"I Want To Sing My Heart Out in Praise of Life"
Street Date: August 6, 2021
Bassist and composer Adi Meyerson is proud to unveil her new full length album I Want To Sing My Heart Out in Praise of Life. On her adventurous sophomore offering, the adroit musician takes listeners on a six-part musical journey inspired by the life and work of iconic avant garde visual artist Yayoi Kusama. Using Kusama’s work and intentions as a springboard, Meyerson aims to create a sonic safe haven for listeners that mirrors an ideal, utopian society devoid of negativity and strife. Featuring Marquis Hill on trumpet, Anne Drummond on flute, Lucas Pino on bass clarinet and saxophone, Sam Towse on keys, Kush Abadey on drums, spoken word artist Eden Girma and vocalists Sabeth Perez and Camille Thurman, this powerful new album will be available everywhere on August 6, 2021. Meyerson will be celebrating the album release at Minton’s in New York City that evening at 7:00 and 9:00 PM.
Meyerson’s latest release first gained legs in late 2017, when she and a friend attended an exhibit featuring the work of Yayoi Kusama in downtown New York City. She was moved by Kusama’s artist statement and personal story; notably how her art provides a utopian place for people, as well as the artist, to spiritually and mentally escape to. The art itself resonated with Meyerson too. Meyerson has synesthesia – a neurological condition in which two senses overlap and trigger each other (also commonly called “crossing of the senses”) – and in her case, she sees color when she hears certain pitches. To Meyerson’s surprise, much of Kasama’s color palette matched her own visual perception when she heard certain pitches, giving way to an unconventional but creative compositional process that involves Meyerson deriving melodies from the colors she sees.
A few years later, and with a supportive push from her graduate school professor Dave Liebman at Manhattan School of Music, Meyerson decided to put pen to paper on what would eventually become I Want To Sing My Heart Out in Praise of Life. “I describe my experience with this project as a journey, because a lot has happened in the time that I conceived of it and now,” reflects Meyerson. She cites the pandemic lockdown as being an important part of the final product. Using Kusama as a catalyst, “the music and the message behind it took on a new form, and became a vehicle for me to further explore my identity and womanhood and face my own mental health struggles,” she shares. I Want To Sing My Heart Out in Praise of Life is her offering – and like Kusama aims to do with her own work, Meyerson hopes to immerse listeners in their own sonic version of utopia upon listening.
Album opener “Prelude” establishes the mood with spoken word artist Eden Girma leading the charge. Treating the celestial melodic theme as if it were a drone, the emotional charge builds swiftly as new colors and vibrant textures envelop the listener, setting the stage for what’s to come. Track two is “Kabocha”, which features a counterpontal melody presented over Meyerson’s groovy ostinato bass line. The pitch material for this track, which takes inspiration from Kusama’s fantastical installation of the same name and means “pumpkin” in Japanese, was derived from the colors Meyerson sees in the work, and the rhythmic pattern comes from a well-known recording of Kusama reciting her poem “On Pumpkins”. Both Lucas Pino, on bass clarinet, and flutist Anne Drummond take particularly affecting solos on this dynamic musical odyssey, which opens with Kush Abadey’s masterful drumwork.
Marquis Hill features prominently on “Follow the Red Dot”, which like its predecessor, utilizes the pitches that coincide with the bandleader’s synesthesia. The driving energy of the piece mimics the “simultaneous feeling of chaos and perfect organization I felt when standing in Kusama’s Red and White Polka Dot Room,” shares Meyerson. This tune is also an ode to the artist’s provocative 1965 work “Phalli’s Field”, which is a favorite of Meyerson. Lined with mirrors and carpeted with a plethora of polka-dotted fabric protrusions that Kusama called ‘a sublime, miraculous field of phalluses’, the installation was an important moment for the artist. Next up is “Caged Bird”, a brilliant feature for Camille Thurman who sings and scats a compelling ode to the “perfect world” and what we’d have to change as a people to get there. In composition and lyric, Meyerson paid tribute to two of her favorite literary pillars: Angela Davis and Maya Angelou.
Part V, “Infinity”, is once again directly inspired by Kusma – in this case, her famous Infinity Mirror Rooms. Opening with an exceptional solo by Meyerson and prominently featuring Sabeth Perez’s ethereal wordless vocals, this contemplative tune is written from the perspective of one looking in the mirror, and examining oneself. It is also an homage to Meyerson’s native Israel, and a nod to its infinite complexities – both as a place, and in relation to her own identity. The poignant and moving title track closes the album, and is a thoughtful parting gift from the bandleader. ““I Want to Sing My Heart Out in Praise of Life” is meant to be a prayer for those who feel they cannot live their life to the fullest,” says Meyerson. “It’s also a reminder for all humans that being alive is a gift and worth celebrating.” This emotional closer is made even more powerful by it’s pared down instrumentation – Thurman’s soulful voice is accompanied only by Sam Towse’s gorgeous accompaniment.
