7

Nicky Schrire: To The Spring

Bruce Lindsay By

Sign in to view read count
Nicky Schrire: To The Spring It's brief—barely 30 minutes long—and released only in digital form, but To The Spring packs plenty into its allotted time span. This is the third release from singer and songwriter Nicky Schrire. It's another excellent release, her voice framed by the sparse but sympathetic piano and bass of Fabian Almazan and Desmond White.

Schrire's voice matures and grows more confident with every release. It's technically impressive, but more importantly it's striking in its ability to inhabit and project the emotions of her lyrics. Her voice is distinctive—a mix of her British birth, South African upbringing and New York home. If there is a point of comparison it seems to come from folk and Americana rather than jazz—the McGarrigle sisters, perhaps even Iris DeMent.

Schrire's impressive debut, Freedom Flight (Circavision Productions, 2012), included songs by writers such as James Taylor, Bob Dylan and Loudon Wainwright III (once married to Kate McGarrigle). Album number two, Space And Time (Magenta Label, 2013), again featured a range of covers. Instead of the debut's backing band, it pared down the backing to just a piano. To The Spring is Schrire's first fully self-penned collection. It's a strong half dozen, full of charm, lyrically arresting and with a strong sense of narrative.

Schrire's love of wordless vocals, already apparent on Freedom Flight, continues. Such an approach is expressive and enables her, as a vocalist, to engage in improvisation—her avowed favorite aspect of jazz music. At its best it heightens the impact of the song, as on "Your Love" and "Give It Away," when Schrire multi-tracks the vocals for added impact. On "To The Spring," however, the wordless vocals verge on the melodramatic, coming close to breaking the almost magical spell conjured by Schrire's fragile lead vocal and Almazan's considered and sympathetic piano.

"Traveler" is the collection's killer song, an absolute classic in waiting. A simple melody, a rhythm made all the more engaging by White and Almazan's unison playing of its repeated three-note phrase and Schrire's purest performance. The lyric, about a travelling musician, tells a story—a more innocent "Superstar" at first, but with a twist that turns the tables as the musician ends up writing songs "in empty rooms." To The Spring is an emphatic demonstration of Schrire's talents: she's in no danger of such a melancholy fate.

Track Listing: Traveler; Your Love; To The Spring; Fall Apart; Father; Give It Away.

Personnel: Nicky Schrire: vocals; Fabian Almazan: piano; Desmond White: double bass.

Title: To The Spring | Year Released: 2014 | Record Label: Self Produced


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Towards Language CD/LP/Track Review Towards Language
by John Eyles
Published: June 23, 2017
Read The Romeo and Juliet Project CD/LP/Track Review The Romeo and Juliet Project
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 23, 2017
Read Saluting Sgt. Pepper CD/LP/Track Review Saluting Sgt. Pepper
by Roger Farbey
Published: June 23, 2017
Read Crystal Machine CD/LP/Track Review Crystal Machine
by Glenn Astarita
Published: June 23, 2017
Read Saluting Sgt. Pepper CD/LP/Track Review Saluting Sgt. Pepper
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 22, 2017
Read Thick as Thieves CD/LP/Track Review Thick as Thieves
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 22, 2017
Read "Words And Music" CD/LP/Track Review Words And Music
by Roger Farbey
Published: April 30, 2017
Read "Happy Madness" CD/LP/Track Review Happy Madness
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: January 7, 2017
Read "Out Of The Blue" CD/LP/Track Review Out Of The Blue
by Tyran Grillo
Published: November 4, 2016
Read "Ziljabu Nights - Live at Theater Gutersloh" CD/LP/Track Review Ziljabu Nights - Live at Theater Gutersloh
by Glenn Astarita
Published: March 22, 2017
Read "Points of View" CD/LP/Track Review Points of View
by Geno Thackara
Published: March 26, 2017
Read "New Spring - Live At The Village Vanguard" CD/LP/Track Review New Spring - Live At The Village Vanguard
by Budd Kopman
Published: November 8, 2016

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.