Alex Clements paints in watercolor tones on Emily's Song, a heartfelt solo piano disc that puts the Alberta based composer's graceful melodicsm front and center. The title track and "A Song for Ethan," dedicated to Clements' children, have a sunny, lilting manner that juxtaposes innocence with inner strength, love of today with hope for the future. The other tracks may have stormier undercurrents or somber overtones, but Clements never abandons that core optimism, and his aching rendition of "I love you, Porgy" seems bathed in soft light.”

— Jazz Times

Hailing from different backgrounds and cultures—all on separate musical journeys that have brought them together for a distinct purpose—begs the question: what do American drummer John Abraham, Canadian pianist Alex Clements and Swedish singer Zara Tellander have in common? The answer: a musical train ride that brings them together on Between Stops, offering a blend of light contemporary jazz and Brazilian flavored rhythms bursting with energy. This is not a traditional trio recording; the three musicians, essentially co- leaders, are joined by bassist Derek Jones, percussionist Kurt Rasmussen and reedist David Stambaugh, comprising the meat of the group. There are no traditional standards found on this recording, with each artist contributing four vibrant originals that showcase their talents, both as composers and musicians. The music is evenly divided between contemporary jazz vocals and spicy Brazilian- tinged charts that provide a spark for the swing in the music. With no instrumentals at all, singer Tellander plays a pronounced role, her contralto voice delivering lyrics with a nice measure of grace and style. Abraham is a versatile drummer who plays vibes on two of his own compositions, "Falling" and "Brazilian Lover," with Kurt Rasmussen subbing on percussion. Clements, who is outstanding throughout the disc, plays accordion on Abraham's sensuous "Falling," and delivers a very strong introduction on the modern jazz of Tellander's "Empty. The driving force behind this album has to be the steamy Brazilian flavored songs that move the music in a swinging direction, beginning with Clements' opening "We Are One Through The Music" and continuing on with the gyrating "Never Crossed My Mind." More such rhythms are found on "Bittersweet," "Falling," the samba beat pulse of "Into The Sky" and the sultry finale, "Brazilian Lover. Assembling a fine cast of musicians and providing creative moving charts, Abraham, Clements and Tellander deliver a smooth and swinging musical train ride in Between Stops to their final jazzy destination, though a few more stops like this may be eagerly welcomed by jazz audiences who sample this disc.” - Edward Blanco

— Allaboutjazz.com

Solo piano may be the ultimate form of musical expression on the instrument. But a good percentage of the albums in that category seem to beg for a bass and drums, a boost of the rhythmic undercurrent to flesh out the keyboardist's ideas. Going solo, it's melody, rhythm and harmony in two hands, no safety net. The plus side of the solo approach is the freedom it allows the musician to follow his muse and expore his artistry outside the constraints of the ensemble. The question for the player is this: can you handle the freedom? Pianist/composer Alex Clements handles the freedom admirably on Emily's Song, a set of eight original tunes that were inspired by people (a son, a daughter) and events in his life, plus three well-chosen covers. Clements' influences seem to come from the gentler, more introspective group of pianists, those with a light touch and a taste for nuance and pretty melodies: Bill Evans, Jan Garbarek, Keith Jarrett. His playing reveals a tenderness, a romantic and introspective world view—the type of sound an inattentive listener can take for lightweight stuff. But Emily's Song can't be dismissed in that fashion; there's too much depth and beauty and on-the-sleeve emotion here. These are sounds that are, start to finish, captivating, and the pianist seems particulary inspired on Gershwin's “I Loves You Porgy,” a flexible but loving exploration of the classic; while his original “Dinner for Two” has a prickly tone and gathering tension; and he plays Michel Legrand's “You Must Believe in Spring” with a lush, lilting gorgeousness on this top-notch solo piano outing.” - Dan McClenaghan

All About Jazz

What a wonderful experience to just 'sit' & imbibe & listen to such 'raw' piano talent as put forth through the hands of one Alex Clements. This is a jazz pianist with an enormous heart & soul for his chosen craft.. Jazz & The American Songbook!! His choice of Michel Le Grand's music to add to his already beautified project just shows more the fact that he's an inveterate romantic. He'll break your heart...He broke mine! Hearing Alex, one definitely 'feels' the music. Next time your laying In bed with your lover, wife, girl...Whatever...Give he/she a nice warm hug and lose yourself in this guy's art. It's very easy to do. I'm in love again!!” - George W. Carroll/The Musicians' Ombudsman

