We are giving away a pair of tickets to Cécile McLorin Salvant @ Revolution Hall on April 21. To win, comment on this post why you’d like to attend. Winner will be drawn and emailed Friday, April 20.
1300 SE Stark Street, Portland, OR
Shortly before the release of Cécile McLorin Salvant’s debut Mack Avenue album WomanChild, critic Ben Ratliff made a bold prediction in the pages of the New York Times. McLorin Salvant, he claimed, “is still mostly unknown to jazz audiences”—then added: “though not for much longer.” WomanChild went on to earn a bevy of honors, including a Grammy nomination and selection as Jazz Album Of The Year by the DownBeat International Critics Poll.
A few months later, the Jazz Journalists Association selected McLorin Salvant as Up-and Coming Jazz Artist Of The Year and as Top Female Vocalist. NPR also took, honoring WomanChild as the Best Jazz Vocal Album Of The Year in its annual critics poll.
Now she releases her follow-up Mack Avenue album, For One To Love, a more intimate and confessional project that reveals new dimensions of this young vocalist’s artistry. “I’m not playing anyone else here but myself,” McLorin Salvant explains. “I can look at many of these songs, and see that this is an event that really happened, or a feeling I’ve lived through myself. “That’s what makes it so difficult to share. It’s almost like a diary entry.” On the new album, McLorin Salvant again shows her uncanny knack of channeling her own personality into the work of her predecessors, both the acclaimed (Bessie Smith) and the less well-known (Blanche Calloway, whose fame during her lifetime was eclipsed by her brother Cab). “I’ve made some choices about celebrating strong women,” McLorin Salvant explains. “And I want to celebrate independence, the courage not to look or act a certain way.”
And McLorin Salvant also shares her vision as a visual artist in the design of the album. This field has been a focus in recent years: both at home in Harlem and on the road, she works on painting and drawing, and is currently preparing for her first exhibition. “Music chose me,” she reflects; “in a way, I stumbled upon it. But illustrating is something I’ve chosen to do.”
In short, her distinctive artistry shapes every aspect of this project. For One To Love serves as proof positive that Cécile McLorin Salvant has not only arrived, but she is still going places.