JUNO Award-winning artist, Laila Biali, graces us with her stunning Joni Mitchell cover of the classic love song, “A Case Of You”! Accompanying the track is a captivating video of the live performance captured live off the floor at Revolution Recording Studios – inviting any listener into the moment with Biali.
Arranged by Biali, and her husband, Ben Wittman, on djembe, alongside George Koller on upright bass, this heartfelt interpretation was created with Valentine’s Day in mind. A Case Of You was featured earlier this week on CBC Metro Morning, giving listeners an exclusive first preview of the track ahead of its release today.
“My first experience hearing Joni Mitchell’s music was when I was still a music student at Humber College,” shares Biali. “Hejira and Mingus were the obvious starting point for a Jazz novice as equally interested in the musicians accompanying Joni as in Joni herself. But then along came Blue. That was the one, the album that triggered a lifelong fascination with Joni and her songwriting. She made my heart ache with every feeling, love and loss in the same breath. No song captures that more for me than A Case of You. I think it’s the ultimate Valentine’s song because it can reach you no matter where you’re at – whether you’re in love, longing for it, or mourning it.”
Multi-award-winning Canadian singer-songwriter, pianist and CBC Music national radio host Laila Biali has headlined festivals and venues spanning five continents from New York City’s Carnegie Hall to Beijing’s National Centre for the Performing Arts, and supported international icon Sting. This year, Laila was honoured by SOCAN Music with the Hagood Hardy Award for Excellence in Songwriting. In 2019, Laila’s eponymous release won her a JUNO (Canada’s GRAMMY) for “Vocal Jazz Album of the Year.” The year prior, she was awarded top prize at the Canadian Songwriting Competition in the Jazz category. Laila was also the youngest-ever double winner at Canada’s National Jazz Awards when she was named “SOCAN Composer of the Year” and “Keyboardist of the Year.” She received her first JUNO nomination for Tracing Light (2011), and a spot on DownBeat Magazine’s “Best Albums of the Year” for Live in Concert (2013). In September of 2017, Laila was brought on as the host for CBC Music’s national radio show, Saturday Night Jazz, a weekly show broadcast to listeners across Canada. While Laila continues to earn high honours in the Jazz world, her signature sound transcends genre as she “masterfully mixes jazz and pop, bringing virtuosity and unpredictability to songs that are concise and catchy” (Washington Post). Laila’s highly anticipated album, Out of Dust – which was named one of Downbeat Magazine’s Best Albums of 2020 – features multiple GRAMMY nominees and winners including Lisa Fischer, Alan Ferber, John Ellis, and Larnell Lewis, released March 27, 2020.
I grew up in Alberta, but spent most of my life in British Columbia – I also spent a lot of my summers in Britain as I was lucky enough to have immigrant parents with the capital to go visit our relatives. The amount of time I spent overseas makes it hard for me to say I feel fully Canadian, but it does make me feel typically Canadian as so many of us have mixed parentage. My parents defined another divide in me as I feel inexorably pulled to both science and the art; my father being a doctor and my mother being a school teacher. I studied both in university and now work on making healthcare software during the day, then write/read/draw/paint/dance in my evenings. My global wanderings, my education, and the fact that my appetite for media could be described as ‘voracious’ means my frame of reference is pretty varied. It’s hard to say that I have a favourite music genre, rather I am always seeking sounds that convey a sense earnestness an honesty.