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Music writers often find themselves stumped as to quantify an artist’s work, seemingly defaulting to the “eclectic trump card” way too often. As to the works of jazz pianist, singer and songwriter, Rachel Eckroth – eclectic is most apropos, however, Rachel’s music is obvious - from its’ roots and influence, to its’ gracefully bold uniqueness.
Born and raised in the greater Phoenix (AZ) area, Rachel was rooted in a musical family - both of her parents are musicians as is her brother, Michael (pianist with John Scofield). By the time Rachel was in highschool, she was a fixture in the Phoenix jazz scene under the watchful eye of former Basie Band vocalist, Dennis Rowland.
Rachel attended the University of Las Vegas, Nevada and upon graduating, remained in Las Vegas backing numerous regional and national acts. Rachel headed east and obtained an MFA in jazz performance from Rutgers University in 2005, her subsequent resumé included national and international touring experience along with a return home to Arizona for a steady gig with an international recording artist based in the Phoenix.
Concurrently, Rachel released her first solo album, “Mind”, a jazz trio record met with critical acclaim nationally.
"...A composer/performer obviously influenced and firmly rooted in the tradition, yet makes her own statement in a uniquely elegant manner ." --Thomas Erdmann, Jazzreview.com
For Rachel, “Mind” was a fine accomplishment and a great source of pride, however, there were boundless musical ideas that continued to loom large and that needed to be fulfilled. Rachel immersed herself in the studio, cutting new tracks, honing original lyrics, and fine-tuning her ideas with great musicians and producers.
In 2011, after a personal epiphany that inspired a move back to the east coast, Rachel settled in Brooklyn in what she describes as an “inspired, productive and cathartic year in New York City” - a year that yielded her second solo album, “Let Go”. “Let Go” features Rachel singing on 10 new tracks in what she describes as, “a singer-songwriter outing fused with jazz, pop and R&B sensibilities.”
Never has a project been so uniquely connected to an artist and in a day and age when critics often find the need to compare newer artists to the established, Rachel Eckroth's "Let Go" can only be described as possessing great lyrical, harmonic and melodic depth with visceral grooves and feel-good quirks.
"I worked do diligently on this project; I just can't wait to put it out into the world and see what happens," states Rachel.
In the spring of 2013, “Gold,” a single from the new project, was released into the world.
"Gold" contains what I like to call real audio drama. The song opens up with an atmosphere that truly sounds like the beginning as in the melodic and harmonic devices utilized give off an almost ancient vibe. As the song moves along it literally and figuratively picks up steam until the last third of the song unfolds the high speed chase that has been hinted at as the climax. This is music for introspective listening." -- Grown Folks Music
"Rachel's "Gold" (is) well produced. Moody. Atmospheric. Takes you on a journey."
--Nick Francis (KPLU 88.5 - Seattle)