THE JAZZ AGE IS NOW – Aubrey Logan in London

Written by Daen Palma Huse

Photography by Ram Shergill

Aubrey Logan, originally from Seattle and now based in L.A., describes herself as funny, serious and driven all at once. And who would not agree with her after listening to her voice, watching her playing the trombone, giggling at her jokes and tapping their feat to the rhythm she creates!

Aubrey has performed for the second time at Club 606 in London this week – she says she is only just getting into it. Opening with the classic “Fascinating Rhythm” she had the audience captured immediately, only to then surprise with a couple of verses of “She Works Hard For The Money”. Who would have expected a mix of songs from the rhythm and blues standard “Route 66” to a reinterpretation of Meghan Trainors “Your Lips are Moving”?

Aubrey has won the Montreux Jazz Festival Vocal Competition, toured as a featured artist with Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox and is working tirelessly between L.A. and wherever her music takes her – she says that what she enjoys most is the universality of music, how people from all over the world can come together and create music in an instant. “I love experimenting with arrangements and I love to improvise.”

New arrangements as well as her own songs are part of the show that she has in store – her upbeat song “Crying on the Airplane” as well as some of the most beautiful new “tearjerkers of jazz” are part of a new album that Aubrey will release soon and that she shared with us.

For the evening at 606, Aubrey was also joined on stage by James Tormé for a beautiful rendition of “Falling Leaves”. She only met James a couple of days before the performance and explains about playing with other musicians or singers together “if they know how to go off the cuff that’s the most exciting!”

The way in which her creativity speaks through her music is obvious. She is one of the few artists very successfully mixing jazz with influences of many other music styles such as pop, rap, R&B – she says when she is listening to the radio, even to a Tailor Swift song, she is asking herself “how would Ella Fitzgerald have sung it?”

Asked about whether Aubrey thinks that jazz “needed” to change in order to stay contemporary she says: “I don’t think anything needs to do anything. I think it’s whatever the artist likes most. I think it’s really difficult to be anything but yourself … If you just wanted to play Dixieland, play Dixieland! If you just wanted to play funk, play funk! I personally would get bored, so it’s not what I do”.

From a very early age Aubrey was immersed into the world of music. “My parents were both music teachers and they would play music in and out of the house. I heard everything from Beethoven to Stevie Wonder on the same day, as a rule! I would copy Stevie Wonder, I’d copy Celine Dion and try and sound like them as a little kid.” She tells me that when she was six years old her mother found her in bed crying. It turned out she was tormenting herself with thoughts about how to get a bass player… a drummer? “I didn’t know how it worked. …because I was six!”. Starting with musical theatre, she began to play trombone at the age of twelve. She explains that as a result of playing jazz she started to sing jazz.

Today, Aubrey jokes about her cat that is named Frank – after Frank Sinatra, of course – before she prepares to go on stage to strike us as an extremely talented vocal artist. We are very glad she did in fact find a base player, a pianist and a drummer – as well as some wonderful backing singers, that turned the evening into a night of music from the heart, from Aubrey’s heart.

We at The Protagonist Magazine look forward to hearing - and seeing - what Aubrey has in store for her upcoming album!

For more information visit www.aubreylogan.com

Postproduction by Ingrid Reigstad