Toronto-based jazz vocalist Alex Pangman and her quintet have premiered a music video for If We Never Meet Again, a song by Louis Armstrong chosen specifically for this moment in time.
Alex Pangman & Her Alleycats chose the song “during the darkest times of the first wave” of the COVID-19 pandemic, and recorded it safely in isolated studio booths in the summer of 2020.
There’s an added sense of sincerity that Pangman imbues in the lyrics. As an immune-suppressed recipient of a double-lung transplant, the singer has had to stay isolated more than the average Canadian. While other musicians were able to briefly get back into clubs or give small, outdoor concerts this summer, Pangman has had to rely on monthly livestreams from her home to maintain connection to fans and friends.
“Jazz music saw nations through the 1918 flu pandemic, the Second World War, and many other crises,” Pangman says. “It’s built for catharsis, distraction, and also celebration. I’m hopeful that 2021 will bring celebration.”
Watch the music video below.
The quintet features John MacLeod on cornet, Peter Hill on piano, Glenn Anderson on drums and Chris Banks on bass.
Directed by Sean Ryan, the session was recorded with Jeremy Darby at Toronto’s Canterbury Music Company.
The song is the latest single from the singer often known as “Canada’s sweetheart of swing.” In 2019, she shared a cover of Connee Boswell’s tune If I Don’t Mean It.
In 2017, Pangman released a seven-track EP called Alex Pangman’s Hot Three, which was recorded in New Orleans directly to a 78-rpm acetate disc. Her 2014 album New found her singing Ella Fitzgerald and Annette Hanshaw gems with gusto accompanied by the sweetly swinging members of the New Orleans Cotton Mouth Kings; that album earned her a nomination at the 2016 Juno Awards.