PERFORMANCE OF THE MONTH: CÉCILE MCLORIN SALVANT

I will be forever thankful to our friends who unfortunately couldn’t go and instead gave us the tickets to go see this jazz vocalist I’ve never heard of before, but will now remember forever more.

cecile

LIVE: CÉCILE McLORIN SALVANT @ JAZZ AT LINCOLN CENTER, New York, 02/13/2016

“Love appeared just like a fog”

Those six words, a few bars of music and Ms. McLorin Salvant’s voice. That’s all it took and she had me in tears. It was as if my body had had years of longing hidden within my skin and was only waiting for that right moment to open for the world. The way the longing presented itself was with tears of joy, because this kind of musical revelation is very, very rare. I cannot even remember the last time when I’ve had this kind of experience. And that was only the opening number, Fog, one of her own songs in the set.

The set was specifically arranged as a Valentine’s Day performance, but in no way sugar coated or sentimental, more a realisticly romantic and tounge-in-cheek. The rich and various set, where she mixed her own compositions with well known and not-so-known jazz standards, showcased her brilliance not only as an exceptional vocalist, but also as a story teller extraordinaire. In two highlights; Sheldon Harnick’s The Ballad Of The Shape Of Things and Cole Porter’s Most Gentleman Don’t Like Love, she provides stellar performances that lean on more on a musical theatre tradition. Cécile is subtle, distinct and she’s quite the comedienne.

She literally keeps me at the edge of my seat, either in tears or with a huge smile from ear to ear. Her voice is so nuanced and clear, with all the control in the world, but it’s only there as her safety net, because at the end of the day it is all about what her voice conveys. It’s the elegance, the vocal range and the way she leaps from extremely delicate to extremely empowering in seconds, seamlessly as it appears in front of our eyes. And that is how magic is made.

Two days later Cécile McLorin Salvant won a Grammy for Best Jazz Vocal Album for her 2015 release For One To Love. So my guess is that the venues she’ll be playing at will be getting bigger and bigger. Dear folks, do not miss out on this rare talent if you have the chance.

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