Jade Alger is a singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. His music is an eclectic and distinctive style rooted in the folk scene of the 1960s. Also influenced by classical, avant-garde, chanson, chamber folk and world music, he marries poetic wordplay with guitar and cello to create his melodic tapestries.
Beginning in the 1990s with straightforward Dylanesque folk, in recent years his sound has been more exploratory. Alger’s songs are alternately playful and plaintive, cascades of vivid images, each more striking than the next. Alger is also a painter, poet and illustrator, and his instinct for telling detail is on display in his songs as well. “Her sweaty hands touching your veins”; “comb the resin from my hair”; “the smell of leaves”; “Gold quivers, chariot winds / Guide my reins, O glade and glen.” Distance, longing, eternity itself all wrapped up in careful observation of the material world. His debut album, Unfolding the Muse (2016), explored a wide range of soundscapes while being firmly based in his signature intricate fingerstyle guitar.
His 2018 release, Kinora, expands into lusher instrumentation. The album incorporates cello into a mixture of classical guitar and folk melodies. Two of the tracks, “The Gyrfalcon” and “The Picturedrome”, shift the focal point away from lyrics, towards neo-classical composition.
Jade’s latest work, Wind Under the Door, is a five-song collection inspired by his travels in the Americas. In the title track, cello carries the rhythm as drums and classical guitar weave in and out, summoning us on an adventure. “Buffalo Harvest” takes us along the Cheyenne River of South Dakota as “She’s a Rocket” mentions Catalina Foothills, Arizona in its playful lyricism. By incorporating field recordings, drum taps on his desk, and a patchwork of melody, Jade delights us with a musical sketchbook.
“Jade is one of those rare songwriters whose music leaves you feeling as though you’ve just been reminded of the very first moment you decided to devote your life to music.” – Kramer, Noise Miami