May 24, 2024

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CD review: Joey Alexander – Warna 2020: Video, CD cover

Joey Alexander, the Grammy-nominated jazz pianist, composer and bandleader unveils the music video for the title track and new single, “Warna.” At 16, Joey Alexander has already recorded two GRAMMY-nominated studio albums, as well as a critically acclaimed surprise release from late 2017 to honor Thelonious Monk’s centennial. With his third studio effort Eclipse, Joey took another giant step forward, demonstrating his aptitude as a composer, bandleader, and musician, hinting at the many artistic paths open to him in the decades ahead. Joey has made appearances on 60 Minutes, The Today Show, and NPR’s Tiny Desk series.

The song is from his upcoming major label debut album WARNA via Verve Records/Universal Music Canada, the country’s leading music company. Slated for release January 31, the album is primarily a collection of reflective, moving new and original music by an experienced and confident musician.

The “Warna” video showcases the growing confidence of Alexander as a musician/bandleader as he effortlessly leads the group through the track. It’s a visual testament to the trio of Alexander, bassist Larry Grenadier and drummer Kendrick Scott shared joy of music-making. The live in-studio video was shot in June of 2019 at Sear Sound studios in New York, NY.

Translating as “color” from Alexander’s native language of Bahasa, WARNA follows four Motéma Music albums that garnered the pianist three Grammy nominations and such honors as historic critics’ and readers’ poll victories in DownBeat and JazzTimes. Joining Alexander on the new album are Larry Grenadier and Kendrick Scott, who comprise the core piano trio. On several tracks, Venezuelan-born percussion Luisito Quintero, and flautist Anne Drummond, join the burgeoning jazz pianist.

Alexander continues to captivate fans and critics alike. His performance at NPR’s Tiny Desk, was heralded by the outlet as “a set that ranks among the year’s finest jazz performances at the Tiny Desk” and his undeniable talent was showcased on a 60 Minutes interview and a Today Show appearance.

Alexander’s live performances have been enthusiastically received, and his just announced string of North American tour dates include Washington, DC, New York, NY, San Francisco, CA, and Boston, MA. Additionally, in July he will have two major overseas dates, in Italy at the Umbria Jazz Festival at Teatro Morlacchi and in the Netherlands at the North Sea Jazz Festival.

Alexander arrived in New York as a lightning bolt in the spring of 2014, performing at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s annual fundraising gala. At the helm of a packed-out theater containing some of Manhattan’s most elite arts benefactors, Alexander amazed the audience with a remarkably lyrical rendition of “’Round Midnight.” A standing ovation ensued, and Alexander hasn’t slowed down since. The following spring, the New York Times wrote in an enthusiastic profile that “For a jazz pianist, the mastery entails a staggering breadth of knowledge about harmony, rhythm and orchestration, all converging in an eloquent synthesis. Joey Alexander has a handle on a good deal of that.” From there, he went on to receive three Grammy nominations, with two of Alexander’s four previous albums topping the Billboard Jazz Albums chart.

1. Warna (6:43)
2. Mosaic (Of Beauty) (5:12)
3. Lonely Streets (5:34)
4. Downtime (4:25)
5. Affirmation I (3:45)
6. Inner Urge (7:16)
7. We Here (5:22)
8. Tis Our Prayer (4:09)
9. Fragile (4:35)
10. Our Story (5:47)
11. Affirmation III (5:47)
12. The Light (3:37)

Piano – Joey Alexander
Bass – Larry Grenadier
Drums – Kendrick Scott

Image result for Joey Alexander - Warna"

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