6

Nicky Schrire: Freedom Flight

Bruce Lindsay By

Sign in to view read count
Nicky Schrire: Freedom Flight Freedom Flight is the debut from vocalist Nicky Schrire, a young singer who was born in London, raised in Cape Town and now resides in New York. It's a distinctive debut, heralding the welcome arrival to the scene of a fine vocalist with an eclectic range of source material—a mix of Latin, pop, folk, and American Songbook songs, plus a couple of Schrire originals.

Schrire's voice is lovely—pure and clear, a mix of naïve innocence and sensuality. She's blessed with the ability to convey a lyric with conviction, inhabiting the narrative so completely that even a slight change of tone or emphasis seems to tell a story on its own. Her core trio of musicians helps greatly: pianist Nick Paul, drummer Jake Goldbas and bassist Sam Anning are sympathetic accompanists, heightening the impact of the vocals and never overwhelming Schrire's performance.

Schrire is fond of wordless vocals, often using them to introduce a song or as an "instrumental break" from the lyrics. These vocals are always delivered with enthusiasm and verve—her opening duet with clarinetist Jay Rattman on Carlo Mombelli's "Me, The Mango Picker" is a particular delight—but, while this could almost be considered as her trademark, it's a technique that would have greater impact if it were used more sparingly.

The American Songbook's representative on Freedom Flight is Lerner and Loewe's "If Ever I Would Leave You," which Schrire sings accompanied solely by Peter Eldridge on piano. The performance is stunning, capturing the song's mood perfectly. At the contemporary end of the spectrum there's Florence And The Machine's beautiful "Cosmic Love." Schrire's gorgeous acoustic version demonstrates that great songs have an emotional power that doesn't depend on complex orchestrations or production. The singer's own songs—the sad and lonely "Ode To A Folk Song" and the cheerfully optimistic "Journey"—are both indicative of her talent as a writer.

The contributions of three great North American singer/songwriters are also noteworthy. Schrire gives Loudon Wainwright's witty "The Swimming Song" the light-hearted narrative it requires, while on James Taylor's optimistic, feel-good, "Shower The People" Eldridge joins Schrire on vocals, multi-tracked to give added depth. Most intriguing is Schrire's take on Bob Dylan's "Don't Think Twice, It's Alright." She keeps things recognizable, but the arrangement is much gentler and more forgiving than Dylan's approach, while her phrasing of the lyrics gives a subtle shift in emphasis towards regret. Paul Jones' tenor solo also adds a fresh musical flavor to the song.

In the crowded world of jazz vocals it helps to have a distinctive voice or a distinctive repertoire. Schrire scores on both counts, making Freedom Flight one of the best debut recordings of 2012.


Track Listing: Freedom Flight/Blackbird; Journey; Cosmic Love; If Ever I Would Leave You; Ode To A Folk Song; Sleep Away; The Swimming Song; E Preciso Perdoar; Me, The Mango Picker; Shower The People; Don't Think Twice, It's All Right.

Personnel: Nicky Schrire: vocals; Nick Paul: piano; Sam Anning: bass; Jake Goldbas: drums, percussion; Paul Jones: tenor saxophone (5, 11); Jay Rattman: clarinet (6, 9); Brian Adler: percussion (7); Peter Eldridge: piano (4), vocals (10).

Year Released: 2012 | Record Label: Circavision Productions | Style: Vocal


Related Video

Shop

More Articles

Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark CD/LP/Track Review The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Les Deux Versants Se Regardent CD/LP/Track Review Les Deux Versants Se Regardent
by John Sharpe
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Molto Bene CD/LP/Track Review Molto Bene
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Fellowship CD/LP/Track Review Fellowship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2017
Read E.S.T. Symphony CD/LP/Track Review E.S.T. Symphony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 22, 2017
Read "Summer Skyshift" CD/LP/Track Review Summer Skyshift
by John Sharpe
Published: August 18, 2016
Read "Jazz Jukebox" CD/LP/Track Review Jazz Jukebox
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: November 24, 2016
Read "Streams" CD/LP/Track Review Streams
by Geno Thackara
Published: September 17, 2016
Read "Verde" CD/LP/Track Review Verde
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 12, 2016
Read "Dharma" CD/LP/Track Review Dharma
by Dave Wayne
Published: August 19, 2016
Read "The Duo - Live!" CD/LP/Track Review The Duo - Live!
by Chris Mosey
Published: October 2, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!