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Alexis Cole Digs Disney

Christopher Loudon blogs about singer Alexis Cole and her recent recording of Disney songs

Alexis Cole
Alexis Cole

When I reviewed vocalist Alexis Cole’s excellent Zingaro in the November 2007 issue of JazzTimes, I noted how unfortunate it is that Cole, like so many underappreciated American jazz singers, has earned only a fraction of the popularity in her native land that she enjoys in Japan. Since then, Cole delivered one domestic release, the fine seasonal album The Greatest Gift, much praised by JazzTimes editor-in-chief Lee Mergner last December in his annual “Holiday CD Roundup.” Then it was back to Japan for Someday My Prince Will Come, a smart, compelling collection of Disney-related tunes.

Actually, Someday My Prince Will Come was recorded in New York, under the direction of Tetsuo Hara, founder of the Tokyo-based Venus label. Hara has arguably done more for more American jazz artists – including Eddie Higgins (cornerstone of the Venus catalog), Bill Charlap, Steve Kuhn, Brian Lynch, Ken Peplowski, Kenny Barron, Phil Woods and an impressive list of vocalists that extends from Marilyn Scott to Tessa Souter – than just about any other jazz connoisseur outside the States. His standards are among the industry’s highest. Hence the sterling musicians chosen to surround Cole: Fred Hersch on piano, Matt Wilson on drums, Don Braden (who also appears on The Greatest Gift) on saxes and flute, Steve LaSpina on bass and Gregoire Maret on harmonica.

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