Leslie Odom Jr. (album)

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Leslie Odom Jr.
Leslie Odom Jr. CD front cover.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedAugust 12, 2014
June 10, 2016
RecordedApril 2013-February, 2014
2016
GenreJazz
Length35:12
LabelCD Baby, S-Curve Records
Leslie Odom Jr. chronology
Leslie Odom Jr.
(2014)
Simply Christmas
(2016)

Leslie Odom Jr. is the self-titled debut jazz album by actor and singer Leslie Odom Jr. An early version of the album, recorded prior to Odom's success in the 2015 Broadway musical Hamilton, was self-released in 2014. After Odom was signed to S-Curve Records in 2016, an expanded and revised version of the album was recorded. Released by S-Curve in June 2016, the album reached No. 1 on the Billboard Jazz charts.

2014 version[edit]

Odom started a Kickstarter page for the album, raising $40,791 for the project.[1] Recording began in April 2013 and ended in February 2014.[2] The slow recording process was due to Odom's busy schedule, which included his off-Broadway show Venice, his starring role on Smash, and his recurring roles on Person of Interest and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. After multiple promotional concerts at The Public Theater, the album was released through CD Baby on August 12, 2014.[3][4]

The album received positive reviews. David Clarke of Broadway World wrote, "Fans and newcomers alike can revel in the glory of his decadently jazzy debut solo album, and after just one listen, I'm sure that you'll be hooked... There is a crisp smoothness to Leslie Odom Jr.'s voice that is entirely fascinating, and his self-titled debut album puts his instrument on full display."[5]

2016 version[edit]

Odom was signed to a four-album deal with S-Curve Records in 2016, as a result of his then-current role in the hit Broadway musical Hamilton.[6][7] He and producer Steve Greenberg narrowed down 200 potential tunes to ten tracks, and Odom recorded an updated and improved version of Leslie Odom Jr. during days off and afternoons before Broadway performances, in order to release the album before Odom left Hamilton.[8]

Six tracks were kept for the new version, and three songs – "Sarah", "Song for the Asking", and "Wild Is the Wind" – were cut. Four new songs were added, with changes to the track order. One of the newly recorded songs, "Autumn Leaves", was released as a single before the album came out.[9]

Released on June 10, 2016, the album charted at No. 1 on Billboard Jazz and No. 147 on Billboard 200.

Odom has toured to promote the album, performing concerts backed by a five-piece jazz quintet that includes a drummer, percussionist, bassist, guitarist, and a pianist who is also Odom's musical director.[10]

Track listing[edit]

2014 version[edit]

No.TitleLength
1."Look for the Silver Lining" (from the musical, Sally) 
2."Joey, Joey, Joey" (from the musical, The Most Happy Fella) 
3."Cheer Up Charlie" (from Willy Wonka) 
4."Love Look Away" (from the musical, Flower Drum Song) 
5."The Guilty Ones" (from Spring Awakening) 
6."I Know That You Know" (by Nat King Cole) 
7."Sarah" (from The Civil War) 
8."Song for the Asking" (by Simon & Garfunkel) 
9."Wild Is the Wind" (by Dimitri Tiomkin and Ned Washington) 

2016 version[edit]

No.TitleLength
1."Look for the Silver Lining" (from the musical, Sally)4:22
2."Joey, Joey, Joey from the musical, The Most Happy Fella" (from the musical, The Most Happy Fella)4:15
3."Autumn Leaves" (by Joseph Kosma, Jacques, Prévert, and Johnny Mercer)3:11
4."Brazil" (by Ary Barroso)2:44
5."Love Look Away" (from the musical, Flower Drum Song)2:59
6."Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out" (by Jimmy Cox)3:20
7."The Guilty Ones" (from the musical, Spring Awakening)2:43
8."I Know That You Know" (from the musical, "Oh, Please;" (previously recorded by Nat King Cole))4:23
9."Cheer Up Charlie" (from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory; by Leslie Bricusse/Anthony Newley)2:45
10."The Party's Over from the musical, Bells Are Ringing, by Jule Styne/Betty Comden & Adolph Green" (from the musical, Bells Are Ringing, by Jule Styne/Betty Comden & Adolph Green)3:12

Charts[edit]

Chart (2016) Peak position
US Jazz 1
US Billboard 200[11] 147

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Leslie Odom Jr. Debut Album Project". Kickstarter.
  2. ^ "Update 2: Leslie Odom Jr. Album Release Update · Leslie Odom Jr. Debut Album Project". Kickstarter.
  3. ^ "Update 1: We Did It! · Leslie Odom Jr. Debut Album Project". Kickstarter.
  4. ^ "Leslie Odom Jr". 12 August 2014 – via Amazon.
  5. ^ Clarke, David. "BWW CD Reviews: Leslie Odom Jr.'s LESLIE ODOM JR. Gives All the Heart". Broadway World.
  6. ^ "Leslie Odom Jr. to leave Hamilton in July". Associated Press. June 20, 2016. Archived from the original on August 22, 2016.
  7. ^ Slead, Evan (May 19, 2016). "Hamilton star Leslie Odom Jr. announces jazz album". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on January 19, 2017.
  8. ^ Lee, Ashley (June 30, 2016). "Hamilton's Leslie Odom Jr. Talks Jazz Album, Residency Dreams and Potentially Playing Aaron Burr Again (Q&A)". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on February 14, 2017.
  9. ^ "Watch "Autumn Leaves" Video from Leslie Odom Jr.'s Solo Album - Playbill".
  10. ^ Roa, Ray (June 20, 2017). "Interview: Song and dance man — Hamilton star Leslie Odom Jr. breaks out with an album and tour". Creative Loafing. Tampa Bay, Florida. Archived from the original on September 20, 2017.
  11. ^ "Leslie Odom Jr. - Chart history (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved June 27, 2016.