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 articles index

Jan Preston: Play It Again Jan (janpreston.com)

Jan Preston: Play It Again Jan (janpreston.com)

Greymouth-raised singer/pianist and composer Jan Preston may have been classically trained but her career in New Zealand saw her best known as a member of the innovative Red Mole Cabaret theatre... > Read more

Aronas: Culture Tunnels (Southbound)

Aronas: Culture Tunnels (Southbound)

This is an interesting one: originally released under the same title but in a different cover two years ago from the band lead by gifted young New Zealand pianist Aron Ottignon, it has now... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Billy Branch and the Sons of Blues: Roots and Branches, The Songs of Little Walter (Alligator/Southbound)

Billy Branch and the Sons of Blues: Roots and Branches, The Songs of Little Walter (Alligator/Southbound)

Harmonica player and singer Little Walter – Marion Walter Jacobs – died in 1968 just as the British blues boom was taking off although he'd achieved some career acclaim (he still wasn't... > Read more

ELSEWHERE WORLD SERVICE: A quick overview of recent world music releases

ELSEWHERE WORLD SERVICE: A quick overview of recent world music releases

Here's a frequent flyer/transit lounge/vicarious listening music column for those at home who want to get their musical passport stamped. Elsewhere has so many CDs and downloads commanding and... > Read more