Gretchen Parlato and Lionel Loueke pair up on Lean In
By Adam Feibel2023/03/22
Vocalist Gretchen Parlato and guitarist Lionel Loueke are set to release a new collaborative album called Lean In.
The album took shape during the grips of the pandemic, with the two musicians traded song ideas over the Internet between their homes in Luxembourg and Los Angeles.
Within four months of that process, Parlato and Loueke were in a Los Angeles studio, rounding out the band with bassist Burniss Travis and drummer Mark Guiliana.
Performed in English, Portuguese and Fon (the indigenous language of Benin), the songs on Lean In blend sounds inspired by pop and R&B classics as well as Afrobeat and Brazilian tunes. The album features original songs and improvisational interludes along with reinterpretations of tunes by Foo Fighters and others.
Listen to the single “I Miss You,” a reworking of the 1984 hit by the funk band Klymaxx:
Parlato and Loueke met in 2001 at the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz at the University of California, Los Angeles. In 2003, both musicians cut their teeth on New York’s jazz circuit, often playing duo concerts or inviting one another as guests within larger ensembles. Over the next three years, they both emerged as rising stars, with Loueke working with luminaries like Terence Blanchard and Herbie Hancock, and Parlato winning first place in the 2004 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Vocal Competition, gaining the attention and mentorship of Wayne Shorter and others. Parlato and Loueke continued to appear on each other’s respective projects, both offering a cross-genre approach to their artistry with global influences as the cornerstone of their expression.
Here’s the track listing:
I Miss You
If I Knew (feat. Burniss Travis and Mark Guiliana)
Mi Wa Sé Interlude (feat. Marley Guiliana and Burniss Travis)
Lean In (feat. Mark Guiliana)
Dou Wé Interlude (feat. Burniss Travis and Mark Guiliana)
Walking After You
Gretchen Parlato and Lionel Loueke’s Lean In is out May 19, 2023, via Edition Records.