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

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Jazz - Released March 27, 2020 | Blue Note Records

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Her mentor Prince said her voice could melt snow. A gift confirmed on The Women Who Raised Me, Kandace Springs' third album, which is quietly earning the artist a place at the heart of the vast family of contemporary jazz'n'soul singers. As the title of her 2020 release suggests, the Nashville native living in New York pays tribute to all those who influenced and inspired her, from Ella Fitzgerald to Roberta Flack, Astrud Gilberto, Lauryn Hill, Billie Holiday, Diana Krall, Carmen McRae, Bonnie Raitt, Sade, Nina Simone, Dusty Springfield and especially Norah Jones, one of her idols, who features on a track (Angel Eyes). Produced, like Soul Eyes, (her first album of 2016) by the expert in ultra-slick sound Larry Klein, The Women Who Raised Me also brings on board the saxophonists David Sanborn (I Put a Spell on You) and Chris Potter (Gentle Rain, Loneliness), trumpeter Avishai Cohen (I Can't Make You Love Me and Pearls), bassist Christian McBride (Devil May Care) and the flautist Elena Pinderhughes (Ex-Factor and Killing Me Softly With His Song). They bring virtuoso refinement to this album's collection of well-chosen covers. Special mention must go to Sade's Pearls, spurred on by a purring Avishai Cohen, and Lauryn Hill's Ex-Factor. This album also confirms the instrumental talents of Kandace Springs, who is just as comfortable at the piano as at the Fender Rhodes. A restrained virtuoso helped by the reserved trio of Steve Cardenas on guitar, Scott Colley on bass and Clarence Penn on drums. It is this ocean of subtlety and finely-measured power that makes these covers, sung with sensuality but above all conviction, very endearing. © Clotilde Maréchal / Qobuz
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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 | Blue Note (BLU)

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Jazz - Released June 24, 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 /TiVo
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Jazz - Released March 27, 2020 | Blue Note Records

Kandace Springs attracted Blue Note with a version of "I Can't Make You Love Me," a ballad popularized by Bonnie Raitt, then covered Shelby Lynne on Soul Eyes, and updated "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face," deeply associated with Roberta Flack, on Indigo. Honoring the women who raised her has always been one of Springs' facets -- she has also evoked other inspirations less obviously with vocal nuances -- but the singer and pianist does it in concentrated form with her third Blue Note album. Like Soul Eyes, The Women Who Raised Me was produced by Larry Klein, who tracked it live with bassist Scott Colley, drummer Clarence Penn, and guitarist Steve Cardenas providing economical and softly luminous core support. Springs' poised if consistently fiery voice (over her tasteful keyboard work) pays tribute here to singular voices spanning genres and generations, including Lauryn Hill, Nina Simone, and Mainstream-era Carmen McRae, along with the softer-styled likes of Flack, Astrud Gilberto, and Sade. Knowing Springs' back story, it's a delight to hear an official recording of "I Can't Make You Love Me," enriched with Avishai Cohen's consoling trumpet. Springs' own held notes ooze romantic resignation. A few exceptions aside, the song choices aren't adventurous, though Springs skillfully balances reverence with her individuality, treating even "I Put a Spell on You" and "What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life" like they're no more worn than anything she has written herself. Among the several featured players, bassist Christian McBride, who drives "Devil May Care," and flutist Elena Pinderhughes, heard on two of the songs with the strongest hip-hop connections, add the most. Springs also gets to duet with formative influence Norah Jones on Ella Fitzgerald favorite "Angel Eyes," in which the two exchange leads and back one another like longtime play cousins. On the surface, The Women Who Raised Me might seem like a regression, the kind of project that would have made more sense as an introduction -- especially since Springs co-wrote some of her debut and almost everything on the follow-up. Only one spin makes it clear that Springs is in her element, and an increasingly fascinating interpreter. © Andy Kellman /TiVo
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Jazz - Released June 2, 2017 | Universal Music Division Decca Records France

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Ambient/New Age - Released November 1, 2019 | PANORAMA

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Jazz - Released August 10, 2018 | Blue Note (BLU)

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

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Jazz - Released August 31, 2018 | Blue Note Records

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Jazz - Released April 28, 2017 | Blue Note (BLU)

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Ambient/New Age - Released November 1, 2019 | PANORAMA

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Kandace Springs in the magazine