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Bebop Spoken There

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As we all know there are no live gigs taking place in the immediate future. However, any links to jazz streaming that are deemed suitable - i.e. with a professional approach - will be considered for posting.

Monday, April 22, 2019

CD Review: Aimee Nolte - Looking For The Answers

Aimee Nolte (vocals, piano, organ, synth bass); John Clayton (bass track 7); Bruce Lett (bass 1, 2 3, 5, 10); James Yoshizawa (drums); Mike Scott (guitar 2,3,5,10); Jason Neubauer (guitar1); Doug Webb (woodwinds 1); John Reilly (woodwinds 6)
(Review by Ann Alex).

Ms Nolte, based in Los Angeles, has been successful on YouTube with over 140,000 subscribers, where she does both music and educational videos. This has led to her appearing as a guest at jazz festivals around the USA. A very modern way to become known, which I guess will become ever more usual. This, her third album, consists of 8 originals and 3 re-imagined standards. She also arranged and produced the album.

At the age of 3, we’re told, she surprised her parents by spontaneously playing Silent Night. She went on to study classical piano and gained a degree in jazz piano in 1998. Despite being the mother of four, Nolte’s voice has retained her fresh sounding youthful voice. On this CD she is joined by stellar musicians from Southern California.

Many of the tracks have a contemporary folk feel though there is also a strong jazz feel on the other tracks, so fans of both types of music will probably enjoy the album. The lyrics are seemingly straightforward yet satisfying, with repeated ‘choruses’ to act as hooks. For instance, Falling Snow begins as if it’s about a lover leaving, but then you realise that it’s a touching song about a son growing up and making his own way in the world. The beat and percussion is Latin and the lyrics are tender.

The sad love song, This One Hurts, is enhanced by changing the piano tone - putting felt between the strings and hammers, giving a warmer sound, as I imagine a piano might sound at a Victorian musical evening. Bye, Bye Blackbird is voice and bass only with well-controlled relevant scat. The other jazz standards are All Too Soon and So in Love. The second track is the title track, and the tune cleverly reflects the theme as it curves round musically as if searching. You Should’ve is a strong protest aimed at a teacher who mistreated Ms Nolte in her youth.  Other tracks are: The Loveliest Girl, Save Me One Last Time; I Gotta Get. The CD ends satisfyingly with a lovely flowing piano instrumental from Nolte, titled For a While.   

The CD is currently available both online and in stores. The label is Aimee Nolte Music. See www.aimeenolte.com
Ann Alex

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