Shola Adisa-Farrar returned home to debut her new CD, “Lost Myself” last month and once again this week.
The two gigs were sold out at the Sound Room in Oakland. The singer was in fine form, despite her sore throat and inability to hit those high notes, and Geechee let his trumpet travel there instead as Shola kept us delighted with her stories and reflections on the music and really phenomenal voice.
In October 2014, the US Embassy Music Ambassador performed with her band at the Annual International Maun Arts Festival in Burkina Faso. She then taught songwriting and/or production workshops there and on subsequent trips in Mauritius, Burkina Faso or Cape Verde.
Tired of New York, the accomplished singer, songwriter, actress, decided to move to Paris in 2011 for a few months.
Shola had been singing for a year at La Reservoir’s Sunday Jazz brunch when HOT Casa Records’ Duo DJ liked her sound and introduced the vocalist to his friend, Florian Pellissier, a Parisian pianist, composer and arranger.
From “jazz autobiographies, swapping music and improvising together, a studio collaboration was born in the hidden basement of Colorblind Studio on Paris’s Left Bank,” Shola writes.
Whether it was naughty and nice or just naughty, Shola’s new CD “Lost Myself” was born almost a year ago, April 2016. Magical, “Lost Myself” gives celestial evidence to an artistic union. It’s available at Amoeba Records in Berkeley or online at sholajoy.com
The ten tracks feature Shola’s original work and several classics: “Feeling Good” with a new arrangement and “I Have a Dream,” a Herbie Hancock number, with Shola’s original lyrics. Pianist Pellissier, a New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music graduate, known for the hard-bop style he brings to his music, cites Hancock as an important musical influence.
“Lost Myself” sets a new artistic standard whether that is reflected in originals, “Evolution,” “Flow,” “Blue Chord,” or one of my favorites the Fela Kuti cover “Sorrow, Tears and Blood.”
The song stylist says she chose the song to honor the linguistic lineage of her Yoruba name, “Shola,” which means “one who is blessed.”