Since her arrival in the San Francisco Bay Area Joyce Cooling was always infected by music. But it was Wes Montgomery’s solo on If You Could See Me Now which Joyce turned to the guitar. Her contact to Jay Wagner, a keyboardist on San Francisco’s Brazilian circuit, gave her the impetus and energy to start her solo career. Her first album was Cameo (1990), a Brazilian-oriented music under the strong influence of her partner and musician Jay Wagner.
Her breakthrough was her Heads Up International debut Playing It Cool (1997), presenting a mixture of Latin and smooth jazz. The title song reached #1 on the Gavin Report and was the foundation for her great fan community. Based on a frequent appearance on numerous gigs and festivals her next album Keeping Cool (1999) could extend her popularity and success. Still on the heights of charts followed her albums Third Wish (2001-GRP), This Girl Got To Play (2004) and Revolving Door (2006-Narada Jazz), musically anchored in the smooth jazz genre.
Released from any label contract in the absolute weightlessness of independence Joyce finds back to her roots on her latest album Global Cooling (2009). All songs on the new album are written and arranged by Joyce and her longtime friend Jay Wagner. Joyce expresses her excitement: “Global Cooling is like taking a transcontinental flight, touching down in fun, exciting and beautiful places. We were inspired to travel into uncharted territory, so we really stretched ourselves to get our passports in order! We played with a lot of new instruments and layered Tablas, congas, bongos, sitar, berimbau and even accordion over funk, rock and jazz. It was a trip.”
Currently Joyce is studying music and somehow we all are waiting for her new album, she intended to record soon.
Joyce Cooling published with permission of Bettie Grace Miner.