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Alexandra Jackson – Legacy & Alchemy

Jan. 25, 2018

While it is our policy to steer clear of an album of covers, this EP is so incredibly stocked with creative interpretation and insight, it is uniquely stirring and clearly warrants this review. Vocalist Alexandra Jackson pours out such moving vocals on this wonderfully produced EP (courtesy of Robert Hebert and Larry Williams) entitled Legacy & Alchemy which pays tribute to samba music and the very culture of Brazil as it celebrates the 100th anniversary of the popular dance and music.

Giving a loving nod to the likes of the late Antonio Carlos Jobim and Oscar Castro-Neves, the gifted vocalist also cites her influences like the late great Miles Davis and supergroup Earth, Wind & Fire as she weaves the soul and charm of these artists into this colorful quilt of 6 tracks (and a slight twist on one of the tracks, “Brazilica,” as a seventh offering).

This delicate blend of Brazil and soul jazz is simply adorable. It is light, it is airy, it is rhythmic and exotic, it is funky and soulful. It is Brazil with soul done right. The masters of samba music and of the whole of Brazilian charm must be honored without a doubt. Yeah, it’s that kind of release. The kind I regularly seek for its novel approach to great music. You can’t listen just once. In fact, just as the potato chip commercial once stated that you can’t eat just one, you can’t possibly listen to just one track here. Its exuberance, exoticism, and soulfulness are much too irresistible.

The mesmerizing embrace of this lovely new artist’s style is simply breathtaking, and this music fits her like a second skin.

While immersed in the magic of this music, take the time to read the CD liner notes and the brief narrative about Jackson’s inspiration and her experiences. A consummate experience indeed. I’m thrilled to have been able to drink in this one. – Ronald Jackson