Glenn Close album

By Mesfin Fekadu, AP News | Glenn Close recently made music-related headlines for her playful performance of “Da Butt” at the Academy Awards, but the revered actor has some real music news: she’s releasing an album with Grammy-winning jazz saxophonist-composer Ted Nash on Friday.

“I learned about Go-go (music) and certainly about the Washington (D.C.) music scene from those years; I was able to do that little piece of ‘Da Butt’ because I had looked at Spike’s music video. Around the Oscars and afterward, I was doing this wonderful character for Gore Verbinski and his animated featured — it’s not going to come out for a couple of years — but … it was all funk (music). And now I’m back to jazz. So, yeah, mix it up! It’s really fun and interesting.”

The Emmy and Tony winner is used to her movies and TV shows premiering but having an album release is a first: “I’m very, very excited for it to be out in the world, especially now.”

Close worked with Nash on his previous albums, but the two are co-stars on “Transformation: Personal Stories of Change, Acceptance, and Evolution,” an 11-track spoken word jazz album that tackles heavy topics like race, politics, identity and more. Nash, a member of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, was tasked with composing music to match the words — both newly written lyrics along with hand-picked selections by Glenn from poets Ted Hughes and Conrad Aiken, biologist E.O. Wilson and playwright Tony Kushner.

Close, who offers her voice on three songs, called friends to help round out the album, including esteemed jazz musician and Jazz at Lincoln Center Artistic Director Wynton Marsalis, along with the epic players in the JLCO. Oscar-nominated actor Amy Irving reads “One Among Many,” written by former radical Judith Clark at the request of Close and Emmy-winning entertainer Wayne Brady guest stars on three tracks and even wrote an original called “A Piece by the Angriest Black Man in America (or, How I Learned to Forgive Myself for Being a Black Man in America).”

“I feel like every time there’s a new project, it’s an opportunity to grow as an artist and embrace new ideas. I think that’s something that as I get older, I realize is more important to me. It’s not just, ‘Oh, I want to write some hip (expletive),’” Nash said.

The musician added that his job was to help the album’s speakers deliver with authenticity and “be absolutely supportive of somebody who’s spilling their guts and support that in a way that helps it emotionally and gives them a safe space to do that.”

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