The GRAMMY-nominated Joey Alexander released his rendition of Bonnie Raitt’s “I Can’t Make You Love Me,” the second single from Alexander’s upcoming album Continuance (out November 3rd via Mack Avenue Records). The Bali, Indonesia-born pianist, composer and bandleader has been widely regarded as one of the most highly skilled instrumentalists and thoughtful improvisers. Continuance, however, presents him primarily as a composer of haunting chamber jazz who leads an ensemble with its own point of view. In addition to Bonnie Raitt, Joey cites new inspirations from outside the jazz world, including Ennio Morricone, John Mayer, and Burt Bacharach.
Joey explains how “I Can’t Make You Love Me” came to his attention: “I didn’t know about Bonnie Raitt before, but when I first heard the song, I felt moved and thought I should try a jazz version, with my own twists and personality. It’s such a beautiful tune. I always look for songs that are a good match for my sound and our group sound, and this works so well with a trio. It’s a great piano song; the original recording is centered around the piano playing first. I always get a great response when I play it. It has become one of my favorite songs to perform.”
Continuance is the first album Alexander has recorded with his regular touring trio of Kris Funn on upright bass and John Davis on drums, a group with whom he has played hundreds of gigs over the past four years. They are augmented on four tracks by GRAMMY-nominated trumpet player Theo Croker, including the album’s first single “Blue.”
Joey Alexander has been performing professionally since 2013 when Wynton Marsalis invited him to perform at the Jazz at Lincoln Center Gala. Alexander subsequently moved to New York City and released his debut album, My Favorite Things, in 2015 on Motéma Music, followed by three more on the label, a fifth on Verve, as well as his Mack Avenue debut album, Origin, in 2022. Alexander’s albums have netted three GRAMMY® Award nominations: one for Best Jazz Instrumental Album (My Favorite Things) and two for Best Improvised Jazz Solo (“Giant Steps,” from My Favorite Things, and “Countdown” from the album of the same name), with My Favorite Things and Countdown securing the No. 1 spot on the Billboard jazz charts and Eclipse coming at No. 3.
Over the course of his astonishing career, Alexander has performed with Wayne Shorter and Esperanza Spalding at the Obama White House, for President Bill Clinton at the Arthur Ashe Learning Center Gala, at the Grand Ole Opry, the Apollo Theater, Carnegie Hall, and at major jazz festivals and nightclubs around the world with top-shelf collaborators like Larry Grenadier, Kendrick Scott, Chris Potter and many others. He has also been the subject of profiles on 60 Minutes and The New York Times.
- Why Don’t We
- Hear Me Now
- I Can’t Make You Love Me
- Great Is Thy Faithfulness
October 13: Jimmy’s Jazz & Blues Club | Portsmouth, NH
October 14 – 15: Yoshi’s Oakland | Oakland, CA
October 22: Clearwater Jazz Holiday | Clearwater, FL
November 3: Door Community Auditorium | Fish Creek, WI
November 10 – 11: Jazz Forum | Tarrytown, NY
November 17 – 18: Blues Alley | Washington, DC
November 24 – 26: The Side Door Jazz Club | Old Lyme, CT
December 5 – 9: Birdland Jazz Club | New York, NY
January 18, 2024: Kuumbwa Jazz Center | Santa Cruz, CA
January 19, 2024: Bing Concert Hall | Stanford, CA