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Christina Courtin

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Album Review

After serving as an occasional sideman for the likes of Ryan Adams, Yo-Yo Ma, and composer Osvaldo Golijov, Christina Courtin makes her solo debut with a batch of soft, jazz-influenced pop songs. The album's simple cover art — a blue background, an abridged head shot, a brief of line of text — sets the stage for the music within, which focuses on Courtin's voice with few outside distractions. This is teahouse material, too elegant for the coffee joint and too subdued to occupy the same space inhabited by Feist, Regina Spektor, and Ingrid Michaelson. Courtin boasts a perfectly acceptable alto, and her quirky delivery helps steer some of the album's more fanciful phrases ("My currency's so spent, you could buy my candy for a cent") away from cloying territory. One can't help but wish for a brief glimpse of her violin skills — the same skills that earned Courtin a spot at the Juilliard School — but this self-titled debut is a vehicle for her developing voice, not a showcase for her veteran instrumental prowess. "February" manages to find the best of both worlds, though, combining Christina Courtin's best vocal performance with enough orchestral swells to appease her Juilliard classmates.


Born: 1984 in Buffalo, NY

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s

A graduate of the Juilliard School in New York City, Christina Courtin occupies the middle ground between contemporary folk, vocal jazz, and alternative pop/rock. The New York native began studying violin at three years old, and her quick mastery of the instrument led to an interest in singing, songwriting, and performing. After enrolling at the Juilliard School, she began collaborating with the likes of Yo-Yo Ma, Dawn Upshaw, and Osvaldo Golijov, utilizing her talents as both a vocalist and violinist....
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Christina Courtin, Christina Courtin
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