Saturday, 3 September 2016

Kandace Springs - Soul Eyes, album review

Jazz Full of Soul

The often smooth jazz of this outstanding album is an interesting leaning for Kandace in as much as when you search her out on YouTube you’ll find largely R&B/soul as the bright direction of her superb singing as well as promotion. Not that the heartbeat of soul doesn’t also pump throughout this collection.

Having seen her supporting Gregory Porter on his recent UK tour [reviewed here], this album is far less of a surprise, and welcome because of that differently bright introduction. She is a naturally gifted performer, the voice effortlessly pure and full, as well as a very fine jazz pianist.

The song choice on this album is both classic and contemporary, the title track a sultry version of the Max Waldron song made instrumentally standard by John Coltrane, Stan Getz and Pharaoh Sanders. There are two Shelby Lynne songs – Thought it Would Be Easier and Leavin’ – and these get respectively a funked-up delivery [organ puffs/bursts, bass pumps, and soulful chorus], and a beautifully swelled defiance in the expression of leaving love behind, more backing vocals encouraging the confidence. But it is the vocal assurance that underscores these and all the others.

Springs co-writes and goes solo: Novocaine Heart written with producers Carl Sturken and Evan Rogers is a sprightly bass-propelled number; Fall Guy with these two as well is a ballad that showcases Springs’ resonating lower notes – such soothing sonics – with a rising chorus, and the self-penned closing song Rain Falling is a fine jazzblues with Kandace on solo piano matching the vocal notes and then dancing in between.

There are more excellent songs written with other band members, and War’s The World is a Ghetto is covered with exquisite emotion in the stand-out singing. 

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