“Phoenix” is the highly-anticipated, expansive new album in the musical evolution of alto saxophonist and composer Lakecia Benjamin, released on January 27th, 2023 via Whirlwind Recordings. The album was produced by the multi-Grammy-award winning Terri Lyne Carrington and features a star-studded line up of specially curated guests Dianne Reeves, Georgia Anne Muldrow, Patrice Rushen, Sonia Sanchez, Angela Davis and Wayne Shorter.
“Phoenix” is a double metaphor. Lakecia Benjamin refers to the New York City she grew up in and watched slowly die during the pandemic and then come back to life. But it is also a personal reference to the death which she miraculously escapes from in the Fall of 2021 following a serious car accident. This new opus is also an opportunity to highlight her own compositions as well as the creativity, talent and commitment of the female artists she surrounds herself with. “Phoenix” marks yet another stratospheric rise for an artist who resolutely knows what she wants to say and how to say it, all the while honoring her mentors and the traditions that have come before her.
The band on the album is composed of trumpeter Josh Evans, Victor Gould on keys, Orange Rodriguez on synths, drummer Enoch (EJ) Strickland, percussionist Nêgah Santos and bassist Ivan Taylor. Trumpeter Wallace Roney Jr, Rhodes organist Anastassiya Petrova and bassist Jahmal Nichols all join for one track each.
This album follows her critically acclaimed previous record “Pursuance: The Coltranes” (Ropeadope, March 2020) a 13-track collection of tunes originally penned by two of the most influential jazz figures of the 20th and 21st century: Alice and John Coltrane.