Alexandra Jackson: Legacy & Alchemy
”Alexandra Jackson: Legacy & Alchemy”
7-song Radio EP advancing the March 2018 Full Length Album
December 1, 2017
What used to be deceptively termed “world music,” can now be described as the iconic Brazilian songwriter/ singer Ivan Lins calls it – “Total Music...a blend of jazz, Brazilian, instrumental, sung, completely modern."
Today, LEGACY AND ALCHEMY, the new multimedia company founded by Robert Hebert ... advances the Total Music vision with the release of a radio EP of 7 songs from the upcoming March 2018 Alexandra Jackson: Legacy & Alchemy music album, a project that pays homage to Brazil's music legacy and its legends, and offers a path forward with the music.
The music album features the Atlanta-based singer Ms. Jackson performing with music legends: the late Miles Davis, the late Antonio Carlos Jobim, the late Al Jarreau, the late Rod Temperton, the late Oscar Castro-Neves, with living legends Ivan Lins, 96-year old Samba icon Dona Ivone Lara, Robertinho Silva, Carlinhos Brown, Banda Black Rio, Hubert Laws, Larry Dunn and Al McKay, and American and Brazil greats: Siedah Garrett, The Jobim Trio, Larry Williams, Teo Lima, Armando Marcal, Ricardo Silveira, Darryl Jones, Arthur Maia and new Samba star Pretinho da Serrinha, among others.
The album was produced by Robert Hebert and Larry Williams, with co-producers the late Mr. Temperton, Messrs. Maia and Silveira, and Chris Walker and Max Viana. The star musician ensemble includes the producers, Messrs. Lima and Marcal, Marco Brito, Marcelo Martins, Jesse Sadoc, Orquestra Atlantica, Darryl Tookes, Curtis King, Paulo Calasans, Marcelo Mariano, and Maestro Charles Floyd conducting The Bossa Nova Noites Orquestra.
Alexandra Jackson: Legacy & Alchemy takes various Brazilian music styles such as Samba, Bossa Nova, MPB, Axe, Euro Bossa and others as a starting point, folds in the Chicago sounds of Earth Wind & Fire and Chess Records, with the sounds of classic and Contemporary Jazz and Neo-Soul. Coming off the 50th anniversary of the global craze for Bossa Nova (marked by Antonio Carlos Jobim's "The Girl From Ipanema" Record of the Year Grammy® win in 1965), and 2017 marking the 100th anniversary of "Pelo Telefone," the first widely circulated Samba recording, this album is a timely collaboration.
Recorded in Rio de Janeiro, Los Angeles, London, New York and Atlanta and sung in English, Spanish and Portuguese, the tunes include many classics from the Brazilian bossa nova and samba canons.
“There’s a huge melting pot of music in our world today,” says Alexandra Jackson. “So this album offers the opportunity for people to step outside the box. It’s not just Jazz, not the Blues, not Soul, not Bossa Nova, not Samba, but it’s a mix of them all.” As such, different idioms of Brazilian music come to life in Ms. Jackson’s contemporary delivery of the 23 songs she recorded for the Legacy & Alchemy project - each with an in-depth story as the backdrop – which, in essence, reaffirms the musical legacy of Brazil as a contemporary force.
ABOUT ALEXANDRA JACKSON:
Given the breadth and depth of her debut album, Ms. Jackson’s background makes her the perfect voice to tell the great story of the evolution of cultures, and, in this instance, to communicate the synergies of Brazilian music and American music.
The youngest daughter of Atlanta’s first African-American mayor, the late Maynard Holbrook Jackson, Jr., and businesswoman and NPR personality Valerie Richardson Jackson, Alexandra learned piano as a child and studied classical voice. At home she was influenced by the records her father would play: from The Blind Boys of Alabama to Take 6. Her mother loved Johnny Hartman and Phoebe Snow. And while soaking in Earth Wind & Fire, Michael Jackson and Maxwell, her older sister fostered in her a strong connection to Latin music and culture, including Celia Cruz, Marc Anthony and Gloria Estefan. Alexandra’s grand aunt was Mattiwilda Dobbs, the African-American coloratura soprano, who was one of the first black singers to enjoy a major international career in opera.
After experimenting with choral and musical theater, Jackson dove into jazz, attending the University of Miami’s Studio Music and Jazz Vocal Program. After moving to Los Angeles for a stretch, she returned to Atlanta and continued to pursue her singing. In 2013, she made an appearance at the Atlanta Jazz Festival as the opener for Me'shell Ndegeocello. At one point during her set, she sang in Portuguese the milestone bossa nova tune “The Girl From Ipanema.” In the audience was Hebert, who had known Jackson since she was a child, having worked for her late father Mayor Jackson as his Special Counsel, Media and Tech Advisor for the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, and Founding Chairman of his Mayoral Entertainment Commission. Hebert talked with her afterwards and noted that he loved her songs that brought together Brazilian music, American Jazz and Soul, and British Acid Jazz. And, while Hebert had this project in mind for several years, he never thought of an American singer for it.
When Jackson started working on Legacy & Alchemy, she contacted a Portuguese vocal coach for help in her pronunciation. “I didn’t know Portuguese as well I wanted to,” she says. “So I had to grow quickly because I wanted to honor the music I was going to be singing; expanding my expression with a greater understanding of the stories."
With Legacy & Alchemy, Jackson recognizes her journey. “Robert took us through a lot of different stages,” she says. “With the collaborators, the project took on a life of its own. I didn’t see it coming. When I started, I was excited to put out an album singing the music I love. No one but Robert and Larry (Williams) could have known that it would turn into this project. But I’m a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. Sometimes I was frustrated that the project was taking so long to complete, but then I realized that it made sense. And now the moment has arrived.”