New York City Jazz Vocalist Zack Foley To Release Debut Studio Album

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One of the most sublime and delightful finds on New York City's youth-infused jazz
scene is the Zack Foley Quartet. The combo, all in their 30s-vocalist Foley, Jesse
Elder on piano, Chris Tordini on bass, and Devin Gray on drums-can shift in mode or
mood with felicity, from beguilingly relaxed to heavy improv to what they call their
signature Zen-like "jazz/rock/chant."

On their debut studio recording entitled LMSW, this long-standing band fearlessly
explores their working songbook. Rollicking solos from all members abound. Renditions
of songs such as Pearl Jam's Release, Thundercat's Is It Love?, and Radiohead's
Morning Bell coax out shadings of heartbreak and loneliness, hinting at life's
impermanence. "I'm very involved in the mindfulness tradition of Zen master Thich Nhat
Hanh," Foley admits, "and I have benefitted from his encouragement to take it easy on
things that perpetuate craving and pain."

The band, nonetheless, seems to summon a melancholy undertow that inevitably evolves,
resolves, transcends. And perhaps the most melancholic-and effectively disarming-
facet of the quartet is Foley's heartfelt vocal style. He is at once vulnerable, nuanced, and
mournful. His attitude is ironic, defying romantic convention. He strips away the neat
sentiments we associate with jazz standards and exposes the bare meaning-even
artifice-at their root. The result is to reveal songs as small treasures, often tinged with
the acknowledgment and acceptance of loss, songs that sparkle amid the otherwise
cynical cacophony of the age.

There are no traditional love songs on this record. As the album title suggests, the band
chooses to explore more layered subject matter like parent-child relationships, release
from oppression, and liberating insight. On the classic ballad Old Folks, Foley bends the
lyrics towards a description of someone close to home. The original John the Captive
aspires to bring light into darkness and is a nod to Foley's day job as a social worker.
Betty Carter's 30 Years is a reflection on the ending of a marriage. Unborn and
Indestructible explores Thich Nhat Hanh's teachings on interconnection and
impermanence, while a playful rendition of These Foolish Things shimmers with the
band's dark sense of humor, paying homage to David Lynch's masterpiece "Twin
Peaks."

Vulnerable. Mournful. Zen-mindful. It is no wonder, then, that Foley, an LMSW, works
on an inpatient psychiatric unit. There is a depth of spiritual wisdom, psychic insight and struggle, and meditative practice that inform the music, throughout.

Watch the Teaser Video HERE


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