From her international breakthrough in the 90s as a featured vocalist on DJ/King Britt’s Sylk 130 project When the Funk Hit the Fan (and its smash hit “Seasons Change”) and Us3’s An Ordinary Day in an Unusual Place (and “Get Out,” an instant Top Ten single in Japan) through her jazzy and exotic, Brazilian influenced 2018 comeback EP Obrigada, Alison Crockett has forged a groundbreaking, deliriously unpredictable path as a visionary and fiercely independent artist.
A multi-talented singer, songwriter and pianist who grew up spending long nights entranced by and absorbing her father’s extensive music collection, Alison developed her formidable jazz chops out of Temple University in Philly gigging with stalwarts Orrin Evans, Matt Parish and Mike Boone – and later, after moving to NYC to pursue her master’s at the prestigious Manhattan School of Music, introduced herself to the vibrant music scene there by fronting hip-hop jazz pioneer Greg Osby’s band.
“I consider myself a musician who comes out of the jazz tradition, the black music tradition where jazz people take established forms and reimagine them in new and different ways,” she says, eschewing strict genre categorizations for herself and her responsive, ever-evolving artistry.
Alison released a string of powerful and influential soul and jazz driven solo recordings starting in 2004 with On Becoming A Woman. Buoyed by the success of the single “Like Rain” – which reached #3 on Gilles Peterson’s Worldwide Winner’s 2003 chart on his legendary BBC Radio 1 program – Alison went on a unique, multi-faceted tear, expanding her fan base into the dance world by making the unusual choice to follow up with The Return of Diva Blue: On Becoming a Woman Redux, a set of deep house remixes from her debut album by top flight DJ/remixers like DJ Spinna, Yam Who?, Phil Asher, Mark De Clive-Lowe. “Diva Blue” is a nickname given to her by Britt. Just as her fans were grooving on floors worldwide to tracks like the DJ Spinna twist on “Crossroads” – which became one of her signature tunes – true to form, she pulled a brilliant 180 with Bare, a stripped down, uber romantic acoustic set she called a love letter to her fans.
Her artistry transcending to a whole ‘nother level of impact once again, Alison’s searing sociopolitical 2012 opus Mommy, What’s a Depression? found her tapping into the legacies of African American sociopolitical musical muses like Marvin Gaye and Nina Simone who laid the hard groundwork of speaking truth to power. Its title was inspired by her young daughter’s question about the economic woes she heard about in the media. Presenting a “Mixtape Jazz” of originals and re-imaginings, she called injustice and inequity like she saw it – offering her take on the Wall Street collapse, growing inequality, urban gentrification, war and immigration. Now, in a different political era, Alison built upon the creative momentum/career renaissance she’s experienced since her EP Obrigada.
The story of Echoes of an Era Redux: My Father’s Record Collection Vol.1 begins with Alison Crockett’s music-loving Dad. Who says that jazz has to be laid back, inscrutable, and something to lay back and listen to. Alison takes you on a sonic journey that makes you want to dance by yourself or with a partner....