4

Nicky Schrire: Freedom Flight

Dan Bilawsky By

Sign in to view read count
Nicky Schrire: Freedom Flight Breaking into the jazz vocal world is no easy feat. Aspiring singers often find themselves angling for crumbs of attention in this overcrowded field, and having a pleasant voice doesn't count for much anymore. Originality in approach, a proclivity for picking songs that stretch the definition of jazz and an elastic understanding of the voice's role in this music have become increasingly important for those looking to make their mark in this domain, and newcomer Nicky Schrire deserves high marks in all three areas.

The London-born, South African-raised, New York-based vocalist bursts onto the scene with this dazzling debut, but she didn't simply materialize out of thin air. This worldly woman has been honing her skills at the Manhattan School of Music and studying with the crème de la crème of the jazz vocal world, including Peter Eldridge, Theo Bleckmann, Gretchen Parlato, Kate McGarry and Norma Winstone; it's clear that she's taken their lessons to heart.

Freedom Flight finds Schrire exploring a diverse array of material and she makes it known that nothing is off limits. Schrire moves from The Beatles and Broadway to Brazil and beyond with the ease of a seasoned veteran. While each of the aforementioned singers clearly influenced different aspects of Schrire's artistry, McGarry's mark is the most noticeable. The album-opening "Freedom Flight/Blackbird" and touching performance of "If Ever I Would Leave You" are clearly in line with McGarry's sensibilities.

Elsewhere, Schrire moves beyond her influences, establishing her own direction. Her voice is sweet and serene as it intertwines with Jay Rattman's clarinet on "Sleep Away" and she creates her own overdubbed tapestry of vocal wonder on Loudon Wainright's amusing "The Swimming Song." She tips her hat to South Africa with "Me, The Mango Picker," and joins forces with Eldridge on the penultimate "Shower The People." While Schrire is an attention stealer throughout, the instrumentalists onboard also manage to get their two cents in. Tenor saxophonist Paul Jones' solo is the highlight on "Ode To A Folk Song," while pianist Nick Paul is an indispensable ingredient throughout, bassist Sam Anning steps out with some fine soloing on occasion, and drummer Jake Goldbas anchors the entire ensemble.

Many singers tend to stand apart or above their ensembles, merely using them as background dressing, but Schrire becomes part of the fabric of her music. Her voice is a warm and supple instrument that serves as a dispensary of emotional power. Freedom Flight is first-rate music that's head and shoulders above most first efforts. Hopefully, we'll be hearing more from Schrire in the near future.

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).

Title: Freedom Flight | Year Released: 2012 | Record Label: Circavision Productions


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read The Company I Keep CD/LP/Track Review The Company I Keep
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 28, 2017
Read Ma De Re Sha CD/LP/Track Review Ma De Re Sha
by Geno Thackara
Published: June 28, 2017
Read Ask Seek Knock CD/LP/Track Review Ask Seek Knock
by Roger Farbey
Published: June 28, 2017
Read Air and Light and Time and Space CD/LP/Track Review Air and Light and Time and Space
by John Eyles
Published: June 28, 2017
Read Eleven Cages CD/LP/Track Review Eleven Cages
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 27, 2017
Read Afro-Caribbean Mixtape CD/LP/Track Review Afro-Caribbean Mixtape
by Mark F. Turner
Published: June 27, 2017
Read "Prague After Dark" CD/LP/Track Review Prague After Dark
by Jack Bowers
Published: March 16, 2017
Read "Lab 2016" CD/LP/Track Review Lab 2016
by Jack Bowers
Published: November 3, 2016
Read "Twin Talk" CD/LP/Track Review Twin Talk
by Mark F. Turner
Published: September 19, 2016
Read "The Vampires Meet Lionel Loueke" CD/LP/Track Review The Vampires Meet Lionel Loueke
by Mark Corroto
Published: June 16, 2017
Read "Sunkissed" CD/LP/Track Review Sunkissed
by Jeff Winbush
Published: September 11, 2016
Read "Crack-Up" CD/LP/Track Review Crack-Up
by Doug Collette
Published: June 19, 2017

Smart Advertising!

Musician? Boost your visibility at All About Jazz and drive traffic to your website with our Premium Profile service.