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Vocal Jazz - Released January 1, 2010 | Verve Forecast

Distinctions Sélection Les Inrocks
On her fourth album, Lizz Wright returns to her gospel roots after writing her own material on 2008's The Orchard. Typically, however, this is hardly a traditional collection of faith-based songs. Wright does include a medley of old spirituals including "Up Above My Head," and she closes the proceedings with "Amazing Grace." But her idea of gospel is highly eclectic, also encompassing the Gladys Knight & the Pips hit "I've Got to Use My Imagination" and Jimi Hendrix's "In from the Storm," neither of which seem particularly religious, as well as Eric Clapton's "Presence of the Lord." Wright also draws material from a clutch of black female contemporaries and influences including Me'Shell Ndegéocello, Bernice Johnson Reagon, Joan Wasser, and Angélique Kidjo as she ranges from neo-soul to African-styled folk-rock music. The disparate sources are united by Wright's distinctive and powerful alto voice, which anchors the music and provides a stylistic through-line, no matter what the nominal genre. This is an unusually somber type of gospel, as Wright favors moodiness over fervor in her statements of faith. That is especially true at the end, when she presents "Amazing Grace" in an ambient, funereal mood. Listeners should expect to be moved by these performances, but not to be cheered. ~ William Ruhlmann
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Vocal Jazz - Released September 15, 2017 | Concord Records

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The grace of Grace is everywhere! Granted Lizz Wright’s fans know that the Georgian singer has one of the most beautiful voices of her generation, but this album places her on rarely visited summits! A feeling no doubt connected to the theme of this 2017 cuvée, in which Wright provides a striking insight into a network of stories and songs which roots, intimately intertwined, extend deep and connect extremely diverse traditions that make up the soul of the Deep South. Produced by Joe Henry, one of the big shots of Americana, this southern celebration where jazz, blues, rock and gospel interweave allow her to shine in reinterpretations of songs by Ray Charles (What Would I Do), Allen Toussaint (Southern Nights), Nina Simone (Seems I’m Never Tired Lovin’ You), Sister Rosetta Tharpe (Singing in My Soul), k.d. lang (Wash Me Clean) or Bob Dylan (Every Grain Of Sand). In the more intimate sequences, when she doesn’t use her technical virtuosity, Lizz Wright is sublime and further appropriates this repertoire that flows through her veins. Her version of Southern Nights is refined, never complacent, and gifted with a subtlety that defines the entire album. © MD/Qobuz
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Vocal Jazz - Released September 4, 2015 | Concord Records

Hi-Res Booklet
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Pop - Released January 1, 2008 | Verve Forecast

Vocalist Lizz Wright mixes jazz, gospel, and soul on THE ORCHARD, an intimate, intensely personal album that ranks among the most compelling of the artist’s career. With help from singer-songwriter Toshi Reagon, Marc Anthony Thompson (who records under the name Chocolate Genius), and members of Ollabelle, Calexico, and Bob Dylan’s band, Wright has created a beautiful, organic feel on THE ORCHARD--one that is the perfect vehicle for her expressive voice and original songwriting vision. Yet it is Wright herself that shines through most powerfully here, whether on stunning originals such as “When I Fall” or her treatments of Ike and Tina’s “I Idolize You” or Led Zeppelin’s “Thank You.”
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Jazz - Released January 1, 2003 | Verve

Vocalist Lizz Wright delivers jazz that harks back to such luminaries as Nina Simone and Abbey Lincoln on her debut Verve release, Salt. Still in her early twenties, Wright has a warm, dusky voice reminiscent of Cassandra Wilson and similarly to Wilson seems interested in tackling an eclectic mix of jazz standards, traditional folk, and R&B. Early on, a folky afterglow-Latin version of "Afro Blue" takes center stage followed by the gorgeous "Soon as I Get Home," which betters the version from The Wiz. Wright fairs equally well as a songwriter with about half the album filled with her soaring, bluesy ballads. There is a melancholy yet positive '70s vibe that eminates from songs like "Fire," which resonates lyrically as well as melodically much like the personal/sociopolitical writing of another of Wright's obvious inspirations, Terry Callier. Perhaps a little too low-key to register very high on the pop radio scale, but invested with enough sanguine emotionality and chops to make Salt easily recommended to fans of the neo-soul movement. ~ Matt Collar
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Jazz - Released September 15, 2017 | Concord Records

The grace of Grace is everywhere! Granted Lizz Wright’s fans know that the Georgian singer has one of the most beautiful voices of her generation, but this album places her on rarely visited summits! A feeling no doubt connected to the theme of this 2017 cuvée, in which Wright provides a striking insight into a network of stories and songs which roots, intimately intertwined, extend deep and connect extremely diverse traditions that make up the soul of the Deep South. Produced by Joe Henry, one of the big shots of Americana, this southern celebration where jazz, blues, rock and gospel interweave allow her to shine in reinterpretations of songs by Ray Charles (What Would I Do), Allen Toussaint (Southern Nights), Nina Simone (Seems I’m Never Tired Lovin’ You), Sister Rosetta Tharpe (Singing in My Soul), k.d. lang (Wash Me Clean) or Bob Dylan (Every Grain Of Sand). In the more intimate sequences, when she doesn’t use her technical virtuosity, Lizz Wright is sublime and further appropriates this repertoire that flows through her veins. Her version of Southern Nights is refined, never complacent, and gifted with a subtlety that defines the entire album. © MD/Qobuz
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Jazz - Released September 4, 2015 | Concord Records

A few years after the release of her fourth album with Verve, a gospel-themed set of reinterpretations titled Fellowship, Lizz Wright signed to the Concord label with an eye toward concentrating on original material. The vocalist made a connection with veteran multi-instrumentalist and producer Larry Klein and recorded Freedom & Surrender with a stable backing band that included drummer Vinnie Colaiuta, percussionist Pete Korpela, bassist Dan Lutz, guitarist Dean Parks, and keyboardists Pete Kuzma and Billy Childs. For most listeners, the change of label and mostly new set of supporting musicians will seem transparent. Like Wright's previous albums, Freedom & Surrender is graceful and exacting, yet those qualities come across in a fashion that does not seem deliberate -- remarkable for material that draws from folk, blues, jazz, soul, and gospel and often fuses two or more of those genres. Longtime collaborator Toshi Reagon contributes only two songs, "Freedom" and "Surrender," but they neatly begin and end the album in spirited and assured form. David Batteau and Jesse Harris separately collaborated with Wright and sometimes Klein on the writing of seven selections. In "The New Game," one of the grittier moments featuring a contribution from Batteau, Wright delivers the lines that most applicable to the state of her career: "I remember the way in/I got my new dancin' shoes/This is a new game, no tears/Ain't no shame shiftin' gears." Two guest appearances fit into place with ease. Gregory Porter is a duet partner on "Right Where You Are," a languid ballad written by Wright and Klein with J.D. Souther. A spectral version of Nick Drake's "River Man" -- along with an update of Bee Gees' "To Love Somebody," one of only two covers, and a highlight -- features a soft-hued flügelhorn solo from Till Brönner. It's doubtful that Wright and her creative partners could have more effectively synthesized her past work with her current outlook. ~ Andy Kellman
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Pop - Released January 1, 2008 | Verve Forecast

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Jazz - Released January 1, 2005 | Verve Forecast

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Jazz - Released January 1, 2005 | Verve Forecast

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Jazz - Released January 1, 2005 | Verve Forecast

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Jazz - Released January 1, 2006 | Verve Forecast

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Lizz Wright in the magazine