ejazznews.com

It is always fortuitous to have such a multi-gifted artist take a step back and create music that conveys the emotional core of their compositions in a recorded format. To create a sound that is pure feel with no dictates or structures. A composer needs to get lost into their mind from time to time. This is what seems to occur with the latest release of pianist and composer Alex Clements new project “Waiting for you...” From the initial stroke of the first key, the music delves deep within the talents of this creative soul. Waiting for You" is a collection of his feelings set to his talents with a cast of very gifted sounds. Drummer Danny Gottlieb has sat with some of the genre’s greats such as Getz and Corea. His style balances the project nicely positioning a strong foundation for success. The sax, by Alain Bradette, brings to life “Time to Heal” with a soulful cry. Mr. Clements artistry is very well epitomized within the cut “New Horizons,” in fact all the sounds seem to embrace the atmosphere on this spin. However, it is Clements piano strokes that grab your undivided attention with several tempo changes, the interplay between Bradette and Clements create a very satisfying push-n-play! One only needs to sit back and close ones eyes to experience the angelic approach of Clements “All I Can Give,” a cut which soothes the most difficult of times. Again, the exchange between sax and piano examines and executes the expertise his compositions offer the genre. After numerous spins Clements has much to be content of for the project showcases the genuine heart and feel of fine artistry, from composition to arrangement, this project by Clements is nothing short of exquisite! Clements latest offering in 2007 is “Waiting for you…” A worthy performance for all to embrace!” - Karl Stober

jazzreview.com

Canadian jazz pianist and composer Alex Clements provides us with his latest gem of an album with “Waiting for You” that in some ways eclipses his previous recording (Emily’s Song). Clements leads a quartet that features renowned drummer Danny Gottlieb, Canadian saxophonist Alain Bradette and bassist Chris Queenen from Orlando. Except for Alain Bradette’s “Mist On The Water,” and Greg Bush’s chart, the album presents original compositions including “Emily’s Song” the title piece from Clements previous recording which was written for his daughter. The opening track, “Blues for GB,” was dedicated to his jazz teacher, Greg Bush who introduced the pianist to jazz at the tender age of thirteen. He also includes the bossa nova tinged “Nuits de Paris,” written by Bush, is one of the most beautiful tunes on the album. On the title track, “Waiting for You,” saxophonist Bradette takes the lead on an extended solo performance while the leader plays a bit of backup until his turn for a solo. Both Bradette, who plays the soprano here, and Clements, play formidable parts on the twelve-minute “Old Balsam” but in the end it is Clements who shines on the keys. The tune “Time to Heal” is played slow and very mellow like a simmering ballad, while “New Horizons” picks up the beat in a livelier melody. Other notable scores include “The New Tune,” and “All I Can Give.” Alex Clements borrows from the best of classical and contemporary jazz delivering an inspirational performance on “Waiting for You.” An exceptional pianist, his innovative charts provides a soft and warm setting to music that’s full of strong vibrant rhythms played with a touch of class.” - Edward Blanco

ejazznews.com

Well-educated Canadian pianist/composer Alex Clements gets around. He composes for his alma mater, the McGill University’s Jazz Orchestra, and was a member of the peer assessment committee for grant endowments with the Canada Council of the Arts. His performance career has taken him into North American jazz circles, highlighting his participation with numerous artists. And as a pianist, he’s firmly entrenched within the Bill Evans school, which is a facet that transpires during this delightful engagement, featuring renowned drummer Danny Gottlieb. Clements kicks matters into high gear on the opener, “Blues for GB,” yet the preponderance of this studio set projects his light touch and softly executed voicings. He’s a melody-maker, as evidenced on the lullaby-type “Nuits de Paris,” where tenor saxophonist Alain Bradette’s yearning lines hone down an after-hours vibe. Much of this album is engineered upon stately themes and gently integrated mosaics of sound, but the quartet generates some heat via a gospel groove, spiced with funk, on “New Horizons.” Clements bounces and darts across the keys on the peppy, swing vamp “Emily’s Song,” then steers the anthem-like ballad “All I Can Give” with somber and lyrically resplendent phrasings. Clements shines as a strong composer, but doesn’t break any new ground here. But that’s okay, since he is able to sustain a great deal of interest throughout. It’s a quality effort that commands repeated listens.” - Glenn Astarita

allaboutjazz.com

Alex Clements - Waiting for You - “Waiting for You,” from Alex Clements, is an album from an eminent Canadian jazz pianist that has been graced with a heap of accolades. This artist and composer’s highest award was being honored with an Alberta Achievement Award, which was presented to him by the government of Alberta. “Blues for GB” has an earthy blues touch to it, as Clements swiftly taps away at the piano along with saxophone work and light drum play. The rhythm of the track is incredibly catchy, and its pace picks up as the song progresses. On “Nuits de Paris” the tempo of Clements’s piano playing noticeably slows and gets very sultry. Listeners can envision hearing this song as they amble along the Seine River in France with the one they adore. With the title track, the love theme continues. Ravishing saxophone work accompanies Clements’ prowess on the piano. This is a song that could be heard in a motion picture detailing the romance between two characters and how one has ached for the other for a prolonged period of time. The sad strains of the piano and sax combined accentuate this notion for listeners. On “Old Balsam” the blues, with a jazz twist, looms along with soft percussion work in the background. As the song progresses, the saxophone work hits some very high notes, which draws attention. Alex Clements’s “Waiting for You” is a jazz record that is perfectly fit for enthusiasts of the genre. Clements has toured in the United States, Europe and even Southeast Asia bringing his brand of musical dissertation to the masses. They have responded with pure delight.” - Sari N. Kent

