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Ada Bird Wolfe the Odd Bird

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    Posted: 19 Jul 2022 at 12:00pm
Available July 15, 2022
People found different ways to fill their time during the Covid-19 lockdown. Some people took up baking and some studied a new language. Vocalist ADA BIRD WOLFE decided to use her time to write music. She treated writing like a job she had to go to every day, and by the end of 2020, she had written 45 songs. Twelve of those songs appear on her newest release, ODD BIRD.
Wolfe has worked for many years in Los Angeles with pianist, arranger, and composer JAMIESON TROTTER, one of the busiest, first-call musicians in town and a favorite accompanist among vocalists. In 2015, they performed jazz and blues shows called Jazzography and Blues-A-Licious, among others. Then in 2016, Wolfe created a series of live shows called Giant Shoulders, which highlights and interprets the works of jazz legends. The three shows were titled Monk-O-SphereAnd the Word Was Mingus, and The Saint and the Sinner Man: Miles Davis and John Coltrane.
ODD BIRD is the third CD they have worked on together and follows Birdie (2018) and He and Me (2020), a duo recording of which Midwest Record said, “A real tour de force where the two talents give each other room to really shine and bring it all home in a velvet jewel box. Top shelf.”
Although Wolfe and Trotter could not be together during the lockdown, the two met once a week via Zoom to work on songs, with Wolfe writing the melodies and lyrics and Trotter writing the harmonies and arrangements.
Joining Wolfe and Trotter are A-list Los Angeles musicians. Bass player DAN LUTZ is a recording and touring artist who has worked with Jonathan Butler, Josh Groban, Larry Klein, Oleta Adams, and Michael Bublé, among many others. Drummer PETER BUCK has toured around the United States and the world with Keb’ Mo’, Thelma Houston, Bonnie Raitt, Ice-T, and Stevie Wonder. Drummer SCOTT MAYO is an acclaimed saxophonist, flutist, singer, composer, and Grammy® nominated producer. He is known for his versatile style and ability that moves freely within any musical genre from jazz, pop, R&B, rock, and classical to hip hop.
Percussionist JOEY DELEON has performed or recorded with artists of almost every genre from jazz, Latin, pop, film, and contemporary classical music, including Queen Latifah, Al Jarreau, Dave Valentin, Hilton Ruiz, Jennifer Lopez, and Barry Manilow. Wolfe has worked with all the musicians at various times in live shows, except for DeLeon.
Although Wolfe wrote many songs of a political nature during that turbulent year, she decided to save those for another project. Instead, Wolfe includes her love songs and songs about nature, written in a variety of styles. The album opens with a bebop tune, “Odd Bird Bop.” The title is a humorous reference to both Charlie
 “Bird” Parker and herself and features some bird-like scatting. Written during a heat wave, “In the Shade” is a bass/vocal duet with sensual lyrics. With all the heaviness of the events of 2020, Wolfe wanted to lift her own mood and wrote “Something Fast, Something Light.” Mayo’s flute playing captures the essence of the lyrics, “Something fast, something light / Like the flicker of the light / From the firefly’s quick flight / That is fast, that is light.”
“Ericolloquy” is a homage to Eric Dolphy, one of Wolfe’s favorites. The song is a moody contemplation of being unencumbered by obligations to other people. Wolfe wrote “Ashes, Ashes” while driving down the California coast during the horrendous fires that ravaged much of the state and rained ashes into people’s backyards. “Lover’s Leap” is about deciding whether to risk taking another chance on love. In “The Wave,” Wolfe describes an actual event that happened to her when she was a child while swimming in the ocean. She almost drowned when a wave took her under, but she recounts the episode with evocative poetry — “First it grabs you from the land / And spins you round and round like a waltz / It wraps you in its arms / Like a mother wraps a child / You lay there like a bird / Waiting for a chance to fly / But the sea, the sea / Decides.”
“Samba Batucada” recreates the feel of walking down a beach in Rio with a lover. “Did I Ever” is a doleful ballad about a failed love affair. Although she wanted to avoid overt political statements on ODD BIRD, Wolfe was so moved by George Floyd’s death that she included “Ordinary Man.” Her lyrics, “An ordinary man / Lived an ordinary way / We watched while he died / On that stifling night in May / And we were so ashamed / We could not turn away / An ordinary man / Changed the world that day” sums up what so many people felt. “Ocean, Mountain, River, Sky” is a prayer and praise for the natural magnificence of the world. Wolfe closes the album with "An Egg,” a song about hope and renewal.
Wolfe has a smoky, warm, alto voice. Although she tells stories that can be emotionally intense, she is never bombastic. Rather, she invites you in with a conversational, intimate approach. A piano master with an extensive musical vocabulary and an endless font of ideas, Trotter is the perfect complement for Wolfe. With their deep relationship and stellar musicianship from everyone involved, ODD BIRD is an album of great subtlety with musical and emotional depth.

About Ada Bird Wolfe
Wolfe, a native of Sudbury, MA, just outside of Boston, studied several instruments, including piano, cello, guitar, sax, and flute, throughout her school years. A deeply thoughtful person, she went to the University of Chicago, where she obtained a degree in Philosophical Psychology, which is an interdisciplinary field of study that links philosophy and the psychological sciences.

She has written novels and poetry as well as articles for small, local newspapers. She was in New York City on 9/11, which had a deep, emotional impact on her. Wolfe became a serious anti-war activist and worked for several years with organizations promoting social justice. A devoted jazz fan since her college days, she has been focusing her energies on writing and performing.

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ODD BIRD will be released on all digital platforms on July 15, 2022.
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