to flatten, valleys to fill
Rivers to reroute, dams to build
Deserts to water, forests to burn
Skies to darken, seas to churn

But life’s too short to stop and cry
When you can just sit back and drive for miles and miles and miles and miles
Track Name: Morning
Mañana (Morning)
Music by Clare Fischer
New lyric by Alexa Weber Morales

En la mañana
En el amanecer
Hay un color
En esta flor
La rosa del amor

Siempre mañana
Siempre la perfección
En soledad
Oscuridad
La nueva oportunidad

Mira me bien
Soy hoja verde
Vida vibrando
Soy energía
De la noche fria
Dame la luz del sol

Soy la mañana
Soy una ambición
De las estrellas
Nacen ideas
Volamos encendidas
Track Name: Your Love
Your Love
Music and Lyrics by Alexa Weber Morales © 2004

Your love is a drug that pulses through me
As I listen to Gal Costa sing a bossa nova
And rain slicks down the office window

Your love is a force impervious to matter
As our hearts call desperately to each other
And every cell sings out your name

Your love is a wave on an ocean filled with passion
As I savor the last kiss of the morning
And picture evening’s hot embrace

Your love is a glittering butterfly
As your eyelashes flit against my cheek
And the air that surrounds us is shimmering

And we break free of Earth’s gravity
Track Name: Play That Song of Love and Rage
Play That Song of Love and Rage (BMI)
Music and lyrics by Alexa Weber Morales © 2004

Under a sky of indigo and rose
Wandering with a caravan
Thumbing a ride just me and my clothes
I’ve found my way and lost my man

Where is this freedom I seek
How do I get to that place
Sister can you join in harmony
I’m looking for that rapturous face

I stopped there and stayed for awhile
Swimming by the cypress knees
Louisiana oddities

Salty sweet and groovin’
Sweat soaking down the stage
Stompin’ feet it’s heaven
Play that song of love and rage

Sumptuous tones, a drumming in my bones
The music is my heartbeat
There is no gift that’s given in vain
This is my voice, that was my pain

I stopped there and stayed for awhile
Swimming by the cypress knees
Louisiana oddities

Salty sweet and groovin’
Sweat soaking down the stage
Stompin’ feet it’s heaven
Play that song of love and rage