Cecile McLorin Salvant: Dreams and Daggers (Mack Avenue/Southbound)

 |   |  1 min read

Runnin' Wild
Cecile McLorin Salvant: Dreams and Daggers (Mack Avenue/Southbound)

Although this Grammy-winning jazz singer is probably on very few people's scanner right now, no doubt that will change in the run-up to her appearances at the New Zealand Arts Festival in Wellington and the Auckland Festival next March.

With a small group – and studio strings in a few places – she here spreads her considerable vocal and lyric writing talents across two discs, and reaches from originals to Noel Coward's Mad About the Boy, Somehow I Never Could Believe (lyrics by Langston Hughes, music by Kurt Weil), Irving Berlin's The Best Thing For You and Let's Face the Music and Dance, to Rodgers and Harts' I Didn't Know What The Time Was.

With a classically flexible and warm voice which can dip smokey and low yet also works with almost coy intimacy in the many quiet songs, she is quite the talent . . . and the fact some of this was recorded live at the Village Vanguard confirms she can project this in front of an audience.

She's also amusing (her sudden and sharp attention-getting “maaaad” on Mad About the Boy) and certainly not attached to staking a claim on the future until she has explored the nuances of the past (as witnessed by the decades-wide spread of material here).

This all offers a reassurance to those who like their vocal jazz in a tradition which touches the blues (the sassy Sam Jones' Blues and You've Got to Give Me Some), the more obscure footnotes in the Great American Songbook (Frank Loesser's Never Will I Marry, Jule Styne's If a Girl Ain't Pretty) and just a smidgen of cabaret risque.

One of the most highly acclaimed of America's jazz singers, the sophisticated Cecile McLorin Salvant is a name to become acquainted with before booking your tickets for that Wellington festival.

This new double album is an impressive and expansive introduction.

Cecile McLorin Salvant and the Aaron Diehl Trio play the New Zealand Festival, Wellington Tuesday March 13 (Michael Fowler Centre, 8pm) and the Auckland Festival Thursday March 15 (Auckland Town Hall, 7pm) 

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Jazz at Elsewhere articles index

Hadouk Trio: Baldamore (Naive)

Hadouk Trio: Baldamore (Naive)

For an issue of Real Groove magazine I wrote about how boring many New Zealand jazz albums are -- they simply don't surprise and are often retreads of standards which have been done better... > Read more

NEW ZEALAND'S iiii LABEL (2007): 20/20 vision into the past

NEW ZEALAND'S iiii LABEL (2007): 20/20 vision into the past

In a remarkably short period in the mid 80s, maybe 18 months, Wellington’s Braille label released a swag of albums -- I have eight, there may have been more -- which were nominally... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

THE BARGAIN BUY: Dave Dobbyn; Original Album Classics

THE BARGAIN BUY: Dave Dobbyn; Original Album Classics

A curious thing happened recently when -- in separate incidents -- I spoke with some young people and then others my own age and the subject of Dave Dobbyn's long career came up. Both groups... > Read more

Hank Ballard: The Twist (1958)

Hank Ballard: The Twist (1958)

The Twist wasn't the first dance craze of the pop era but it was certainly the biggest -- and the last. When Chubby Checker demonstrated the dance on American television in mid 1960 --... > Read more