LILA AMMONS – Genealogy

Labels:Dr. Jazz Operations
Number of Tracks:11
Total Time:00:55:49
From the Album:Genealogy
Formats:Jazz
Available Date & Time: Jan 16 2020 09:00:00 EST
Impact Date: Jan 15 2020 00:00:00

A native of Chicago, Lila has had many musical influences from family to a myriad of musicians and from the musical styles of Mozart to Monk. And she has inherited an illustrious legacy through the gifts of her grandfather and uncle: Albert Ammons (piano) and Gene Ammons (tenor sax). 

Ammons was previously based in New York City where she attended graduate school at the Manhattan School of Music, and for 13 years performed opera, oratorio and recitals around the US and Europe. It was then that she began her international travels through music. But, she had other musical passions and decided that she needed to pursue them. In 1997, excited to work on her new craft, she packed up and left New York for Minneapolis, Minnesota to be near family and there, she has cultivated a career in jazz.

From 2007-2018 she has toured internationally singing classic blues and boogie woogie in major concert halls, international jazz and blues festivals, theaters and jazz clubs throughout Austria, Germany, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Brazil, Bulgaria, Italy, France, Belgium, England.  In the US she performed in Chicago, New York City, Cincinnati, Ohio, Ann Arbor and Detroit Michigan, and Houston, Texas. Still not quite satisfied that she was realizing her dream, in 2015 Lila began reducing her classic blues touring to focus on the jazz music she truly loves. And in 2016 she began receiving international invitations to perform as a solo jazz singer in England, Ireland, France and Spain.

Since 2007, Ammons has worked with numerous internationally acclaimed musicians such as, Axel Zwingenberger, Charlie Watts, Ben Waters, Jools Holland, Chris Jagger, Judy Carmichael, Sonny Leyland, Bruce Barth, and Tony Sola, to name a few. In the Twin Cities, she performs with many of the area's best jazz and blues instrumentalists.

When she's not singing, Lila enjoys teaching voice.  She loves sharing her experience and knowledge of singing with students of all ages. She teaches part-time in the Twin Cities, both privately and at area institutions. Lila learned from some of the world's most renowned voice teachers and wants to be an inspiration to her students.

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“Lila Ammons is heard in top form throughout GENEALOGY.” – Scott Yanow

 

As soon as I saw the name ‘Ammons’ I wondered if Lila Ammons was related to the late, great Gene Ammons. It turns out, she is his niece. For many years, I was a big fan of the Gene Ammons jazz saxophone style. He leaves big shoes to fill. Lila Ammons celebrates his legacy richly on her “Genealogy” release. Like her famous uncle, Lila has a distinctive sound and approach to interpreting some of the familiar jazz standards we have embraced over the years. She is both expressive and emotional on tunes like Ellington’s “In A Sentimental Mood.” She sometimes takes melodic liberties with the original melody, but never before she sings the song down once the way the composer wrote it. This is an old-school, unspoken law passed down from jazz master to jazz master. With her wide range and tone, Lila breathes new life into songs like “No Moon at All” and “Old Folks.”
 

She surprises me by singing in Portuguese on “E Precisco Perdoar,” where she’s joined by the smooth vocals of Robert Everest. The combination of their voices is silky smooth and compelling. Kevin Washington’s bright drums propel this spirited Brazilian tune forcefully.
 

Lila Ammons is diverse in her eclectic choice of tunes. Track #5 is a low-down blues titled,“Blues, You’re the Mother of Sin,” and features Benny Weinbeck presenting a soulful, bluesy piano accompaniment. On Track #6, enter Pete Whitman, fluid on his tenor saxophone and pulling us back to the jazzy side on the tune, “I Feel You” composed by Bill Cantos. At times, Lila’s vocal style reminds me of Esther Sattersfield, but for sure she has her own vocal identity. I felt some of the arrangements were unappreciative of this singer’s talents, like the Monk tune, “Man, That Was A Dream” or (Monk’s Dream). Lila Ammons is undeterred by the dissonance and stays on melodic point, but the arrangement takes away from her smooth delivery of this famous Thelonious Monk composition. Her attention to an emotional delivery on ballads like “Sophisticated Lady” showcases Lila’s control and classical technique. -Dee Dee McNeil
 

CONTACT:
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