I Want To Sing My Heart Out in Praise of Life is an important new addition to Adi Meyerson’s impressive musical canon. Her debut album, Where We Stand, was released in 2018 to widespread acclaim. Bob Doerschuk of Downbeat Magazine awarded the album a coveted four and a half stars and called it “intuitive and perspicacious…displays a musical maturity that belies her newcomer status.” Since arriving in New York in 2012, Meyerson has established herself as a first-call bassist – she performs regularly throughout the city’s top jazz venues, and has played with a who’s who of jazz greats including Joel Frahm, Joe Magnarelli, Steve Nelson and Charli Persip, among many others. With her own group and as a side musician, Meyerson has performed all throughout the United States, Latin America and Canada.
This project was generously funded by a grant by the New York Foundation Arts 2020 Women’s Fund.
"Where We Stand"
Street Date: June 5, 2018
Stalwart bassist Adi Meyerson presents her debut album Where We Stand. Alongside the distinct stylings of special guest vocalist and guitarist Camila Meza, Where We Stand features stalwart tenor saxophonist Joel Frahm, trumpeter Freddie Hendrix, pianist Mike King and drummer Kush Abadey. Where We Stand, signified by the title track, and as a whole, represents times of uncertainty and change. Through this dynamic music, Meyerson displays how these particular moments, although unpredictable and ambivalent, can sometimes also carry a feeling of excitement and anticipation. For Meyerson, the album title feels relevant to her, both as an individual and as a part of the current social climate we all live in today.
Adi Meyerson’s nine-track opus is at once reflective and celebratory. Written over half a decade, Where We Stand takes its inspiration from Meyersons’ five years living in New York City, where she has established herself as a staple on the downtown scene. Although difficult to pinpoint specific experiences that inspired these compositions, Meyerson knows that every day and every encounter somehow found its way into the music.
“Music is a way of telling one’s life story and that’s what I try to do every time I play and compose.”
While “A “D” Train”, written on a flight back to NYC was interestingly given its name as a clever way to help people pronounce the composer’s name correctly, the opening track off the album “Rice & Beans” was written while Meyerson sat on a beautiful beach in Manuel Antonio in Costa Rica. “TNT” was written with some of Meyerson’s closest friends in mind, while “Eunice” was composed for Nina Simone, after the bandleader became inspired by the legendary vocalist’s life and personality. Similar to “A Touch of Grey”, “Holes” and “Unfinished Business”, “Little Firefly” is dedicated to all the people on this planet that left before it was time for them to go. Although it is the oldest song out of the nine tunes that Meyerson wrote, it became one of the most relevant compositions throughout her life. Featuring Camila Meza on vocals and guitar, “Little Firefly” was also the bassist’s first experience with lyric writing. Written two weeks before recording, the title track of the record became a new door to a new period, musically.
The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music graduate is thrilled to be joined by this ensemble, who collectively bring her vision to life. Each of these musicians have a unique sound that skillfully and appropriately interprets the music. While Meyerson appreciates the strong, lyrical and energetic frontline of Freddie Hendrix and Joel Frahm, she also admiringly acknowledges both the sensitivity and fire that Kush Abadey and Mike King contribute to the rhythm section. Special guest Camila Meza adds a distinctive flair that brings this ensemble together. While the accomplished vocalist delivers the title track with sincere emotion and dynamic, Meza also exhibits her versatility and elegance on “Little Firefly”. Upon hearing Meza over three years ago, Meyerson immediately knew she was the perfect person to sing the track.
“I could really hear her singing it. The tone of her voice is so beautiful and unique, with a little bit of that darkness I was looking for for that song.”
In addition to her New York City chronicles, Where We Stand also serves as a celebration of life in honor of her late father. Following his untimely death, Meyerson turned to writing as a way to cope. She explains, “it helped me to acknowledge that life goes on and that positive experiences are still part of it.” While this album documents Meyerson’s life experiences throughout the past five years, Where We Stand is an album that is very much about the music as a whole. While showcasing each musician in the band, Meyerson simultaneously ensures that the music actively maintains a cohesive collective sound that presents each individual song to the highest standard and authenticity.
