Jazz singer Amy McConnell and trumpet player William Sperandei have followed up their JUNO nominated debut album Stealing Genius with an even more arresting offering, Accomplice.
The album is available for pre-order now on iTunes, with four instant grat tracks for immediate download. The full album will be released on September 30th.
Accomplice sees the pair taking on repertoire from composers of the 60s and 70s like Legrand, Brel, Loewe & Mancini. McConnell and Sperandei push the stylistic boundaries of jazz by taking these much loved, complex melodies and putting them in a fresh context influenced by the sound of vintage French pop and electronica. Their groovy takes on favourites like L-O-V-E, Where Do I Begin? and Wild Is Love embrace non-traditional jazz rhythms and instrumentation to dramatic and compelling effect.
Sperandei wrote all the arrangements for the album. “My vision for this album was to use Amy’s beautiful, pure, expressive voice to present these songs as they were intended to be heard – both melodically and harmonically – by the composers. And then to place that voice in a jazz/pop soundscape, adding layers and textures to it. Unexpected endings and beginnings. Serious groove. I wanted to make a record that would make people want to dance.”
“I chose songs that I love to sing, of course,” says McConnell. “But what they all have in common is a certain sophistication of lyric and melody that was still present in popular music in the 60s and 70s. It’s the exceptional quality and craft they put into the songwriting then that makes them still relevant today. They still speak to people. That’s what makes them timeless.”
“We had a lot of influences for our sound,” Sperandei notes. “Brad Mehldau, Air, Glenn Gould, Radiohead, Hiatus Kaiyote.”
“People think of jazz as retro now,” Sperandei says, “but jazz music was always a reflection of its’ time. It’s always been changing and evolving and influenced by different styles of music. And that’s what we’re doing with Accomplice. Sonically, we really wanted to create something that brings jazz into the sound of music today. And that also stands the test of time.”
The CD Release will be at the Jazz Bistro in Toronto on Oct 7 & 8.