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What do Sting, Pat Benatar, Aretha Franklin, George Benson, Government Mule, and Pink Floyd all have in common? In addition to the obvious fact that each has enjoyed massive commercial success, all of those artists are fortunate enough to have availed themselves of the vocal talents of singer/songwriter and guitarist Machan. Now, with the release of Motion of Love on NuGroov Records, Machan is truly stepping out from the background with a CD that showcases the many facets of her exotic adult-pop-meets-jazz sound.Read More...
Machan’s reputation as an accomplished professional has earned her the respect of her musical peers, some of the most illustrious of which join her on Motion of Love. The CD features guest appearances by jazz greats John Medeski, John Scofield, and Randy Brecker, and Brazilian percussionist Portinho, as well as strong musical contributions from Government Mule’s Danny Louis (who also just happens to be Machan’s husband!) Not to be overlooked is Machan’s first-class guitar playing that sets thetable for this feast of talent.
It’s no surprise that Machan has followed a musical path. Her mother was a Japanese jazz vocalist who met Machan’s father when he booked her trio, which also featured pianist Toshiko Akioshi, into a post WWII officers club in Yokohama. Raised in the US, by the age of twelve Machan had taught herself to play the guitar, emulating her early musical heroes such as Joni Mitchell and James Taylor, and had begun to perform in venues around her hometown. By the age of 16, she was supporting herself as a performer. She studied jazz theory and vocal performance at William Patterson College, and soon found herself sharing the stage with artists ranging from Pink Floyd to George Benson to Sting. The lessons she learned from her experiences in the world of pop superstardom resonate for her now that she’s committing her self to her solo career: “The guys in Pink Floyd were mega rock stars yet they were down to earth and wonderful to work with. They taught me that success doesn’t mean you have to be out of touch with reality or change who you are. You decide who you want to be and what to do with that kind of power.”
A few years back, following an extensive tour with Sting, Machan finally felt the confidence to strike out on her own as a performer. “Even though I had some great experiences, working as a background singer wasn’t what I really wanted to do. When I was younger, I hadn’t found my direction or my voice as an artist, so I hid behind other artists.” Machan began to find her own way with her debut self-titled release, which reflected the singer’s myriad influences, softly weaving her inviting vocals around warm Brazilian rhythms and adult pop melodies, spiced with hints of jazz and world music. “Now I feel like I’m back on the path that I started down when I was a teenager. I’ve come back to my own main road now, and I am so happy to feel back on track.”