Innovative jazz singer (and songwriter) Andrea Wolper's new CD, Parallel Lives, is scheduled for a September 6 release on the Jazzed Media label. Co-produced by Wolper and Todd Barkan, this is her first album since 2005's well-received The Small Hours.
Her working groupsome of NYC's best musiciansrecorded this album with her: Michael Howell, guitar; Kris Davis, piano; Ken Filiano, bass; Michael TA Thompson: soundrhythium. The set list ranges from Great American Songbook standards by Hoagy Carmichael/Johnny Mercer, Buddy Johnson, and Richard Rogers to more contemporary fare by Joni Mitchell, Buffy Sainte-Marie, and Duncan Sheik, to Wolper's three originals.
I live somewhat 'parallel lives' as a singer in that my musical interests range widely," states Wolper in the liner notes. Like so many other jazz singers, I started with standards, the best kind of training play/ground, which I love like old friends who can still surprise me. But through the years, doing all sorts of gigs, living in New York, where there's so much music to hear and so many people to play with, I came to realize there was no reason not to widen my embrace to include all sorts of music: music that plays it straight, music that doesn't, songs I'd heard as a child, songs I discovered I had it in me to write, songs that didn't seem to fit in any particular category. The selections on this CD traverse some of the now-parallel, now-converging paths I've been traveling these past several years, reflecting the idea that we all live dual (or more) lives, if only in our dreams, our hopes, our memories."
Wolper continues: As everyone knows, having the right traveling companions is crucial. And as every musician knows, there's nothing like playing with your band, people with whom you develop understanding and trust. When you have that, you're lucky. I'm lucky. Not only do Ken, Kris, Michael, and TA have the musicianship and the curiosity to travel with me wherever I feel like going, but each has a highly developed, very personal musical identity that means I get to travel down some unexpected byways. And that makes working with them a joy and an adventure."