13 Songs, 42 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Jazz has its fair share of child prodigies. Yet few are taken under the wing of a master producer like Quincy Jones, who oversaw this album. Age 11 at the time of this release, pianist Emily Bear had already recorded a handful of albums before making her Concord debut. This set offers 13 varied originals written over the last seven (!) years—she’s already won awards for her compositions and written orchestral arrangements. Diversity finds her backed by bassist Carlitos Del Puerto and drummer Francisco Mela, as well as guest cellist Zuill Bailey. The relatively short songs all sit firmly in the vein of straight-ahead jazz, with flourishes of classical (“Northern Lights,” “Paralada”), Latin jazz (“Hot Peppers,” “Salsa Americana”), and blues (“Blue Note”) helping the album live up to its title. Bear’s keyboard chops aren’t as flashy as some prodigies, and the album’s overall tempo is slow to middling. But that just lets listeners soak up the compositions themselves without opaque window dressing. Without a doubt, this marks an early bright spot in the crop of millennials coming into jazz.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Jazz has its fair share of child prodigies. Yet few are taken under the wing of a master producer like Quincy Jones, who oversaw this album. Age 11 at the time of this release, pianist Emily Bear had already recorded a handful of albums before making her Concord debut. This set offers 13 varied originals written over the last seven (!) years—she’s already won awards for her compositions and written orchestral arrangements. Diversity finds her backed by bassist Carlitos Del Puerto and drummer Francisco Mela, as well as guest cellist Zuill Bailey. The relatively short songs all sit firmly in the vein of straight-ahead jazz, with flourishes of classical (“Northern Lights,” “Paralada”), Latin jazz (“Hot Peppers,” “Salsa Americana”), and blues (“Blue Note”) helping the album live up to its title. Bear’s keyboard chops aren’t as flashy as some prodigies, and the album’s overall tempo is slow to middling. But that just lets listeners soak up the compositions themselves without opaque window dressing. Without a doubt, this marks an early bright spot in the crop of millennials coming into jazz.

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About Emily Bear

A musical prodigy, Emily Bear is a pianist and composer who plays classical, jazz, and new age music. Born in Rockford, Illinois in 2001, Bear showed an aptitude for music at a young age, and by the time she was four years old she was already studying piano at the Music Institute of Chicago. Bear has won several awards for her piano playing, including the ASCAP Foundation Morton Gould Young Composer Award and the Rockford Area Music Industry Award. She has also appeared several times on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. In 2011 she appeared live at the Hollywood Bowl, as well as the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland and the Festival Castell in Peralada, Spain, where she performed with bassist Esperanza Spalding. In 2013 Bear released her sixth album, the Quincy Jones-produced Diversity, on Concord Records. The jazz trio EP Into the Blue appeared in 2017. ~ Matt Collar

HOMETOWN
Rockford, IL
GENRE
Jazz
BORN
2001

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