Lizz Wright – Shadow

Just a few weeks after her remarkable performance in Berlin, singer Lizz Wright has just released her new album “Shadow” on her own Blues & Greens Records. It is available as a colored 180g vinyl version too. We’ve already been treated with a couple of singles, like the wondrous, easily shuffling “Your Love” which features the airy sounds of harpist Brandee Younger and Meshell Ndegeocello on bass. It still resonates big time. Lizz also has singer Angelique Kidjo as guest vocalist on the album opener “Sparrow”, which has this typical Lizz melange of blues, folk, jazz and soul.

Lizz Wright "Shadow"

Helping her out to achieve her vision are guitarists Adam Levy and Chris Bruce, Deantoni Parks on drums, Rashaan Carter on bass, and Glenn Patscha on keys on piano, among others. Also on board: a heavenly string quartet. There is this wonderful southern breeze with a Gospel touch on the fondly floating “Root Of Mercy” where Lizz plays with voice loops and a Wurlitzer, played by Lynne Earls, adds some extra country-tinged touch. One of the album’s highlights. “Sweet Feeling”, the first single off the album which already came out last October, is boasting with a lot of blues textures and moods.

Side two opens with “This Way”, one of those Lizz ballads where her majestic, really exceptionally warm voice comes to the fore. Really like the tender B3 in the back. She also adds some extra nice backing vocals on this one. And there is more versatility here: Trina Basu on violin and Arun Ramamurthy on Carnatic violin are featured on the Gospel-meets-Southern Soul “Lost In The Valley”. I don’t know, it’s as if Lizz simply can’t go wrong with everything she touches. Example?: A string quartet is featured on Cole Porter’s “I Concentrate On You” where she slithers through elegantly. My favorite? “Circling”, one of the most beautiful songs she ever recorded I think. The warm Rhodes, subtly driving drums, and country-styled guitars accompany her on this little wonder. I keep coming back to this track over and over again. It’s an amazingly soothing piece which puts a lot into perspective and calms down. And the strings are back again on the slow and tender album closer “I Made A Lover’s Prayer”.

Lizz is coming back to Europe for the festival season:
07/08 Vienne – Jazz à Vienne
0711 Spoleto – Festival di Spoleto
07/13 Rotterdam – North Sea Jazz Festival
07/16 Perugia – Umbria Jazz Festival
07/18 Krakow – Krakow Jazz Festival
07/20 Stuttgart – Jazz Open
10/09 Hamburg – Mojo Club
10/13 Darmstadt – Staatstheater


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