At 25, Ariel Pocock has received international acclaim as an equally captivating jazz pianist, vocalist, and composer. Recognized by notable institutions such as Downbeat Magazine, Essentially Ellington at Lincoln Center, and the Kobe-Seattle International Jazz Vocal Competition, Ariel is steadily gaining momentum as a uniquely gifted and versatile musician with both her “true facility for…sinewy jazz piano [and] breezy, achingly plain¬spoken vocal chops…” (Seattle Times). Pocock’s original compositions and songs draw inspiration from a wide array of sources: Cuban and Brazilian folk music, the Great American Songbook, modern jazz composers such as Chick Corea and Brad Mehldau, and songwriters like Joni Mitchell, Randy Newman, and Paul Simon.
Touchstone, Pocock’s debut album was released to critical acclaim in 2015. It features fresh takes on classic jazz standards, original compositions, as well as Ariel’s own arrangements of singer-songwriter material. Produced by Matt Pierson, the album features an all-star band of Julian Lage (guitar), Eric Harland (drums), Larry Grenadier (bass), and Seamus Blake (saxophone). Jazz critic Paul DeBarros described the album as containing “the mysterious mixology of Thelonious Monk, the clear springs of Keith Jarrett, and Bill Evan’s oceanic yearning”, and from The Ottawa Citizen’s Peter Hum “In all, Touchstone is an auspicious debut for a notable and distinctive young talent, and a release that sets the bar high for its follow-up.”
Which brings us to Living in Twilight Ariel’s sophomore recording on the Justin Time label is slated for worldwide release June 9th, 2017. The bar was set high and Pocock does not disappoint. Recorded in Montréal in December 2016 and once more with Matt Pierson at the helm –Ariel teams up with in demand Montréal musicians Jim Doxas (drums), Adrian Vedady (bass) and special guest, New York based guitarist, Chico Pinheiro one of the leading figures in the modern Brazilian Jazz scene. The song selection is original, thoughtful and surprising. Ranging from classic American Songbook fare - Ray Noble’s The Very Thought Of You and Cole Porter’s So In Love to Chick Corea’s 500 Miles and breathtaking interpretations of Adele’s Someone Like You and Sufjan Stevens To Be Alone With You presented here as an instrumental. Other stand outs include the title track by The Weepies, Living in Twilight and the heartbreaking Kate McGarrigale penned Go Leave. Ariel’s chops as a composer/songwriter are on display with original’s Gonzalo’s Melody – and the reflective So Long. The Ariel Pocock trio will be touring to promote Living in Twilight.