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Vocal Jazz - Released June 24, 2016 | Blue Note Records

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Vocal Jazz - Released September 7, 2018 | Blue Note (BLU)

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Kandace Springs is a reincarnation of the great soul divas. Divine beauty, a charming name, since she released her first album, all eyes have been on this young woman. Soul Eyes, released on Blue Note in 2014, saw her float away into a sublime cloud of soul-jazz with pop highlights. Four years later, she is attracting attention with a full different creation, named Indigo. Roberta Flack, Luther Vandross, Billie Holiday and Nina Simone are just a few names of her childhood influences, names that are still casting their spell over her performances. A warm timbre, a supple and delicate diction that goes hand in hand with her mastery of the piano, Indigo is a stunning mix of covers and original pieces written by Evan Rogers and Carl Sturken. The album opens on the pop-romantic overture Don't Need The Real Thing; funk airs follow on People Make The World Go 'Round and a jazzy instrumental on Unsophisticated: Springs seems unsure about where to really let her voice take off, but it works! She is testing out her capacities and limits in some contradictory registers. Fix Me even ventures into classical, with a mix of Prélude opus 28 n°4 by Chopin, imitation Gainsbourg and a more soulful Jane B sound. It's an unexpected mix but it is all brought together marvellously by the smoke timbre of this winning singer. © Anna Coluthe/Qobuz
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R&B - Released September 23, 2014 | Capitol Records, LLC

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R&B - Released September 23, 2014 | Blue Note (BLU)

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Jazz - Released June 2, 2017 | Universal Music Division Decca Records France

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Jazz - Released July 1, 2016 | Blue Note (BLU)

Kandace Springs' career started rolling when her father, session vocalist Scat Springs, handed a demo to Evan Rogers and Carl Sturken. Industry veterans of 30-plus years, from Shannon to Rihanna, the duo signed her to their production company, which led to an audition for Blue Note president Don Was. The Nashville native sang "I Can't Make You Love Me," popularized by Bonnie Raitt, whose recording just happened to be co-produced with Was. Blue Note deal secured, she uploaded a cover of Sam Smith's "Stay with Me" that prompted Prince to have her play at Paisley Park during the 30th anniversary celebration of Purple Rain. Springs made her recorded debut a couple months later. Co-written with the likes of Rogers, Sturken, and Pop & Oak, the self-titled EP of hip-hop soul primed her for placement in a class with similarly classic-meets-contemporary artists like Jazmine Sullivan and Elle Varner. It left Springs feeling that her sound should instead reflect her early jazz influences with stripped-down live instrumentation -- a view shared by continued supporter Prince. Soul Eyes achieves that objective. Produced by Larry Klein with a constant rhythm section of Vinnie Colaiuta and Dan Lutz -- with additional instrumentation from the likes of Dean Parks, Pete Kuzma, and Terence Blanchard -- it's all shaped to place Springs front and center. The approach is emphasized by the title song, a sensitive update of Mal Waldron's 60-year-old standard that showcases Springs' measured piano playing as much as it does her lithe, lightly fiery voice. Apart from that and a loose but succinct version of War's "The World Is a Ghetto" -- the second-oldest composition -- the reinterpreted songs are relatively modern, highlighted by Shelby Lynne's "Thought It Would Be Easier." Springs co-wrote three cuts, the best and most energetic of which is easily "Novocaine Heart." Due to its neatly serpentine groove and inquisitive, positive outlook, lovers of late-'70s/early-'80s crossover jazz could easily be forgiven for thinking it was first waxed by Judy Roberts or Googie & Tom Coppola. The album closes with the lone song Springs wrote by herself, a striking piano ballad. As natural as the album feels, Springs seems eager to impress her elders and stay true to her inspirations, rather than build from them -- like she's bottling some of her energy and individuality. Less straight-ahead, more distinctive releases are hopefully in her future. ~ Andy Kellman
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Jazz - Released April 28, 2017 | Capitol Records, LLC

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Jazz - Released August 31, 2018 | Blue Note Records

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Kandace Springs in the magazine