Jazz

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Music Reviews - John McBeath

For One to Love Ce­cile McLorin Sal­vant Mack Av­enue/Planet

US vo­cal­ist Ce­cile McLorin Sal­vant burst on to the jazz scene af­ter win­ning the 2010 Th­elo­nius Monk Com­pe­ti­tion. Born and reared in Mi­ami, Florida, of a French mother and Haitian fa­ther, she moved to France in 2007 to study law as well as clas­si­cal and baroque voice. This is her third al­bum and as in Woman Child in 2013 — a Grammy nom­i­nee for best jazz vo­cal — back­ing is led by bril­liant pi­anist Aaron Diehl. She has ap­peared at many fes­ti­vals and per­formed with many top jazz names; all this at 25. McLorin Sal­vant spe­cialises in in­ter­pre­ta­tions of lesser­known jazz and blues com­po­si­tions, plus orig­i­nals, of­ten us­ing jazz-in­flected the­atri­cal por­tray­als. Five of the 12 tracks are orig­i­nals, in­clud­ing the opener Fog, in a breathy vo­cal style per­fectly de­pict­ing a misty scene or­na­mented by a suit­ably murky pi­ano. Leonard Bern­stein and Stephen Sond­heim’s Some­thing’s Com­ing re­ceives lengthy var­ie­gated vo­cal treat­ment with com­po­si­tional pi­ano solo, a bass in­ter­lude from Paul Sikivie and en­er­getic sup­port from drum­mer Lawrence Leathers. Judy Gar­land’s 1944 hit The Trol­ley Song gets a clever mod­ernistic makeover but also con­tains a salute to the orig­i­nal. What’s the Mat­ter Now could easily slip into bluesy satire but doesn’t be­cause of McLorin’s su­perbly swing­ing phras­ing and Diehl’s post­mod­ern bar­rel-house pi­ano. Un­der­ling is a stand­out orig­i­nal with its multi-hued vo­cal ex­pres­sion and soft, high register leaps. Another im­pres­sive al­bum from a wor­thy suc­ces­sor to the Hol­i­day-Vaugh­anFitzger­ald lin­eage.

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