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Alexis Parsons was named as one of Downbeat Magazine's Best CDs in 2012

downbeat magazine
John Ephland
March 2012

Grady Hart
September 2011

digital jazz news
Brent Black
September 2011

all about jazz
by Dan Bilawsky
October 2011
Ake Persson
October 2011

jazz times
Wilbur Sostre
November 2011 Rotcod Zzaj
November 2011

Grego Applegate Edwards
January 2012

Oliver di Place
February 2012

Michael Czékus
January 2012 Rotcod Zzaj
July 2014



Hippin' was named as one of 2012's Notable Releases by W. Royal Stokes

Grego Applegate Edwards
February 2012

nyc jazz record
Kurt Gottschalk
December 2012


Jonathan Schwartz

Elliott Ames

Joan Carroll, "The Jazz Voice"


One of the Finest Vocalists Around!

Alexis Parsons (Audio CD)

ALEXIS PARSONS. Remember that name and while you're at it either download her inimitably stylish songs or buy the CD now available - a CD suitably and simply titled Alexis Parsons. Here is a singer who is so gifted a vocalist that she doesn't need big back up sounds to measure her impact on us. Her series of eight songs are simply accompanied by the piano - and a gifted pianist she has selected in Frank Kimbrough. 

Not knowing about this amazing singer sends us to the resources about her back ground: 'With a musical background that ranges from Greek sacred music to opera and folk songs, Alexis Parsons has spent a lifetime developing a uniquely personal vocal style and fiercely independent career. For the past two decades, Alexis has led a variety of small groups showcasing her distinctive interpretations of the standard and not-so-standard songs of the jazz canon. As a bandleader, she has shown exceptional skill and a discerning ear in selecting accompanists. Her trios have included pianists Lynn Arriale, David Berkman and Arturo O'Farrill, among others. Manning the bass have been top call performers such as Sean Smith, Scott Colley and Drew Gress. And behind the drums, Matt Wilson, Willard Dyson and Jimmy Madison have provided swinging and sensitive grooves. She earned a bachelor's degree in vocal performance from the Manhattan School of Music, where she studied with Nancy Marano and Anne-Marie Moss and received a Helena Rubinstein Foundation scholarship. She also continues deepening her musical skills today by studying with vocalists Jay Clayton, Sheila Jordan, Rhiannon and Mark Murphy. A woman with a world of life experience and an uncommon pedigree (who else in the jazz world has performed rock, folk, gospel, opera, Greek and Arabic music professionally?) Alexis has a simple philosophy about music and life. "For me, it's always about breaking down the walls, finding new ways to express myself, because I can never do the same things, the same way, over and over. I want to be able to follow this journey wherever it takes me." 

Some credentials there, but none of that background material prepares the listener for the degree of skillful communication of the songs in this collection. Parsons vocal range could, I suppose, be technically placed in the mezzo-soprano category, but somehow labeling her as anything but unique seems redundant. The core of her voice is rich velvet in texture but she is able to ascend and descend the scale with equal ease in either direction. Her classical training is at all times evident in the way she focuses her tone and paces her breathing, but she is so very at home with the jazz idiom that emphasizing her training is another stopgap in trying to figure out just how she accomplishes the beauty of her singing and the deep conviction of her communication of the lyrics. 

Eight songs are here - The Winter of my Discontent', 'Hello Young Lovers', 'Just Squeeze Me' (the only up tune on the series), a sublime 'Lazy Afternoon', 'Only Trust Your Heart', a very poignant and likely meaningful 'She', and 'You Must Believe in Spring'. Once you've heard how Alexis Parsons sculpts these melodies it will be difficult to encounter anyone who can surpass this experience. She is very much on her way up!

Grady Harp, September 11
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