Release Date: 09/24/21
Alexis Cole's swinging jazz big band tribute to the Great American songbook repertoire she sang while in the Army.
Rare it is to find an artist as special as Alexis Cole. There's no doubt that she's one of the most accomplished jazz vocalists of our times. But it's her rich life experiences, enveloping and unfolding story that takes her art to the beyond. When you hear her music, you can tell this is someone who has an abiding curiosity, an adventurous spirit, and an unrivaled talent. Maybe you already know the contours of her career: She was born in New York, grew up in Florida, but after college she volunteered with AmeriCorps in Paterson, NJ, studied singing in India, and lived a gypsy life teaching in Ecuador, performing in Japan, and spending the summers traveling around Europe. In 2009, she enlisted in the US Army and served as the big band vocalist for the West Point Band's Jazz Knights until 2015. See what I mean? It's not a typical story. And maybe that's why Alexis doesn't make typical music.
The title Sky Blossom - Songs from my Tour of Duty which Cole very smartly chose for this album can be viewed as having two meanings: a poetic description of a beautiful, ethereal flower while at the same time being Military vernacular for an opening parachute.
The story of how Sky Blossom actually begins with her time with The Jazz Knights in 2009. Scott Arcangel was the group's musical director who composed and arranged many of the pieces for the band, including several that featured Cole. He had an exceptional ability to write music which drew upon the intrinsic talents of each bandmember, so they could shine on the bandstand. . The seed had been planted to one day release an opus with more of these features: 'It was my dream to put them all together on their own album,' said Cole.
After she left the service, she nurtured this dream. Indeed, she had the repertoire, and in 2017, she would find a band and musical collaborator in Jeff Jarvis, whom she met at the Jazz Education Network Conference (JEN). -- Kabi Sehgal, producer
|Run Time: 68 mins|
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