Thursday, October 05, 2017

Erica Papillion-Posey to release new jazz recording: “From the DEEP”

Having released and co-produced her 2015 debut recording, “The Standard Reimagined, when jazz…” a carefully curated collection of love and heartbreak jazz favorites, “…an excellent first outing.”— [C. Michael Bailey | All About Jazz], Papillion-Posey has taken her talents further in From the DEEP with a bold journey into executively producing and songwriting on the new, global, vocal jazz album. Fashioning the text, as lyrics, from her 2015 book of poetry and prose, Musings from the Mind of a Mezzo, she has crafted five original tunes for the recording like the opening track, “War of Art”, a personal declaration on the constant battle of being an artist. The tune has a dual face that oscillates between neo-soul and a double-time swing and sets the tone for what is to come in the nine track album.

Papillion-Posey keeps stellar company on this global jazz recording with her writing partner and pianist extraordinaire, Tenia Nelson (who also teaches percussion), Brooklyn’s own, Eric Wheeler, a beast on upright and electric bass, Alex Tripp, a quiet storm on drums with special guests: Eric Natsuhiro Jordan, sax and clarinet, Natalia Perez del Villar, castanets, Zay Alejandro Ríos, djembe/conga and Al Chesis, harmonica. “These collaborations, these musicians were everything…: fun, fire and easy. I couldn’t be more pleased with the result.” says Papillion-Posey.

When discussing the album, Papillion-Posey exclaims, “Each selection is my Deep calling out to DEEP”, a cellular, bottomless expression of self through percussive rhythms, words and sounds most obvious in “JuJu”, a Zydeco-ish, second-line romp that pays homage to her Creole, Southwest Louisiana roots and “Tell Me”, a poignant, funk anthem that speaks to her, sometimes, hopelessness at the current racial and civil climate often ending in the senseless taking of black and brown bodies or “Chemistry”, a lush ballad wrapped in smoldering lyrics that you nestle into (“Meet me where the Alchemist dwells, between liquid heavens and Dante’s hell” ) with an elegant piano solo by Nelson and punctuated by delicate, ethereal flute figures.

Adding to its international appeal, From the DEEP comes full circle with some hip arrangements of well-known standards. Having played Clara (“Summertime”) in a 2016 production of Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess, Papillion-Posey reimagines the now jazz standard with an affecting, transparent voice and bass-only-performance which more than delivers. Included are sexy, bossa renderings of the Italian standard, “Estate” (Summer), sung in Italian, a love-letter to her favorite country and her extensive travels there and the “Habanera” (sung in French) a complete, fiery reinterpretation of the opera aria, “L’amour est un oiseau rebelle” (Love is like a rebellious bird) from Bizet’s Carmen, a signature role of the, also, classically trained Papillion-Posey. And there is so much more!

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