Dreams and Daggers

Dreams and Daggers

by Cécile McLorin Salvant

CD(with Booklet)

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Overview

The juxtaposition of dualistic concepts like love and anger, joy and heartache, and the way these emotions are inextricably linked in our romantic psyches inform all of Cecile McLorin Salvant's virtuosic, urbanely produced fourth album, 2017's Dreams and Daggers. Recorded live at the Village Vanguard (yes, you can sometimes hear the enthusiastic audience) and in studio at New York's DiMenna Center, the double-disc set features Salvant on a thoughtfully curated selection of standards and several originals, all touching upon the themes of romance and heartbreak. Along with her regular trio of pianist Aaron Diehl, bassist Paul Sikivie, and drummer Lawrence Leathers, Salvant is joined at various times by the classical string ensemble the Catalyst Quartet, who supply a cinematic layer of orchestration (via Sikivie's gorgeously refined arrangements) to Salvant's already emotive style. Also making an appearance on a delightfully earthy rendition of the Bessie Smith number "You've Got to Give Me Some" is pianist Sullivan Fortner, whose lively chemistry with Salvant brings to mind Oscar Peterson's work with Ella Fitzgerald. Since winning the 2010 Thelonious Monk Jazz Vocal Competition, the Miami-born Salvant has built a formidable career around her dynamic, sophisticated brand of vocal jazz. Marked by her highly resonant voice and deft sense of phrasing, it's a style that recalls the swinging virtuosity of Fitzgerald, as well as the more idiosyncratic approach of Betty Carter. Cuts here, like her soulfully lithe take on Frank Loesser's "Never Will I Marry," and her swaggeringly cheeky turn on Ida Cox's "Wild Women Don't Have the Blues," are breathtaking in their sophistication and interpretive nuance. The thing about Salvant, is that while her titanic abilities draw easy and well-earned comparisons, she never comes off as a mimic, remaining instead confidant, and firmly self-aware in her own ability to put a song over to a crowd. Whether she takes on a warhorse here like "I Didn't Know What Time It Was," or reveals her impeccable flair for picking lesser performed songs as on her wry reading of Noel Coward's "Mad About the Boy," she imbues each track with her own distinctive point of view. The few original compositions included here especially reveal her to be a literate, deeply poetic artist with a strong sense of personal identity -- as heard on the short chamber piece "Red Instead," in which she sings, "I can't really change the way I am/I can be bolder/Sharpen my dagger/Cut through the multitudes and make it bright red instead." Ultimately, on Dreams and Daggers, with its balanced framework of live and studio recordings, happy and sad romantic songs, small group and classical chamber pieces, Salvant remains as bold and as sharp as ever.

Product Details

Release Date: 09/29/2017
Label: Mack Avenue
UPC: 0673203112025
catalogNumber: 1120
Rank: 2585

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Cécile McLorin Salvant   Primary Artist,Handwriting
Karla Donehew   Violin
Aaron Diehl   Piano
Karlos Rodriguez   Cello
Sullivan Fortner   Piano
Paul Sikivie   Double Bass
Lawrence Leathers   Drums
Paul Laraia   Viola
Suliman Tekalli   Violin

Technical Credits

George Gershwin   Composer
Kurt Weill   Composer
Irving Berlin   Composer
Ida Cox   Composer
Bob Dorough   Composer
Langston Hughes   Composer,Lyricist
Buddy Johnson   Composer
Noël Coward   Composer
Richard Rodgers   Composer
Frank Loesser   Composer
Dubin   Composer,Lyricist
Ira Gershwin   Composer,Lyricist
Lorenz Hart   Composer,Lyricist
Pryor   Producer
Jule Styne   Composer
Roy Turk   Composer
Harry Warren   Composer
Todd Whitelock   Engineer
Spencer Williams   Composer
Bob Merrill   Composer
Bernard   Composer
Arthur Gibbs   Composer
DuBose Heyward   Composer,Lyricist
J. Russel Robinson   Composer
Sidney Clare   Composer,Lyricist
Jay Gorney   Composer
Leo Wood   Composer
Leo Lelièvre   Composer
Henri Varna   Composer
Damon Whittemore   Engineer
Raj Naik   Layout
Joe Grey   Composer
Terrell Kirk   Composer
Aaron Diehl   Poetry
Richie Clarke   Engineer
Paul Sikivie   Arranger,Composer
Bobby Falk   Composer
Gretchen Valade   Executive Producer
Cécile McLorin Salvant   Composer,Lyricist,Producer,Art Direction,Illustrations
Allen Rubinstein   Engineer

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Dreams and Daggers 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Jazzlash More than 1 year ago
Three words came to mind after experiencing the exceptional recording of "Dreams and Daggers" sophisticated, mature and accessible. This voice sings in a stratosphere far beyond her twenty something years and this music finds her in fine voice. Alternately playful, traditional, reflective and engaging jazz (or any other genre) is ultimately about storytelling and Cecile delivers the goods. This live recording places the listener front and center for a musical journey that masquerades as a concert. The range and variety of the music is well thought out and not a sour note is rendered. This is an artist at the high point of her powers and this recording demands an intimate listen. Be careful because you will be listening again to this infectious offering. Highly recommended.