Amos Lee has spent much of 2022 bringing the catharsis of his new album Dreamland to larger audiences than ever before: from Red Rocks and The Ryman to Good Morning America and The Late Late Show - but as this banner year comes to a close, he's shining a light on a musical inspiration that's helped him endure his own difficult times. Lee will return on November 18 with My Ideal, a full-album tribute to the much-beloved jazz vocal classic Chet Baker Sings via Dualtone Records. A daily listen for Lee as he weathered the darkest days of the pandemic - which included losing two of his closest mentors in Bill Withers and John Prine - Lee reflects that: "I was drawn to the aching and the tenderness, to the way it expressed sadness with levity, to the way it explored sorrow without becoming beleaguered by the depths of it."
Back by a trio of jazz all-stars from his hometown of Philadelphia - David Striem (piano/trumpet), Madison Rast (bass) and Anwar Marshall (drums) - Lee reminds listeners of vocals perfectly suited for the genre while harkening back to the earliest days of his career on legendary jazz label Blue Note Records. A reverential collection without attempting to duplicate Baker's 1954 epic, Lee found himself inspired anew as a musician the deeper he dove into the source material: “When you listen to Chet Baker, it sounds like he took a drag on a cigarette and the smoke just came out as a song, but it’s so much more than that. The breath work, the pitch control, the poignancy, the gaiety; the deeper I got inside the music, the more I fell in love with everything about it...it was a revelatory experience. It didn’t just change the way I thought about these songs; it changed the way I thought about myself as a singer and as a songwriter. It changed everything."
Dualtone Music Group.
My Ideal out November 18 digitally, and coming December 9 on LP and CD.