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Emma Larsson: Sing to the Sky

C. Michael Bailey By

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Track review of "Here’s to Life"

New York vocalist Emma Larsson made a splash with her 2010 sophomore effort Let It Go (Imogena). She has populated her recordings with predominantly well-envisioned original compositions, seasoning the album sequence with standards specifically chosen to meld with her unique sound. Her repertoire choice is eclectic without being eccentric.

On her present Sing to the Sky, Larsson reveals her fortitude by covering "Here's to Life," a song long associated with the exquisite Shirley Horn. Larsson hears the piece at a slightly faster tempo than horn, Shedrick Mitchell's gentle pianism nudging the singer into sharp aural focus while creating a supporting filigree upon which Larsson can lay the hopeful lyrics. Larsson is hip and precise. Her voice is well balanced, comfortable, and comforting. Larsson's singing has an understated grace that is warm and appealing.

Personnel: Emma Larsson: Vocals; Shedrick Mitchell: piano; Eric Revis: bass; Billy Drummond: drums; Kenneth Whalum III: saxophone.

Title: Sing to the Sky | Year Released: 2015 | Record Label: Origin Records

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