Kristine W’s debut studio jazz album, Straight Up with a Twist, released to all major digital outlets and retail stores worldwide In the 30-track, double-cd set, the dance music icon transforms several of her #1 club hits into smooth jazz ballads. Reworked hits include “Wonder of it All”, “Save My Soul” and “Stronger”. The jazz version of “Feel What You Want”, Kristine’s first career release and first Billboard Dance #1, was the debut single from the album, releasing to terrestrial, satellite and internet mainstream radio.
“Straight Up with a Twist took four years to complete,” explained Kristine W from her home in Las Vegas. Much of the delay was due to the high cost of producing a double-cd album; Kristine W financed it herself. “I insisted on bringing in the best musicians to the project. Scheduling studio time with these busy artists was complicated.”
“This was my first foray in recording a Jazz album,” she continues. “I figured if I was going to do it, I was going to do it right. The end result is proof positive the wait was well worth it.”
David Paiche form the seventies Rock band Toto is featured on the single “The First Time Ever I saw your Face”. Other contributing talent include Myron Dove, Ricky Z , Ed Roth, Eric Tewalt, Jason Hahn, Dave Hart, and Lance Lee. “These are musicians that have toured with Carlos Santana, Marc Anthony, Paulino Rubio, Diana Ross, Jeffery Osbourne, and Paul McCartney,” said Kristine W. “It was an honor to work with such a high caliber of music professionals.”
Though Straight Up with a Twist is Kristine W’s first professional jazz album, jazz has long been in her blood. Kristine’s mother raised a family of five on her own by singing jazz and standards in local juke joints. At nine years old, Kristine began singing alongside her mother. By the time she entered Junior High, Kristine was a budding jazz musician, competing in and winning jazz contests throughout the Northwest.
She was also a budding beauty competing in pageants. She won Miss Washington and placed first in the talent competition at the Miss America pageant, singing “Summertime”. She then moved to Las Vegas where she headlined her own show at the Las Vegas Hilton. She performed more live shows than any other performer in the hotel’s history—including Elvis. June 28, 1998 was officially sanctioned Kristine W day in the state of Nevada.
In 1996, Kristine launched her dance music career with her first Billboard #1, “Feel What You Want.” Fourteen years later, “The Power of Music” became Kristine W’s 15th #1. Kristine W now ties Mariah Carey for third-most toppers on Billboard’s Dance/Club Play Songs chart. Only Madonna (with 40) and Janet Jackson (with 19) have yielded more #1s.
Kristine W also holds the world’s record for Most Consecutive #1 Billboard Club Hits. Madonna and Janet Jackson have had seven #1 songs in a row; Kristine W has scored nine.
“The song on Straight Up with a Twist that has the most meaning to me is ‘Dream On’,” adds Kristine W. “It’s a song I wrote in college and never finished until this project. It’s funny to think of the girl I was then, writing the song, dreaming about her career, never imagining the fabulous road she would be traveling. It has been an incredible dream realized, sharing dance music with the world. I will continue to do so.
“My new jazz projects will be exciting because this style of music will allow me to be heard during the chilled moments in life. My audience has been so supportive of my music; I want to be in the mix for them anyway I can. I am blessed to be living my dream.”