“Your talent like that comes only once in every generation. Maybe every two generations!” said Wynton Marsalis about Cecile McLorin Salvant. And he should know, as legendary jazz trumpeter and artistic director of Jazz at Lincoln Center. The highly acclaimed singer is just 28 years old and has just received her second Grammy for the new album "Dreams and Daggers". Not bad !
Although all genres of music, from reggae to chanson to rap, were played in Cécile's parents' house in Florida - her father is Haitian, her mother is French - she wanted to be a classical opera singer from an early age. It wasn't until she went to the Darius Milhaud Conservatory in Aix-en-Provence at 18 that she discovered her talent for jazz. And her fondness for the voices of Sarah Vaughan, Bessie Smith and Betty Carter.
The 23 songs of "Dreams and Daggers", recorded in the famous Village Vanguard Club in New York, prove how correct the swing from the aria to the most typical music of the USA was. In this atmospheric setting, Cécile McLorin Salvant dares to do classics like Gershwin's "My Man's Gone Now", which she suddenly sounds very now . The nearly ten minute "I Never Could Believe" seems to burst with vocal power and emotion as everyone listens breathlessly. And when Cécile sings "You're My Thrill", you don't want anything else on the playlist. Very close to the unforgettable Miss Holiday, and yet unmistakably Cécile McLorin Salvant. A real must-list !