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Cecile McLorin Salvant - Dreams and Daggers. Excellent work / jazz & blues report

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The praise Cecile McLorin Salvant has garnered over a now three-album, Grammy-recognized career seems further justified as evidenced on this third release.  The Miami-born vocalist sets a high bar on virtually every measurement with which one might assess a jazz vocalist: technique, range, power and, perhaps most important, the mastery of these finely-honed tools.

On these "live" recordings, Ms. McLorin Savant takes on Irving Berlin ("The Best Thing For You Would Be Me", "Let's Face The Music and Dance"), Kurt Weill ("Somehow I Never Could Believe") and Bob Dorough ("Devil May Care", "Nothing Like You") among others, constructing a most satisfying pair of classic jazz singer's sets.

Thrown in for good measure are some delightful blues diva gems, Ida Cox's "Wild Women Don't Have The Blues" for one.

Her trio backup is solid and pianist Aaron Diehl delivers some ear-catching choruses of his own.  The reliable appearance of "Best Of" candidates close to year's end continues with the arrival Dreams and Daggers.  Excellent work. - Duane Verh