For One to Love

For One to Love

by Cécile McLorin Salvant

CD(Digi-Pak / with Booklet)

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Overview

A brilliantly realized follow-up to her Grammy-nominated 2013 effort, WomanChild, vocalist Cécile McLorin Salvant's third album, 2015's For One to Love, is at its core a small-group jazz album featuring a thoughtfully curated set of standards and originals. However, with Salvant at the mike, backed here with nuanced skill by pianist Aaron Diehl, bassist Paul Sikivie, and drummer Lawrence Leathers, it's also a series of virtuoso performances, each one seemingly more engaging and emotionally resonant than the last. Conceptually centered around notions of romantic love -- from conflicted, melancholic expressions to more bawdy, sensual ones -- the album finds Salvant further demonstrating the poetic compositional skills and feminist themes that helped make WomanChild so much more than just a solid album from an accomplished jazz vocalist. However, Salvant's feminism here, while finely articulated, isn't explicit. It lies more subtly in the context of her choices. Her exuberant reading of the swing-era "Growlin' Dan," a song by Blanche Calloway, Cab's lesser-known older sister and mentor, seems to symbolize Salvant's distinctly female point of view. The same might be said of her sardonically faithful rendition of Burt Bacharach's infamously misogynistic "Wives and Lovers" or her playful take on the Oscar Hammerstein II and Richard Rodgers standard "Stepsisters' Lament," in which she coyly asks "Oh, why would a fella want a girl like her?/A girl who's so unusual/Why can't a fella ever once prefer a usual girl like me?" Of course, not to split hairs, but there isn't really anything usual about Salvant. A true sculptor of song, she is the kind of singer who exerts perfect control over everything she sings, molding each musical moment at will. Perhaps it's not surprising, then, to find out that she also painted the image on the cover of For One to Love, a woman's face, Picasso askew, crying from happiness or heartbreak. It's this kind of emotional dichotomy that Salvant, with her malleable talent, is so adept at expressing. She's able to push her voice to the edge of control, but that breaking point is most likely a product of her own virtuosic illusion -- since she never crosses it. As on the poignant "Left Over," in which she sings about an unrequited love, her voice soars into a wobbly falsetto one second, and pulls back into a throaty coo the next, whispering that "his hands on mine are all I know of love, of love." This is a theatrical move, an actor's stage approach to singing in character, only it's Salvant's own composition and it breaks your heart. Salvant's originals are all lyrical, sad, and personal, revealing achingly raw emotions. On tunes like "Underling," we're left to ponder whether the song is about her ruinous devotion to a lover or her painful dedication to her creative muse. Regardless, the results are heartbreaking and beautiful.

Product Details

Release Date: 09/04/2015
Label: Mack Avenue
UPC: 0673203109520
catalogNumber: 1095
Rank: 59539

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Cécile McLorin Salvant   Primary Artist,Vocals,Handwriting
Aaron Diehl   Piano
Paul Sikivie   Double Bass
Lawrence Leathers   Drums

Technical Credits

Leonard Bernstein   Composer
Stephen Sondheim   Composer
Richard Rodgers   Composer
Burt Bacharach   Composer
Blanche Calloway   Composer
Hal David   Composer
Oscar Hammerstein   Composer
Clyde Hart   Composer
Hugh Martin   Composer
Pryor   Producer
Clarence Williams   Composer
Spencer Williams   Composer
Maria Ehrenreich   Creation,Creative Producer
Ralph Blane   Composer
Raj Naik   Layout
Monique Andrée Serf   Composer
Gretchen Valade   Executive Producer
Cécile McLorin Salvant   Composer,Art Direction,Illustrations
Todd Whitelack   Engineer

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