Vocal Jazz - Released April 27, 2018 | ECM

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After two albums at the head of a rather jazzy quartet, Elina Duni is now releasing a collection of songs under her own name that evoke love as well as loss and departure. Recorded in the studios La Buissonne in the south of France in July 2017 under the artistic direction of Manfred Eicher from ECM, Partir is undeniably her most personal opus. Her most intimate too. In this album entirely written and produced on her own, the singer from Tirana plays on the piano, on the guitar and on percussions in tunes drawing from a multitude of sources, from folk to popular music: traditional songs from Albania, Kosovo, Armenia, Macedonia, Switzerland and Arabic Andalusia, but also Jacques Brel’s Je ne sais pas, Alain Oulman’s Meu Amor, Domenico Modugno’s Amara Terra Mia or even Let Us Dive In by Duni herself. To highlight her voice’s expressiveness, she has logically opted for sleek arrangements. In this context, her singing is beautifully emphasised and becomes the common theme throughout her electric repertoire. An organ that can be poignant at times, particularly when she sings about suffering, in a sort of Balkan fado, like a European blues following in the footsteps of Billie Holiday − the ultimate ambassador of human flaws, whom she admires above everything else! The listener comes out dazed by the captivating beauty of what turns out to be Elina Duni’s most stunning album so far… © Marc Zisman/Qobuz

Vocal Jazz - Released September 29, 2017 | Mack Avenue Records

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One album after another, Cecile McLorin Salvant reminds us she’s anything but the stereotypical “jazz singer”. Revealed to the public in 2013 with her gorgeous WomanChild, she stepped it up a gear two years later with For One To Love, an even more masterful and complete record, on which her voice worked wonders. Born on August 28th, 1989 in Miami, Florida, she studied French law, baroque and vocal jazz in Aix-en-Provence before winning the Thelonious Monk International Competition in 2010 (at only 20, in front of a jury composed of Al Jarreau, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Patti Austin, Dianne Reeves and Kurt Elling!). She went on to display impressive qualities as a composer as well with five original songs on her 2015 album. With Dreams And Dagger the French-American, who now lives in Harlem, is releasing a third album recorded live at Village Vanguard, the New York Mecca of jazz, and at the DiMenna Center, supported by her faithful trio (pianist Aaron Diehl, bass player Paul Sikivie and drummer Lawrence Leathers) and some guests on a few tracks, such as Quatuor Catalyst and pianist Sullivan Fortner. A real choice for the artist, who wishes she could only record live albums, the context in which her band’s sound is most faithfully presented. More classic in its form than her two previous works, Dreams And Dagger is proof of her fluency no matter the repertoire. For a classic like My Man’s Gone Now, for which thousands of versions already exist, she embarks with her voice on unique paths, to astounding effect! Furthermore, Cecile McLorin Salvant fully bonds with her trio, which isn’t just a simple stooge for her amazing voice, but an essential part of her musical world. Once again, she blazes an even deeper trail, far from the Billie/Sarah/Ella Holy Trinity, because as Wynton Marsalis put it: “You only get a singer like this once in a generation or two…”. © MD/Qobuz

Vocal Jazz - Released February 3, 2017 | Sunset Records

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Vocal Jazz - Released September 30, 2016 | Laborie Jazz

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Vocal Jazz - Released May 2, 2012 | Le Chant du Monde

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Vocal Jazz - Released June 15, 2016 | Fresh Sound Records

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Vocal Jazz in the magazine