Vincent Ingala is one of the most exciting artists to emerge in contemporary jazz this past decade. The young multi-instrumental wizard released his new album, Echoes of the Heart, on February 21 via Shanachie. The new LP is mostly made up of original compositions. It also displays his ease and genius in the studio as a one-man-band, playing everything from saxophone, keyboards, drums, guitar, bass and lead vocals alongside a few guests, including David Benoit, Steve Oliver and Chris Geith.
We asked Ingala to take us through each of the tracks of Echoes of the Heart, to understand the inspiration behind each song and some of the work that went into the making of the album.
“Caught Me By Surprise”
Originally, I thought that this would be a song for tenor sax. But when I was in the studio, something wasn’t gelling right during the recording process. I tried out the soprano and surprisingly, it was a much better fit for the song. Hence, “Caught Me By Surprise.”
“Maybe You Think”
There are no electronic instruments on this track. It’s 100% old school, all live instruments, and I even had the chance to play real drums on the song. It’s very retro and reminiscent of the classic ’70s dance school.
“Echoes of the Heart” feat. Chris Geith
This is the title track of the CD and the first time ever collaborating on a recording with Chris Geith, a longtime friend, bandmate and solo artist in his own right. We co-write this composition together.
“What’s Option B?”
This is a tune that I initially wrote for another artist and although it didn’t end up getting recorded by that artist, I kept the song for myself. Basically, all of the guitar-playing was a demo track to give an idea of what the song should sound like but I ended up keeping almost all of it!
“Ready Or Not”
In keeping with my tradition of forgotten and obscure old-school covers, this song from the R&B group After Seven and it perfectly fits the bill, featuring the sultry background vocals of DW3.
“Somewhere in Time” feat. David Benoit
After collaborating with David Benoit for his recent album, he kindly returned the favor and agreed to play on this song, which we wrote together. I have wanted to write with David for a long time, so the timing could not have been more perfect.
“Let’s Go Back”
This is undoubtedly my favorite song on the whole album. Pure old-school at best. Once again, 100% live instruments, no synthesizers or programming. My talented brass player friends Pat Lennon and Dan Hendrix provided their incredible talents to the track and together, the three of us formed one tight horn section!
“Take Your Time”
This track was sitting in the hopper for many years until I decided to resurrect it once again and finish it once and for all. It ended up taking on a much different life of its own from its original demo but that’s how it goes sometimes.
This track is a classic pop tune from Amy Grant from the early ’90s (right around the time I was born) and it has a very strong melody that I knew would be perfect for saxophone. This is not a song that one would normally hear sax on, but I thought it would be innovative and different to give it a shot and reimagine it as an instrumental.
“Sunset on Marco” feat. Steve Oliver
I pretty much heard this song start to finish in my head, including hearing Steve Oliver’s guitar sprinkled throughout. When the song was about halfway done, I realized that this was the song that my dear friend, Dr. Nancy Cappello, wanted me to write and name “Sunset on Marco.” It will now be forever dedicated to our dear friend, whom we lost prematurely last year. But her incredible work and legacy as a breast cancer advocate, who literally saved thousands of women’s lives, will live forever.
To find out more about Vincent Ingala and his new album, visit him online.
Featured photo courtesy of Shanachie Entertainment.
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