On Wednesday night I was very pleased to catch a performance by “up and coming” jazz vocalist Cecile McLorin Salvant for the second time, after previously being wowed by her late last summer at the Detroit Jazz Festival. She did not disappoint, and seemed to add more insight and character in this performance. In the previous show, she had been more of a “featured vocalist” while here she was the star attraction. With a velvet voice and graceful stage presence, she is amazingly only in her mid 20s.
I wish I knew my jazz catalogue better to be able to specifically cite the songs that she and her very tight three piece band performed. It seemed to veer between lesser-known compositions and more familiar works, with a few songs not usually portrayed as jazz thrown in, such as “Something’s Coming” from West Side Story. All four performers displayed a delicate balance of complimenting each other while finding moments for their individual contributions to shine.
It’s great to see that McLorin Salvant has an active presence on YouTube. I feel this excerpt, which must be from the 2012 Detroit Jazz Festival, is a particularly good example of her performance power and skills: