Song of the Day: Aimée Allen, “The Comet’s Tail”

Aimée Allen addresses change and the catalytic agents that bring it about via a program of originals and reimagined songs from the jazz canon on her latest album.

Born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Aimée Allen started out singing professionally with a cappella groups in her college years. Subsequently, she moved to France, where she cut her teeth, becoming a regular at jazz clubs, venues and festivals. Today, in addition to touring nationally and internationally, she has established herself as one of the most glowing acts on the contemporary New York City jazz scene. Allen has received praise for both her compelling, poignant compositions and for her signature heartfelt vocals. Her latest album, Love and the Catalyst, certainly offers an elegant showcase of both of these sides of her artistic personality.

Love and the Catalyst presents a program of striking originals, alongside reinventions of carefully-handpicked and diverse songs from the jazz canon, some of which may be unfamiliar to listeners. Among them is a lush medley in honor of the legacy of the much-missed Chick Corea. Elsewhere, Allen revisits Mozart’s Requiem as a jazz-infused mass for those lost to the COVID pandemic. Fusing post-bop traditions with more personal influences, including Latin and ethereal flourishes that testify to the profound connection she has shared with music from an early age, the program is also a compelling exploration of the theme of transformation, addressing the many catalytic agents that bring about change.

True to this premise, “The Comet’s Tail” speaks to the fleeting and unpredictable nature of the exceptional. You can listen to it via the player below. Drawing on the simple, scientific fact that comets pass every 70 years or so, this original song is Allen’s empowering invitation to the listener to seize the day: “When the clouds open themselves up to the light, lift up your eyes and see the possibility.” The track also includes an exceptional solo by world-renowned bassist François Moutin, and is a great showcase for the talents of the band she has assembled for Love and the Catalyst, which also includes pianist Toru Dodo, drummer Kush Abadey, guitarist Tony Romano, and Aimée’s nephew, the young talented trumpeter Noah Allen.

Aimée Allen’s new album, Love and the Catalyst, was released on September 30 via Azuline Music. Order it here.

Featured photo courtesy of the artist.

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