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September 12 | Set Times: 8:00 PM

Cover: $15.00 | Doors: 7:00 PM
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Wings Uncaged CD Release Concert

Aimée Allen’s latest release, Wings Uncaged, is a musical statement of transcendence in all its facets. With a set of striking originals featuring winged creatures, negotiating the challenges and limitations of the natural world, through migration, mating, being predator, or being prey, the project provides metaphors for surviving perilous conditions in creative ways. It is no accident that a profound meditation on the current state of democracy, entitled Democracy How (Harmony and Dissonance) is also included. Interspersed also with unexpected reworkings of standards, Wings Uncaged proclaims that in love, as in life and in nature, we can rise above and transform our circumstances.

Aimée Allen – vocals
Toru Dodo – piano
François Moutin – bass
Kush Abadey – drums


With the upcoming release of her fifth CD, Wings Uncaged, the very talented jazz singer
and songwriter Aimée Allen has made her most mature and original musical statement to
date. She has always displayed warmth, creativity and swing in her singing while her
songs have consistently been thought-provoking, expressing insights that are both
contemporary and timeless. Wings Uncaged is filled with inventive reworkings of a few
favorite standards along with five new and memorable originals, featuring Aimée Allen
at the top of her form.

A native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Aimée remembers: “There was a lot of music at
home. As a child, my mother sang around the house, so I did too. My brother played
guitar and I played a bit of piano. I remember hearing classic jazz,, Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah
Vaughan (my all-time favorite), Abbey Lincoln, Jobim, Astrud Gilberto, Al Jarreau, Pat
Metheny, Betty Carter, Carmen McRae, and Nancy Wilson. I also listened to AM radio
and a lot of classic rock including Steely Dan, Chicago, Stevie Wonder and Michael
Jackson. I sang in school choirs and occasionally in church, and played the flute as
well.” While attending Yale, Aimée began to take singing more seriously, performing in
a cappella groups. She went to Paris as an undergrad and started to sing professionally at
duo gigs in piano bars. “Paris immediately felt like a second home to me, and I found that
the jazz I grew up with was very popular there, even more recognized than in the States.”
She teamed up with top local musicians to form Le Bossa Novices, singing Jobim tunes
and other Brazilian music. Return visits to Paris found her leading her own quartet,
appearing at clubs and festivals.

Back in New York since 2002, Aimée has long been an important member of the jazz
community, performing regularly at countless venues, and on stage with many great jazz
intrpreters including Roswell Rudd, Joel Frahm, Ari Hoenig, Yomo Toro, Romero
Lubambo, and Francois Moutin. In 2006 she recorded her debut release, Dream. Already
displaying a fully-formed style of her own, she performed vocals in English, French and
Portuguese on a variety of standards and bossa novas, ranging from “Honeysuckle Rose,”
and “Triste” to her original “Solitude Blues.” The following year she recorded
l’Inexplicable, a special set of soulful jazz-pop originals sung in French. Next was
Winters & Mays, which includes among its highlights her interpretations of “Peel Me
Like A Grape,” Sting’s “Fragile,” and a combination of “Bye Bye Blackbird” and “It
Could Happen To You.” 2015’s Matter Of Time teamed the singer with pianist Toru
Dodo, bassist Francois Moutin and drummer Jacob Melchior. Four numbers co-star the
masterful Brazilian guitarist Romero Lubambo. Highlights include Aimée’s thoughtful
“Matter Of Time,” “The Island,” a hard-swinging “Close Your Eyes,” and the ballad
“Sometimes You Just Know.”

Wings Uncaged is a major step forward for Aimée Allen who is joined by three brilliant
musicians: bassist Francois Moutin, pianist Billy Test and drummer Kush Abadey.
Aimée performs inventive and fresh renditions of “Skylark,” “Save Your Love For Me,”
Jobim’s “Fotografia,”, “Invitation,”, “Les Feuilles Mortes/Autumn Leaves” (a duet with
bassist Moutin that she sings in both French and English), and “Midnight Sun.” Her
interpretations are heartfelt and dig into the lyrics. “Before I perform a standard, I have to
love it and have a connection to it. It has to really mean something to me.”
But it is the originals that are certain to get the most attention. “It is always very
exhilarating to write a song, put it in front of musicians of this caliber, and see what
happens. It can be an amazing experience,” Aimée enthuses. “In my songwriting I try to
tell stories that people can relate to and that are relevant. One of the recurrent themes of
Wings Uncaged is how winged creatures cope with the challenges and limitations of the
natural world. It is about transcending, sometimes escaping, sometimes just surviving,
the circumstances around us, literally but also in the spirit. We have to consider breaking
out of the conditions that keep us earthbound sometimes, no matter how comfortable we
may be, in order to achieve something better . The word ‘cage’ has, of course, taken on
greater significance during the past year. I chose the title and theme long before the
disturbing issue of cages came into the public discourse. So it was unexpected, but I
welcome the relevance. I think we are faced with many types of cages right now that we
must break open.”

“Shooting Star” is a love song about how something bright and remarkable entering one’s
life can cause uncertainty about the future, even while it cannot be denied. “Night Owl”
celebrates the owl as a metaphor for noncomformists. “It’s about those who go against
the grain, embracing things that others shy away from. They can make a paradise out of
darkness.” “In My Web” is an unusual and dark love story. “Touch The Sun,” which sets
Aimée’s lyrics to Moutin’s music, was inspired by the starling flock moving en masse
across the sky, a throng of birds choreographed like threads in a single tapestry, shifting
and turning on a dime, creating light and shadows in unison. The most riveting piece of
the set is the politically aware “Democracy How (Harmony and Dissonance).”A call for
action, it asks how we can participate in a system when truth is ridiculed and divisions
weaken the common ground we share. It is about the individual and collective voice and
the need to use it to speak out .

Aimée Allen gets vivid reactions from audiences when she performs her compositions.
Some of her original music has been licensed for feature film and network television. She
performs regularly in New York, has dates in Europe, and is always working on creating
new music. And she is very grateful for the support that she has received from fans in her
Indiegogo campaign for Wings Uncaged.

Aimée Allen and jazz both have a bright future. – Scott Yanow


Club Bonafide
212 East 52nd Street
New York, NY 10022