Sprightly-voiced jazz singer Cyrille Aimée made her Mack Avenue Records debut with the August release of It’s A Good Day, a baker’s dozen of finely wrought performances showcasing the talented vocalist. A singer with ideas of her own, her website bio talks of her walking away from the TV talent show Star Academy when she discovered they would be in control of what she sang. Not a bad decision it would seem, choosing her own material, she has managed to come up a winner of the Montreux Jazz Festival’s Vocal Competition, as well as the Sarah Vaughan International Vocal Competition. Listen to her sing on It’s A Good Day and it is clear she knows what she’s doing.
So it isn’t strange that when it came to the accompaniment for the new album, she had her own idea about that as well – a novel idea. Along with a dynamic rhythm section with Sam Anning on bass and Rajiv Jayaweera on drums, three guitars combine to fill out the ensemble. Michael Valeanu plays a standard electric guitar. Adrien Moignard plays a steel-string guitar in the gypsy tradition, and Guilherme Monteiro joins in on a nylon-stringed guitar for a Brazilian flavor. It is an unusual combination, but it is a combination that works, and works well.
For her repertoire, Aimée, like many jazz vocalists, has chosen a mix of classic pieces and originals—nothing exceptionally unconventional here, except, perhaps, for a Latin-spiced cover of the Michael Jackson hit “Off The Wall.” Other than that, she romps through an inspired arrangement of “Love Me Or Leave Me” and works wonders with the jazz classic “Caravan.”
“Where Or When” opens the album and sets the tone for what’s to come brilliantly. “It’s A Good Day,” the album’s title song, is a nod to the breathy-voiced Peggy Lee. She closes the set in a scat duet with bassist Anning on Oscar Pettiford’s “Tricotism.”
Originals include bassist Anning’s “Bamboo Shoots,” and several of the singer’s collaborations, most notably the lilting love tune “Twenty-Eight” and “All Love,” with her poetic lyric to a melody by Babik Reinhardt. “Nuit Blanche” is a catchy toe tapping tune with a bit of scat added.
All in all, It’s A Good Day is an album that promises much and delivers the goods.
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