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New album from Aimee Nolte

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    Posted: 17 Apr 2019 at 8:24pm

LOOKING FOR THE ANSWERS, the newest album by AIMEE NOLTE, is a compelling showcase for this multi-talented artist's first-rate vocal, piano, and compositional skills. The CD consists of several of Aimee's original compositions as well as three reimagined standards.
LOOKING FOR THE ANSWERS is Nolte's third album. It follows Just Us (2010), a duet recording with guitarist Hideaki Tokunaga, and Up Till Now (2005). On LOOKING FOR THE ANSWERS, Nolte sings lead and back-up vocals, plays piano, synth bass, and organ. She also arranged and produced every track on the album. Based in Los Angeles, Nolte is joined by some of the best players in Southern California, including bassist BRUCE LETT, guitarist MIKE SCOTT, woodwinds players JOHN REILLY and DOUG WEBB, and drummer JAMES YOSHIZAWA. Legendary bass player JOHN CLAYTON appears on one tune.
Nolte is a successful YouTube creator with over 140,000 subscribers, where she shares music and educational videos that cover topics such as harmony, arranging, and advanced jazz piano technique. Aimee's YouTube presence has led to many wonderful opportunities appearing as a guest artist and clinician at jazz festivals around the country. She originally made a connection with JohnClayton through one of her videos. Nolte attended a clinic led by Clayton in which he encouraged musicians to put away their Real Books and learn to play by ear. Nolte made a video based on that clinic. Clayton liked the video and attended one of Nolte's gigs. A friendship soon grew between them.
Clayton and Nolte perform a voice and bass duet on "Bye Bye Blackbird." Nolte shows her considerable improvisatory chops in an extended scat solo that reflects her deep musicality. She's been playing piano since the age of 3 when, to the complete surprise of her parents, she toddled over to the piano and played the melody to "Silent Night." She later honed her technique by studying classical piano for 10 years and then went on to earn a degree in Jazz Piano at Brigham Young University in 1998.
Nolte feels most at home singing while accompanying herself on piano. She began gigging around Los Angeles since 2003 as a solo act and with her trio that, at that time, consisted of Mike Scott and the late bass player, Roger Shew.
Nolte is an accomplished arranger and expands her already substantial musical vocabulary by using orchestral-type scoring for woodwind instruments (honed by studying the music of Hermeto Pascoal and Master Guinga) on "Save Me One Last Time" and "The Loveliest Girl," which reached #9 on the iTunes jazz chart. The tune was written by her friend, guitarist Matthew Clark, and although originally a folk-type song, it comes to life as an explorative modern jazz arrangementAll the woodwinds are played by multi-reed master Doug Webb.
"Falling Snow" is another composition that made it onto the iTunes jazz chart at #13. Performed by the quartet, Nolte wrote the Bossa nova about her oldest son, who was going off to college.
Influenced by singer/songwriter Gabriel Kahane, Nolte varies the sonic landscape on "This One Hurts." She altered the sound of the piano by placing felt between the strings and hammers, giving the piano a warm, rich sound. Nolte's plucking of the piano strings and overtone singing add even more depth to this haunting sound.
"So in Love" and "All Too Soon" are two standards on which Nolte puts her own, unique spin. On these duet tunes, her sultry voice is paired with Mike Scott'ssensitive accompaniment on jazz and nylon string guitar. Scott and Aimee have been playing together for 10 years and complement each other beautifully.
"You Should've" is a song that grew out of a very trying chapter in Nolte's life. When she was 16 years old and just beginning to study jazz, a teacher, whom she admired, tried very hard to take advantage of her youth. The issue has since been resolved with repercussions for the teacher, and Nolte used her art to provide a sense of closure.
As a writer, Nolte not only lets us into her personal experience, but at times puts herself in another's shoes, as evidenced by "Save Me One Last Time." The lyric, about someone asking for help because of the bad choices she makes, is in stark contrast to Nolte's loving family life. The tune features a woodwinds section performed by John Reilly, who has been nominated for five Grammys and works extensively as a studio musician.
Aimee Nolte is proof that a great artist doesn't have to be tortured. She's a singer, pianist, composer and arranger whose personality imbues her work. Married for many years, Nolte is a mother of four whose innate musicality, thoughtful approach to lyrics, and jazz chops all rest on the foundation of her happy family life.
LOOKING FOR THE ANSWERS will be available in stores and online everywhere on April 12, 2019.
youtube.com/channel/UCZIB_p5AgVVdxgkYWHeUy-Q (Aimee Nolte YouTube Channel)

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