Aimée Allen Nominated for NAACP Image Award

Composer, Arranger, Vocalist

Aimée Allen

Is Nominated for the

54th Annual

NAACP Image Awards 

in the 
Outstanding Jazz Album - Vocal

Love & the Catalyst

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. - Matt Micucci, Jazziz Magazine

The examples are all around us. Profound changes that call on us to adapt and absorb, find our higher selves, feel the disorientation, and rebound, to ultimately connect with each other and the universe in new ways. This is music of catalyst and connection. As we are changed, so are we called on to be instruments of change, for ourselves, for each other. May the catalysts who leave the world different than they found it light the way. May we too sow the seeds of change, with love.

Vocalist and songwriter Aimée Allen's latest release, Love & the Catalyst presents her striking original music alongside a few diverse, yet familiar, selections from the jazz cannon. The songs address change and the catalytic agents that bring it about. Transformation, large and small, personal and collective, social and scientific, is the theme, with the alchemy of romance explored though the surprisingly sensual metaphors of science and the cosmos.

The result is a musical prism, leading the listener through bold, moving, and soulful takes on issues such as climate change, George Floyd's death and legacy, the human toll of the pandemic, and love as the ultimate agent provocateur. Tribute is also paid to one who changed the art form, Chick Corea, in a tour-de-force medley of two of his best-known compositions. An array of rhythmic and harmonic textures is reflected and refracted as Love & the Catalyst invites the listener to change, be changed, and make change.
The Songs
A driving, energetic rendition of "Little Sunflower" kicks off the album with a note of hope. We are then reminded in the provocative and penetrating "Earth is Waiting" that hope alone is not enough to address climate change; action is required. "Quantum Entanglements" is a grounded and soaring meditation on how we (like the referenced phenomenon of quantum physics) can remain connected and yet be flexible and free. The lush and faithful Chick Corea medley of "Crystal Silence / 500 Miles High" pays fitting tribute to the icon, shimmering with reverence. "Star Eyes" is delivered here as never heard before, in large part as a voice and drum duo with a playful wink and nod, and the band swelling in at the refrain. "Love's Crescendo" takes universal love seriously, in a soulful, sensuous groove. "Reaction Time" switches gears to a bold, hyper-dynamic drum and bass beat, accompanied by a suggestive lyric. "Mortally Immortal" revisits Mozart's Requiem as a jazz-infused mass for those lost to Covid, with a lyric meeting our experience. "The Comet's Tail" speaks to the fleeting and unpredictable nature of the exceptional. "Man Ripples Through Time" is a solemn protest and dirge that testifies to the extraordinary legacy of an ordinary man. "Hidden Place" is a compact, bluesy rage of comeuppance. "Worlds Collide" presents the age-old story of two becoming one as an ethereal, achingly beautiful affair of the cosmos.
The Band
Known as much for her compelling and poignant compositions as her signature heartfelt vocal style, Aimée leads an ensemble of master musicians: Grammy-nominated pianist Toru Dodo, world-renowned bassist François Moutin, dynamic and multifaceted drummer Kush Abadey, virtuosic guitarist Tony Romano, and a new young talent, trumpet player Noah Allen, Aimée's nephew.
1. Little Sunflower 5:58
(music by Freddie Hubbard and lyrics by Al Jarreau)

2. Earth is Waiting 5:47
(music and lyrics by Aimée Allen)

3. Quantum Entanglements 5:30
(music and lyrics by Aimée Allen)

4. Crystal Silence / 500 Miles High 8:22
(music by Chick Corea and lyrics by Neville Potter)

5. Star Eyes 5:37
(Gene de Paul and Don Raye)

6. Love's Crescendo 5:56
(music by Fahir Atakoglu and lyrics by Aimée Allen)

7. Reaction Time 4:39
(music and lyrics by Aimée Allen)

8. Mortally Immortal (Requiem) 5:03
(music by Mozart and lyrics by Aimée Allen)

9. The Comet's Tail 5:15
(music and lyrics by Aimée Allen)

10. Man Ripples Through Time 5:28
(music and lyrics by Aimée Allen)

11. Hidden Place 5:15
(music and lyrics by Aimée Allen)

12. Worlds Collide 6:13
(music and lyrics by Aimée Allen)

Aimée Allen - voice
Toru Dodo - piano
François Moutin - bass
Kush Abadey - drums
Tony Romano - guitar (track 2)
Noah Allen - trumpet (track 4)

Aimée Allen - producer
Michael Perez-Cisneros - sound engineer
Misha Piatigorsky - sound editing
Brian Montgomery - sound mixing
Alan Silverman - mastering
Janis Wilkins - photography
Ksenia La Hun - illustrations
Recorded at Big Orange Sheep in NYC
on July 31 & August 1, 2021.

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