Music Review: Cecile McLoren Salvant, Dreams and Daggers

Cecile McLoren Salvant's album Dreams and Daggers will offer you high level of reward.
Cecile McLoren Salvant's album Dreams and Daggers will offer you high level of reward.

There's nothing ordinary about Cecile McLoren Salvant. At 27 she's made her way to the frontline of jazz by not following the usual pathway.

She didn't attend any of the prestigious jazz conservatories and schools, she almost missed the deadline for the most important jazz vocal competition which gave her the first break.

In 2010, the well storied panel judged her the Thelonious Monk Award and she's been attracting plaudits ever since.

She made her recording debut in 2013 with WomanChild, grabbing Grammy nominations.
NPR Music and Downbeat magazine shouted her praises and in 2015 she hit pay-dirt and the Grammy for Best Jazz Vocal album for the follow-up, For One to Love.

Now Cecile has stepped up to the plate with a wide ranging new release in Dreams and Daggers.

It's a peach of an album; well, two albums really. There's a generous track listing of 23 songs across the two records, among them a number of Cecile McLoren Salvant originals mixed with standards from Noel Coward, Irving Berlin, George Gershwin and Rodgers & Hart.

The settings are mostly a small combo of piano, double bass and drums, giving Cecile plenty of room to demonstrate that her voice is a very special instrument. The other tracks also feature a string quartet.

In both formats Cecile's voice is the stand-out sound; rich and offering subtle phrasings and a range that's impressive.

Dreams and Daggers will offer you a high level of reward and you'll want to add the name Cecile McLoren Salvant to your future watch-list.

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