I must be getting old. There used to be a time when this kind of music, this slow-tempo, R&B/smooth jazz fusion, used to make me scoff, vomit, regret that that sperm and that egg found that love connection to form the zygote that would become lil’ ole me. But I guess I’ve done some growing since then.
I confess that I really do enjoy Lizz Wright and am pleasantly surprised by that fact (I mean, she’s even sung for Joe Sample, for the love of God). This Georgian singer/songwriter has the makings of a genuine star in the jazz world. Her voice is beautiful in its power and grace. She oozes with style in this, her très mellow debut. Salt is a soulful journey into melancholy, and Wright entices you every step of the way with the help of co-producers Tommy LiPuma, Brian Blade and Jon Cowherd.
Wright’s voice is highly reminiscent of Oleta Adams. She has that same mesmerizing quality. Her music encircles the tantalizing nebula of jazz, smooth and otherwise, R&B and neo-soul. She’s a true vocalist who knows how to interpret a song and make it her own (just hear her version of “Afro Blue” and “Open Your Eyes, You Can Fly”). It is very easy to envision Lizz Wright becoming another Cassandra Wilson with a beautiful jazz that really defies categorization.
Verve Records: http://www.ververecords.com/