September 12 | Set Times: 8:00 PM
Aimée Allen’s latest release, Wings Uncaged, is a musical statement of transcendence in all its facets. With a set of striking originals featuring winged creatures, negotiating the challenges and limitations of the natural world, through migration, mating, being predator, or being prey, the project provides metaphors for surviving perilous conditions in creative ways. It is no accident that a profound meditation on the current state of democracy, entitled Democracy How (Harmony and Dissonance) is also included. Interspersed also with unexpected reworkings of standards, Wings Uncaged proclaims that in love, as in life and in nature, we can rise above and transform our circumstances.
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Aimée Allen – vocals
Toru Dodo – piano
François Moutin – bass
Kush Abadey – drums
With the upcoming release of her fifth CD, Wings Uncaged, the very talented jazz singer and songwriter Aimée Allen has made her most mature and original musical statement to date. She has always displayed warmth, creativity and swing in her singing while her songs have consistently been thought-provoking, expressing insights that are both contemporary and timeless. Wings Uncaged is filled with inventive reworkings of a few favorite standards along with five new and memorable originals, featuring Aimée Allen at the top of her form.
A native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Aimée remembers: “There was a lot of music at home. As a child, my mother sang around the house, so I did too. My brother played guitar and I played a bit of piano. I remember hearing classic jazz,, Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan (my all-time favorite), Abbey Lincoln, Jobim, Astrud Gilberto, Al Jarreau, Pat Metheny, Betty Carter, Carmen McRae, and Nancy Wilson. I also listened to AM radio and a lot of classic rock including Steely Dan, Chicago, Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson. I sang in school choirs and occasionally in church, and played the flute as well.” While attending Yale, Aimée began to take singing more seriously, performing in a cappella groups. She went to Paris as an undergrad and started to sing professionally at duo gigs in piano bars. “Paris immediately felt like a second home to me, and I found that the jazz I grew up with was very popular there, even more recognized than in the States.” She teamed up with top local musicians to form Le Bossa Novices, singing Jobim tunes and other Brazilian music. Return visits to Paris found her leading her own quartet, appearing at clubs and festivals.
Back in New York since 2002, Aimée has long been an important member of the jazz community, performing regularly at countless venues, and on stage with many great jazz intrpreters including Roswell Rudd, Joel Frahm, Ari Hoenig, Yomo Toro, Romero Lubambo, and Francois Moutin. In 2006 she recorded her debut release, Dream. Already displaying a fully-formed style of her own, she performed vocals in English, French and Portuguese on a variety of standards and bossa novas, ranging from “Honeysuckle Rose,” and “Triste” to her original “Solitude Blues.” The following year she recorded l’Inexplicable, a special set of soulful jazz-pop originals sung in French. Next was Winters & Mays, which includes among its highlights her interpretations of “Peel Me Like A Grape,” Sting’s “Fragile,” and a combination of “Bye Bye Blackbird” and “It Could Happen To You.” 2015’s Matter Of Time teamed the singer with pianist Toru Dodo, bassist Francois Moutin and drummer Jacob Melchior. Four numbers co-star the masterful Brazilian guitarist Romero Lubambo. Highlights include Aimée’s thoughtful “Matter Of Time,” “The Island,” a hard-swinging “Close Your Eyes,” and the ballad “Sometimes You Just Know.”
Wings Uncaged is a major step forward for Aimée Allen who is joined by three brilliant musicians: bassist Francois Moutin, pianist Billy Test and drummer Kush Abadey. Aimée performs inventive and fresh renditions of “Skylark,” “Save Your Love For Me,” Jobim’s “Fotografia,” “Invitation,” “Les Feuilles Mortes/Autumn Leaves” (a duet with bassist Moutin that she sings in both French and English), and “Midnight Sun.” Her interpretations are heartfelt and dig into the lyrics. “Before I perform a standard, I have to love it and have a connection to it. It has to really mean something to me.”