MORE ABOUT ADI MEYERSON
Adi Meyerson received her first musical training at the prestigious "Charles A. Smith Jerusalem High School of the Arts" on bass guitar at the age of 14. After graduating from high school, Adi started playing the upright bass in the search of a new sound that was more appropriate for Jazz. Three months later, Adi was accepted to the prominent collaborative program between "The Center of Jazz Studies (CJS)" at the Israel Conservatory of Music and "The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music". There she had the Privilege to study and play with some of Israel's finest musicians such as Amit Golan, Amos Hoffman, Ofer Ganor, Danny Rosenfeld, Erez Bar Noy, Yuval Cohen and many others, as well as the opportunity to carry out the equivalent with international jazz legends such as Jimmy Cobb, Mulgrew Miller, Peter Bernstein and Eddie Henderson. In August 2012 Adi moved To New York to continue her studies at The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music, where she graduated from in 2014. She received an opportunity to study with some of the great masters of the style such as Reggie Workman, Ron Carter, Charles Tolliver, Kirk Nurock, Billy Harper, Bob Cranshaw and many more. Since Moving to New York, Adi has played with many local greats such as Joel Frahm, Joe Magnarelli, Steve Nelson, Charli Persip and many others around NYC venues such as Mezzrow, Smalls Jazz Club, Fat Cat, Smoke Jazz, Minton's, Zinc Bar, Dizzy's Coca Cola, and others. She has recently toured the US and Central America and recorded with the Champian Fulton band for Positone Records. Adi also leads her own band, The "Adi Meyerson Band" and performs regularly in NYC and the east coast.
for I Want To Sing My Heart Out in Praise of Life
The album will be released on August 6 and that same evening, Meyerson will be celebrating its release at Minton’s in New York City. Read this announcement here.
"An album attesting to the permanence of a certain spirit of adventure in contemporary jazz, as well as the emergence of new talents to perpetuate its spirit." Read the full review in French here.
"Listening to this, it’s funky and nimble, moving at times with big band orchestration, but somehow still feels free..it's a wonderful project." Read the 'Bandcamp Friday Picks' article here.
"I Want To Sing My Heart Out In Praise of Life represents a major advance for Meyerson and sets the bar high for whatever's to come. In creating such an original and imaginative set, she demonstrates boldness of vision and shows herself to be an artist of authenticity and integrity." Read the full review here.
DEE DEE MCNEIL
"This is unique art, freedom and jazz. I found Adi Meyerson’s music to be beautiful." Read the full review here.
"..this record is a personal exploration of mental health, womanhood and identity in contemporary society that both challenges and comforts in its own ways." Read the full review here.
"Meyerson excels at everything she aspired to accomplish with I Want To Sing My Heart Out in Praise of Life" Read the full review here.
for Where We Stand
"...she's an in demand, downtown bass ace and this is an instrumental set of swinging post bop that sounds like a lost Blue Note session." Read the full review here.
"The album does not look like the timid first steps of a debutante. This music gives out a mature musician, as both an instrumentalist and composer." Read the full Russian review here.
DEE DEE MCNEIL
"I’m impressed with Meyerson’s composition skills. She writes beautifully." Read the full review here.
C. MICHAEL BAILEY
ALL ABOUT JAZZ
"Where We Stand is an excellent debut that promises more to come. Let's welcome it!" Read the full review here.
BASS PLAYER MAGAZINE
"“TNT” and “A D Train” especially highlight her equal-parts talent as a writer and a player." Read the full review here.
"Although Meyerson’s prowess on the bass is evident, the album focuses on the compositions. Her holistic writing style allows her to focus on what we love to do as bass players: support." Read the full interview here.
"Adi Meyerson's skills on acoustic bass are deep, her chops strong. Her instincts are not to show off, but to enhance the music and the talents of her colleagues. Compositions on her debut are extraordinary."
ALL ABOUT JAZZ
"Adi Meyerson can compose strong, memorable tunes both in the mainstream jazz style and in more open, progressive formats." Read the full review here.
"Meyerson shows her strength when teaming with Abadey on the deep grooves or going lyrical with King, making her own voice heard as a leader who supports. Impressive!" Read the full review here.
DOING JAZZ PODCAST
"On her new album, Where We Stand, bassist and composer, Adi Meyerson presents a classic yet personal interpretation of her original compositions." Listen to the full interview here.
"Bassist Adi Meyerson stands tall and hits hard with her debut recording." Read the full feature here.
"Intuitive and perspicacious, she displays a musical maturity that belies her newcomer status." Read the full review here.
"Throughout this stellar debut, Meyerson distinguishes herself as a sure-footed player and composer possessing a natural talent for extending blues-bop writing into the present day with strong melodies and arrangements." Read the full review here.