• Jonathan Widran

ALEXANDRA JACKSON, Legacy & Alchemy

In musical scope, depth and vision and diversity, Legacy & Alchemy, Atlanta based musical citizen of the world Alexandra Jackson’s double CD celebration of Brazilian music, is easily one of the most extraordinary debut projects ever recorded.

Conceived and produced by Robert Hebert and Larry Williams, the expansive, rhythmically explosive yet delectably soulful and smooth 18 track – recorded in Rio, L.A., London, NYC, Chicago and Atlanta over three years - is at heart a showcase for the emergence of an extraordinary new singer whose talent seems limitless. Singing primarily in English and Portuguese, Jackson also knows her way around colorful wordless vocals and interacts as beautifully with soaring strings as she does with more intimate ensembles.

While feeling a sense of enduring hope as Jackson pulls our heartstrings forward, we can also time trip the decades past as she breezes through classics by Antonio Carlos Jobim, Oscar Castro-Neves, Gilberto Gi, Ivan Lins and others – plus funky Brazlian driven tracks penned by American greats like Rod Temperton, Lionel Richie and Maurice White.

Another fascinating aspect of Legacy & Alchemy is its way of bringing departed late greats to the party, from a duet with Al Jarreau (also featuring the late Castro-Neves) to a revamping of Jobim’s “Corcovado” featuring the composer and the inimitable trumpet grace of Miles Davis.

This epic ensemble work is the Brazilian equivalent of legendary Quincy Jones projects like Back on the Block, infused with history and hope, legends and newcomers who know their history and clearly intend to keep it flowing forward.

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