Sunday, April 7, 2013

Cecile McLorin Salvant Woman Child Mack Ave. 2013

 Time can be the greatest friend or worst enemy of virtually any musician. Cecile McLorin Salvant has made time her ally since she walked away as the youngest finalist of the 2010 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition. Ever hear a preview track or see a movie trailer only to be sadly disappointed by the buzz.

Heed the buzz!

 The aptly title WomanChild is one of the finest vocalists to grace a stage coming full circle to an artists of emotional depth and maturity. Salvant does not grace a stage, she commands it and with all the grace, authority, and intelligence as those whose names we still consider the holy trinity of female jazz vocals which would be Holiday, Vaughn and Ella. Salvant began her studies with classical training long before turning to jazz and setting a genre on fire. Given her unique circumstances of a French mother and Haitian father and her long time friendship with reed specialist Jean-Francois Bonnel there seemed to be an organic growth as an artist that her contemporaries can work a career for and still never achieve.

The new release features music from three centuries of American music. The slightly eclectic but wonderfully molded tunes include "Jitterbug Waltz" along with "What A Little Moonlight Can Do" and "Deep Dark Blue." Currently working on studies involving the classical and baroque traditions to further her amazing talent.

Salvant's pitch is on point, a whimsy that is child like not childish is used to sometimes "sell" a particular tune. Great phrasing and the interpretative ability to grow a connection between the lyrics and the audience transform Salvant from singer to vocal artist while still remaining somewhat of an enigma. I am not a betting man but it is painfully obvious Mack Avenue went all in on an artist whose musical stock is an arrow pointing straight up.

Words like stellar, stunning and scintillating are simply not enough. Perhaps this is:

Personnel: Cecile McLorin Savant: vocals; Aaron Diehl: piano; Rodney Whitaker: double bass; James Chirillp: guitar, banjo; Herlin Riley: drums.

Tracks: St. Louis Gal, I Didn't Know What Time It Was, Nobody,Womanchild, Le Front Cache Su Tes Genoux, Prelude/There's A Lull In My Life, Baby Have Pity On Me, John Henry, Jitterbug Waltz, What A Little Moonlight Can Do, Deep Dark Blue

International Release April 29, 2013
Domestic Release May 28 2013