Flawless nonchalance at a treacherously tricky art comes as axiomatic for American vocalist Cécile McLorin Salvant – the Wynton Marsalis-hailed, Grammy-profitable, unflashily charismatic jazz singer who typically suggests she could flip the cellular phone e book into a spellbinding libretto. For all that, the announcer’s warm up to her Saturday gig at the EFG London jazz pageant – “you’ll be taken on a journey you will under no circumstances forget” – may have been queried by anybody comparing it with her tightrope-going for walks Ronnie Scott’s displays of a couple of many years back again.
But no Salvant effectiveness is with out its revelations – these kinds of as her exquisite account of the 1958 Cy Coleman common You Fascinate Me So, or her jolting upward wail on the phrase “my heart will crack, fired out of a melancholy desire-walk on Coleman’s With Every Breath I Just take. Her forensic precision introduced a gimlet stare to The Threepenny Opera’s The Environment Is Mean, Sting’s Right up until had its lyrics seamlessly compressed more than her barnstorming stride-to-publish-bop husband or wife Sullivan Fortner’s rolling piano rhythms, The Trolley Music leapt off an exhilaratingly rapid-boogieing Fortner intro, and Oliver’s Where Is Love? And Pirate Jenny’s The Black Freighter were frequented in the encores. It was an exposition of inconspicuously controlled, finely-honed artistry, even if saxophonist Jason Yarde’s and pianist Andrew McCormack’s fusion of horn-hollering improv and spikier notions of melody had furnished some invaluable jazz balance in their supporting set.
In other places, on the festival’s Friday start night, the Kings Location Venus Unwrapped series hosted Lara Jones and Megan Roe’s spirited blend of punky guitar/sax ferocity and electronica as J Frisco, bassist Alison Rayner’s personal ARQ, a tentative-to-ecstatic reunion of all-woman eighties Latin-fusion sextet The Visitor Stars – celebrating the progressive Blow the Fuse promoting organisation, and the late jazz-enabling dynamo Debbie Dickinson. Later on in the shoebox basement of Camden’s Con Cellar bar, devoted youthful originals like drummer Sam Jesson, saxophonists George Crowley (unveiling both of those his techno and publish-bop leanings) and Alice Leggett concurrently cherished where by jazz has been, and relished where by it may be headed.
•The EFG London jazz pageant continues right until 24 November.