Casey Abrams proud of bringing jazz to "Idol"

Fri Apr 29, 2011 3:11pm EDT
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By Jill Serjeant

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Ousted "American Idol" contestant Casey Abrams said on Friday he was proud of bringing a fresh jazz twist to the TV show, but admitted that his signature growl might have been too much for audiences to take.

Abrams, 20, was one of the most musically-talented contestants in the 10-year history of the show, introducing audiences to the upright bass for the first time and often ignoring the advice of mentors and judges on song choice and style.

Abrams told reporters on Friday that he also plays piano, guitar, sitar, cello, clarinet, drums, melodica and accordion -- almost all of them self-taught.

"I feel that I have done something pretty cool in this competition. But so has everyone else," Abrams said, referring to the gospel sound of contestant Jacob Lusk and the folk twist of eliminated Paul McDonald.

"I think we are all doing our part to make 'American Idol' a little more different from last year and the years before, and to vary the genre," he said.

He envisioned his first album -- if he gets a recording deal -- as a mixture of rock and jazz, adding that the cover would "definitely have a beard and an upright bass."

"My goal is to bring that kind of music into popular culture. I just want to get (musicians) better known. I am just a middle man."

Abrams had been saved by the judges last month, but was voted off by the public this week after putting a quirky spin on the little-known Carole King song "Hi-De-Ho".   Continued...

<p>Casey Abrams is eliminated on 'American Idol', April 29, 2011. REUTERS/Michael Becker/Fox</p>