the celebrity cafe

Alex Clements’ new CD entitled, Emily’s Song, is an intimate solo piano performance that indubitably sets this talented Pianist/Composer as one to watch for great things. The success of Keith Jarrett’s solo improvisation master piece, The Koln Concert has opened a whole new era for solo piano explorations. However, very few can really pull off a solo performance that is flowing and musical live, much less on CD. Alex Clements’ CD, Emily’s Song rises to the occasion with a strong flowing musical journey that will entertain and leave you wondering if possibly some pianist are evolving a third appendage with five more fingers! Clements’ lets the listener know from the first note where the pulse of the music is and then builds the musical story line upon its solid foundation throughout the eight solo piano selections. A gentle waltz entitled, “A Song for Ethan,” opens the CD; the melody is developed through multiple key centers, giving the song harmonic interest as well as a deep reservoir for drawing creative ideas for improvisation. “Inspired By…” is definitely a nod in the Jarrett direction with a driving pulse that showcases Clements’ mastery of contrapuntal lines and developing musical layers. Two Michael Legrand compositions are presented on Emily’s Song, “Pieces of Dreams” and “You Must Believe in Spring.” Clements also pays tribute to the great Bill Evans with the well known Gershwin classic “I Loves You Porgy.” Clements’ innovative approach to rich voicings and a daring harmonic treatment of the tune keeps the song fresh, while still staying true to the Evans style. A solo performance CD is perhaps the greatest challenge of all, exposing every weakness in a player’s communicative skill, which usually results in a non-musical experience for the listener. Clements truly has met this challenge on Emily’s Song. Clements has the ability to create and sustain a musically flowing statement that will keep the listener’s interest. Highly recommended!” - Carmel DeSoto

jazz police

A solo piano album can be dreamy, inspiring, eye-opening or mellow and laid back. Alex Clements’ latest album is all that and more. Based in Montreal, Clements has a love for expressive ballads that tell the story of what’s on his mind and in his heart. His session simmers gently with a lovely lyrical glow that never fades. Included in his program of originals are two familiar pieces by Michel Legrand and one by Gershwin. Throughout the session Clements sparkles with a crisp and clean approach to the keyboard that enunciates each melody clearly with a well-defined drift. He’s dreamy with his slower pieces and driven on his livelier ones. “Dinner for Two,” an original, drifts slowly with the kind of momentum that carries conversations at length. Unlike some relaxed affairs, this one probes with the motion of a fluid waterfall, as would a dinner conversation if the topics were new and fresh. Here, Clements imaginary dinner partners are excited to see each other and have much to share. The pianist’s interpretation of “I Loves You Porgy” captures a heartfelt mood that we recall from Gershwin’s folk opera. He feels the meaning and translates through his hands. “You Must Believe In Spring” flows sweetly with a gradual building of emotion while most of the album remains cool, gentle, and connected. Clements is an effective communicator who puts his feelings into music naturally.” - Jim Santella

— LA Jazz Scene

Like chamber music in the world of Classical music, solo piano in the world of Jazz can be a demanding art, both in the playing and the listening The player is totally exposed; the listener has sometimes less in the way of rhythm to fall back upon. After Keith Jarrett’s landmark disks, along with some others, the medium has remained a proving ground for the aspiring musician… Alex Clements’ solo effort has less flash but more intimacy. He writes in a lyrical vein. “Song for Ethan” has a late Evan’s feel. It is a waltz with a sophisticated harmonic sequence and a contemplative melody. The improve that follows has a soaring expansive quality—and makes you want to hear him with a trio, since it swings increasingly. “Inspired By” features an almost Rachmaninovian rolling left hand accompaniment to an increasingly rhythmic overall feel and a restless melody. There is certainly a Romantic Era feel to some of these. The title track “Emily’s Song” has a Jazz waltz feel with a pendulum chord structure and lyrical line. The improve section shows flow and builds dramatically in a way again where a rhythm section would have enhanced it all. A sensitive performance of a Legrand ballad “Pieces of Dreams” follows. This guy doesn’t try to wow you with his technique; sheer musicality and taste predominate. His playing breathes with life. “Dinner for Two” is a good vehicle to anchor his vividly imaginative inventions. With a rhythmic drive and an interesting synthesis of Corea, Jarrett, and Evans influences, Clements stands out from the pack. Emily’s Song is a joyous listen.” - Grego Applegate Edwards

— Cadence Magazine December 2006