You may remember Casey Abrams from a string of impressive performances that landed him in sixth place on American Idol in 2011.
The 28-year-old singer and multi-instrumentalist has a unique and powerful voice. On his upcoming album, backed by a band of very talented musicians, he's loans that voice to a selection of jazz and blues standards. The aptly titled LP, Jazz, has a little something for everyone among its 12 tracks—it's the perfect soundtrack for unwinding with a glass of wine. Abrams discussed his creative process, musical influences, and vision for this album in a recent interview with Popdust.
Jazz presents a collection of re-imagined classics. Artists often speak of the writing process, but what is your process for approaching a canonized song that has a long history of being redefined? In other words, are there any insights that you might be able to provide as to what you aim for in presenting your unique version of a song —how does the band come to striking a balance between a certain faithfulness to the original song while also putting your signature spin on it?
We are each unique artists, and when unique artists get together, I feel we create a fresh and unheard of jazz experience each time. For me, jazz is the harvesting of our own unique feelings and experiences, and together we create a completely new experience of the song. In a way, we're using the paints presented in the original artwork (the song) to color it in our own communal way.
Who are some jazz/blues musicians/songwriters of today that you really admire? How about non-jazz/blues?
I love Gretchen Parlato, Taylor Eigsti, Robert Glasper and Aubrey Logan. Non Jazz, I will always love the entire spirit and fun of Tenacious D.
What do you think drew you to jazz and blues music? Do you recall any sort of clear or definitive moment of discovering it, a 'love-at-first-listen' experience?
Early on, the first time I heard "Autumn Leaves" by Cannonball Adderly and Miles Davis. A ten-minute long jazz jam that really hypnotized me with its haunting harmony, melody, and solos. Like, there was so many kinds of expressions in that one version of one song. And, so, it's the first song I'm presenting here on my new Jazz Album.
What do you hope fans get out of Jazz?
For this CD in particular, I hope they kick back and listen to this record with the one they love, or they get to meditate to it by themselves after a long day at work. We wanted to create that kind of mood. I loved the collaboration with the great musicians on the CD that make these songs a richer, kind of contemplative experience.
Pre-order the album here!
Casey Abrams Jazz Album Trailer www.youtube.com