“There’s something really exhilarating about doing something terrifying,” she said, talking about her latest project, Ogresse, her song cycle/performance piece, which she is trying to turn into an animated feature film. For my vocal jazz column in Jazziz Magazine (Jan. 2021 issue), the supremely talented @CecileSalvant, a recently minted MacArthur fellow, spoke to me from Miami, where she was spending the holidays. A beautiful person and artist.
Category Archives: Cecile McLorin Salvant
Thanks to everyone who attended my jazz history talks last week on the Queen Mary 2 during its voyage from Quebec to Nova Scotia to New York. I got a few requests to post the playlists, so here’s the first one, covering “The Great Jazz Singers (1950-Present).”
The Great Jazz Singers (1950-Present) Playlist
- “A Tisket, A Tasket” – Ella Fitzgerald w/Chick Webb Orchestra (1938).
- “Blue Skies” – Ella Fitzgerald (from Get Happy, 1959)
- “You Make Me Feel So Young” – Frank Sinatra, w/Count Basie Orchestra conducted by Quincy Jones (live video, 1965)
- “Tenderly” – Sarah Vaughan (live video, 1958)
- “I Fall in Love Too Easily” – Chet Baker, from Chet Baker Sings (1958)
- “Chega de Saudade” – João Gilberto from album Chega de Saudade (1959)
- “Every Day I Have the Blues” – Lambert, Hendricks & Ross w/Joe Williams and Count Basie (live video from Playboy’s Penthouse TV show, 1959)
- “No Love Dying” – Gregory Porter (live video from CBS This Morning 2013)
- “I Wish That I Could Shimmy Like My Sister Kate” – Cecile McLorin Salvant (live video from KNKX Public Radio, 2014)
- “Marrakesh Express” – Accent (video from AccentVocal.com, 2018)
- “Look For The Silver Lining” – Tony Bennet & Bill Charlap, promo video for album of the same name, 2015
The great jazz singer, songwriter and pianist Bob Dorough passed away yesterday at 94. Perennially young and energetic, we thought he would go on forever. I saw him give a breezy, masterful performance at Jazz at Kitano four years ago, when he was 90. He sang and played like someone 30 years younger, with his pony tail and that patented Arkansas twang of his that, somehow, added to his hipster image. I interviewed him and reviewed the show for DownBeat. He will no doubt be best remembered for “Schoolhouse Rock,” for which he wrote and recorded many of the songs. But his great songbook also includes the immortal “Devil May Care,” “I’m Hip” (with Dave Frishberg), and “Nothing Like You Has Ever Been Seen Before.” He also holds the distinction of being one of the only vocalists ever to sing on a Miles Davis album (Sorcerer).
In August 2015, I witnessed his first meeting with Cecile McLorin Salvant following her performance at the Newport Jazz Festival. He presented her with a folio of some of his songs that he thought she might like. She was thrilled and subsequently added “Devil May Care” and “Nothing Like You” to her repertoire.
“Nothing like him,” indeed.
The 2017 Newport Jazz Festival was, as usual, a showcase and a proving ground for great soloists. Here’s my recap, concentrating on a few of the finest performances I heard, including those of vocalist Cecile McLorin Salvant (above) who performed with the Aaron Diehl Trio; the Maria Schneider Orchestra; the Benny Golson Quartet; and the Christian McBride Big Band.
In November, DownBeat published a condensed version of my conversation with the brilliant young pianist Aaron Diehl, who some of you may know best as the accompanist and musical director for singer Cecile McLorin Salvant. A pianist of extraordinary refinement like, say, Ahmad Jamal, he can also swings as hard as Oscar Peterson, who was also an influence.
Aaron and I talked music for nearly three hours in his Harlem living room, as he sat at his Steinway grand illustrating his remarks with musical examples. DownBeat.com has just published an extended version of this Q&A, along with a sidebar about his exploits as a private pilot. Enjoy, then check out his playing on his recent album Space Time Continuum (Mack Avenue) and on Cecile’s recent album For One To Love (Mack Avenue).
The first of two pieces about the 2015 Newport Jazz Festival.
After only one U.S. album release, she swept the 2014 DownBeat Critics Poll, winning not only Best Female Vocalist and Rising Star Female Vocalist, but, more unexpectedly, Jazz Album of the Year and Rising Star Jazz Artist. In person, she is whip-smart, a little shy, mature beyond her 24 years, and surprisingly modest about her gifts. I loved writing this interview, which you can read here.
… for a future issue of DownBeat. Get a taste here: http://ow.ly/xcBH3