Alan Chang serves up a platter of sweet jazz-pop treats on his new album Check Please — showcasing today on Tinnitist.
Pioneering a captivating blend of groovy melodies, skillful instrumentals, and evocative vocals, the jazz pianist and singer-songwriter shares a story of finding for himself on his debut solo LP. With 10 exquisitely crafted tracks, this album weaves a tapestry of endearing sounds that traverse themes of love and life, while conjuring a sense of nostalgia and tranquility. Chang’s artistry comes alive in a remarkable showcase of talent and emotion, marking a significant milestone in his musical journey.
“It took me a long time to find a sound that speaks to as many of my influences and strengths,” says Chang. “I finally started writing for my voice while blending my years of foundation in jazz piano and my love for songs.”
Check Please conveys intriguing and real-life messages through immense storytelling, and was complete with the help of an all star lineup. There are notable collaborations from artists like bassist Pino Palladino (The Who, John Mayer), David Koz and Inara George, as well as Russell Elevado (D’Angelo, Common, The Roots) who mixed half the album. The first half of the album was also produced by Ryan Lerman (Lizzy McAlpine), while the second half was produced by Chang and Adam Greenholtz. Besides the lyrical inspiration, Check Please is reminiscent of 2000s pop music and has a calming jazz feel. The lighthearted piano motifs, the walking pace of the drums, and the layered vocals in choruses all contribute to making this album a personal listening experience, transporting listeners into Chang’s mind.
Lead single Love As A Weapon delves into the complexities of partnerships and friendships, inspired by Chang’s personal journey of transitioning from a 19-year collaboration with Michael Bublé. The track’s poignant lyrics are complemented by a distinctly jazzy and pop-infused composition, evoking a sense of reflection and vibrancy. Elsewhere, Aperitif is a beautiful and short groove to continue this dynamic record. This instrumental is a breath of fresh air as it showcases mesmerizing piano melodies and simple drums to make the listener feel at home. Let’s Not Come Down encapsulates the multi-faceted talent that shapes the LP. The vocal collaboration with Inara George and blissful production create a song of anticipation, inspiring a heartwarming atmosphere that com a hug. The jazzy piano and vocal harmonies help convey a message of enlightenment and peacefulness. Strong lyrics help tell a story of not wanting to come down from a sentimental feeling.
Chang’s musical odyssey traces back to his early years. He began playing piano at the age of six, later evolving into a jazz aficionado. Influenced by luminaries such as jazz pianist Erroll Garner, rock trio Ben Folds Five and indie songwriter Elliott Smith, Chang’s journey led him to delve into jazz studies. His artistic evolution culminated in a remarkable tenure as the musical director and pianist for Bublé, during which he co-wrote hits like Home and Haven’t Met You Yet. With a reputation for crafting meaningful narratives through his music, Check Please is a testament to his prowess as a storyteller, enveloping listeners in a world of enthralling melodies and relatable tales.