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Album Review

Nnenna Freelon's highly anticipated new CD Soulcall releases her energy, talent, and soulful vocals into a great program of 13 songs inspired by jazz traditions, gospel influences, and pop favorites. Accompanied by a great band, including Chris Potter on alto flute and tenor saxophone, Ray Drummond on bass, and special guests Kirk Whalum on tenor saxophone, Joe Beck on guitar, and Sounds of Blackness and Take 6 on vocals, the dynamic, award-winning, vocalist emanates her eclectic musical tastes with cozy intimacy, soulful nuance, and curvaceous phrasings. Freelon resurrects two renditions of "Amazing Grace" for modern artists; one a quiet, duet with pianist Takana Miyamoto and the other, a gospel jazz version with pianist James Williams, Ray Drummond, drummer Ed Thigpen, and tambourines by Gregg Field. The soulcall successfully comes through on the title track, a composition penned by Freelon, which reflects her true essence. Her voice is beautiful and possesses the amazing ability to gracefully change in musical expression and shading. "Let It Be Me" and "Just in Time" reveal her ability to caress a great ballad and scat sing with the best of them. The Grammy-nominated singer only improves with age and shows tremendous growth from her debut album, Shaking Free, and the much celebrated Maiden Voyage.


Born: 28 July 1954 in Cambridge, MS

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Nnenna Chinyere Freelon is a world-renowned jazz vocalist; she has recorded extensively and been nominated for numerous Grammy Awards. While this doesn't necessarily set her apart from other more prolific female jazz singers, there is one aspect of her career that does: she didn't begin recording until she was in her late thirties. She was born in Cambridge, MA, in 1954 as Nnenna Chinyere Pierce. She began singing at an early age in church, but didn't pursue music as a career until decades later....
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Soulcall, Nnenna Freelon
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