Blue Note New York
Paula Cole at Sony Hall

    Blue Note Jazz Festival

    • Paula Cole

      Paula Cole’s eleventh studio album, “Lo” is devastatingly personal and utterly gorgeous. Her first album of original compositions in five years, “Lo”’s eleven songs, written entirely by Cole, navigate her opening to trust again after indelible blows of life. As the first woman to ever be nominated for the Best Producer Grammy in her own right, Paula Cole returns to the helm of recording as sole producer. On “Lo”, her loyal bandmates of many years (musicians that are stars unto themselves) join Cole in the studio. “Lo” was recorded entirely live, featuring full band performances from Jay Bellerose (drums), Chris Bruce (guitars), Ross Gallagher (upright and electric bass, backing vocals) and Rich Hinman (pedal steel, guitars). It was recorded and mixed by nine-time Grammy-award-winning-engineer, Mike Piersante, whose unique sound is the canvas for “Lo.” The autobiographies that are the songs of “Lo”, are the newest Polaroid snapshots of Cole’s life. The focus is her most recent period of years, saying goodbye to her friend and early collaborator, Mark Hutchins, on “The Replacements & Dinosaur Jr.”, reflecting on her childhood’s psychological influence in “Follow The Moon”, her primary relationship, in which she wrestles inner demons in “Green Eyes Crying”, lays down her “Invisible Armor” to find hope, rebirth, acceptance in “Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday,” and physical intimacy in “take it take it take it”. Cole faces her identity in the spine-chilling, redemptive “Wildflower”. “Lo” is a window to Paula Cole’s psyche. Continuing her social-justice writing through music, Cole’s “Lo” reveals songs “Calling All Saviors” (a catchy pop gem), and “Letter From A Quarry Miner” (written from a North American quarryman, to his European family during The Great Depression in 1932.) Cole weaves in the words of W. B. Yeats in “Golden Apples of the Sun '' while honoring Ray Bradbury in “Fahrenheit 451”. The song is a poem, touching on the concept of the anthropocene and the frightening prospect of erasing history. With her eleventh studio album, “Lo”, Cole eloquently weaves the personal with the universal, the shy with the provocative. She concludes with the uplifting “Flying Home”, an homage to Max Erhmann’s “Desiderata”. From whispering poetry in a low alto range, to opening her throat in primal scream, Paula Cole’s voice is more commanding than ever, revealing battle scars, deep wisdom, the soulfulness of gospel, the urgency of rock, and the sensitivity of folk. Cole plays piano, Rhodes, acoustic guitar, clarinet and sings her artfully arranged background-vocals. She is a poet with a funky groove. Cole has been a truth-teller, a provocateur, a feminist, a rebel, and a brilliant autobiographical writer who has pushed for personal honesty and social change. An artful weaver of genre, she is difficult to categorize - she is simply Paula Cole. From her debut “Harbinger”, in her androgynous combat boots and sensitive songs, to the everlasting hits of “This Fire”, to her genre-busting “Amen” (a neo-soul-touched tour de force) to a vibrant line of independent recordings on her own 675 Records label, she has released music for over three decades, recorded and performed with greats such as Peter Gabriel, Dolly Parton, Missy Elliot, Meshell N’Degeocello, Melissa Etheridge, Herbie Hancock, Sarah McLachlan, Terri Lyne Carrington, Emmylou Harris, Nona Hendrix, Paul Buchanan of The Blue Nile, to John Paul White and Jason Isbell. She was an instrumental force behind the historic Lilith Fair. Her songs have been covered by artists from Herbie Hancock and Annie Lennox, to Lissie, to HAIM, sampled by hip hop artists, and performed by choirs. Paula Cole has pushed buttons and boundaries, declared truths and followed her own path of iconic vision. Cole will be on tour in 2024 with concerts surrounding the release of “Lo”. Look for upcoming tour dates and announcements across Cole’s social media platforms.

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