Aimee-Jo Benoit puts a personal new spin on familiar tracks from Nirvana, Feist, The Beatles, Joni Mitchell and more on her stunning album Borjoner — showcasing today on Tinnitist.
“Borjoner was born in a coffee shop,” the Calgary jazz pianist and vocalist recalls. “I was thinking about the process of growth as an artist, a person, and a mother. The idea of burgeoning soil was all I could think about as I was trying to piece together a project that had been 15 years in the making.
“As a Canadian artist with a French background, I searched for a term that represented the idea of growth and Borjoner was found,” she continues. “It’s an old French term for burgeoning, and it couldn’t be more accurate for how I really do feel. It is as though I am clawing through the soil upwards and downwards, and it’s been a symbol for the entire process of how the album came to be, the recording and subsequent re-recording of it, its release during COVID-19, and its life as its rooted its way into the music community.”
Recorded by Spencer Cheyne at OCL Studios, the album sees Benoit and Trio Velocity — Simon Fisk, Robin Tufts and Sheldon Zandboer — organically lean into songs of importance from the musical journey of the artist, holding space for them to breathe as they morph and are rearranged and reimagined through the connectedness of the quartet.
“We were brought together by the death of a close friend and colleague about four years ago,” she shares. “We held an improvisational performance at his wake, and the energy brought about by our grief exhumed a special connection. For each performance of a particular tune, including the recording, we loosely arrange the feel and structure, but listen to each other so intensely that we allow for the song to develop and grow in its own way.”
The 10-track LP includes bold reinventions of Nirvana’s All Apologies, Feist’s Lonely Lonely, The Beatles’ Norwegian Wood, Joni Mitchell’s This Flight Tonight and more. Listen to Borjoner below, watch the video for This Flight Tonight above, and keep up with Aimee-Jo Benoit via her website, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.