Lovably shaggy jazzbo Casey Abrams was a fan favorite--and one of my favorites--on "American Idol" last season. And even though he only made it to sixth place (after being saved in 11th place by the judges, on "Idol's" most shocking results show ever), he made a major impact on the series. He introduced millions of viewers to jazz (I'm fairly certain he's the only contestant in "Idol" history to cite Oscar Peterson as his dream duet partner); he was practically a one-man-band (I'm also pretty sure no other "AI" contestant ever played the melodica or stand-up bass before); and he even gave "Idol" its first Nirvana cover. Season 10 of "Idol" sure would have been a lot less interesting if Casey had actually gone home in 11th place.
Casey was not a typical Idol, obviously, but after the show, he eventually found the perfect record label: Concord Music, home to such crossover jazz and folk acts as Mindi Abair (the sleek blonde sax player who played with him last year) and James Taylor & Carole King, not to mention catalog releases by Paul McCartney, John Coltrane, Ray Charles, Miles Davis, and many other legends. Not too shabby, eh?
Casey's self-titled debut album, out on Concord June 26, has a pleasingly laid-back, Paul Simon-esque vibe to it, along with a plucky and self-deprecating sense of humor that is 100 percent Casey. And his impeccable musicianship (remember, Randy Jackson once declared Casey the most talented musician "Idol" has ever seen) is also front-and-center, showcased in ways that weren't really possible on "Idol." And the album even features a duet with his old Season 10 pal, Miss Haley Reinhart!
So Casey and his array of exotic instruments recently stopped by Yahoo! Music to play four tunes from Casey Abrams, then we engaged in one of our typically amusing chats. (An interview with Casey Abrams is always a good time.) Check out all the videos here!
- Casey shaves beard for charity
- Casey talks "Idol" Season 11
- Casey makes cameo in Stefano's video
- More on "American Idol"