Love Is Blue
is Jackie Allens follow-up recording to her critically acclaimed A440 Music Group debut The Men In My Life
and further captures the vibe and mood which only Jackie Allen is capable of evoking. For this project, Allen has chosen to focus on the darker side of that most powerful of human relations, love. Hence the projects title, Love Is Blue
, an evocative statement that implies as many yearnings and questions as love itself. An appropriate proclamation for a collection of songs that convey a less-than-perfect view of relationships, which even the most intensely in-love amongst us can nevertheless relate to. Her quietly beautiful obsession with life, love and passion blossom into a full musical expression from the pensive opening track and holds ones attention throughout the duration of the recording.
Besides providing a theme for the project, the title track has a history with Allen, who recalls hearing an instrumental version of Love Is Blue on the radio when she was a child. It was just a pop song, and the melody was played on a harpsichord, the singer recalls. I never knew the song had lyrics. Then I found out that the original lyrics to Love Is Blue were in French. These lyrics were beautiful and pure and expressed a darker view of love than you find in most songs. Although Allen recorded the song in English, she plans to sing it in both English and French at her live performances.
The notion of a flawed romance is further explored on tracks such as Pavement Cracks, an Annie Lennox song also heard on Lennox own recent solo release, and You Become My Song, a remake of Bobby Hutchersons Isnt This My Sound Around Me with new lyrics. Another highlight of the CD is her take on the 60s standard, Taste of Honey.
Despite Allens dark outlook on relationships on Love Is Blue, the singer is in fact happily married and a proud new mother. Still, she says that marital bliss doesnt affect her ability to deliver the emotional goods on a sultry love-gone-wrong ballad. Being in love doesnt necessarily change things, she says. These thoughts still pull at me, and I am sure they resonate with almost everyone.
This project once again features Jackies touring ensemble in an all-acoustic setting. With John Moulder guitars, Laurence Hobgood piano, Rob Mathes Rhodes, organ, keyboards, Hans Sturm acoustic bass, Dane Richeson marimba, drums and percussion and Frank Glover clarinet. The project was produced by Rob Mathes (Vanessa Williams, Tony Bennett, Rod Stewart, Carly Simon and Eliane Elias) with arrangements by Rob Mathes and Laurence Hobgood and mastered by Greg Calbi.
A Wisconsin native, Allen was introduced to music by her father, Louis (Gene) Allen, a Dixieland tuba player who taught each of his five children to play a brass instrument (young Jackies first instrument was the French horn). She attended the University of Wisconsin Madison as music major, studying under Professor of Bass and Jazz History Richard Davis, himself a prominent jazz artist.
In addition to her recording and performing, Jackie Allen is a notable jazz educator, who has taught at Chicago institutions such as Elmhurst College and The Old Town School of Folk. She has also served as Governor of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS). Allen is looking forward to getting out on the road and is planning her most extensive tour to date in support of Love Is Blue.
A440 Music Group redefines what a music company can offer in todays entertainment marketplace. Established by two of the industrys premier record label and broadcast professionals, the A440 team delivers a non-traditional approach to each aspect of a recording project, uniquely blending artist and repertoire, integrated marketing and sponsorship services. The companys product line is distributed in the U.S. by Ryko Distribution. A440 Music Group is a Chicago based company.