Album Review: The Window by Cécile McLorin Salvant
Exceptionally Good, Based on 2 Critics
AllMusic - 90 Based on rating 9/10
On Cécile McLorin Salvant's 2017 album, Dreams and Daggers, she paired with pianist Sullivan Fortner for a rousing and saucy live rendition of Bessie Smith's "You've Got to Give Me Some." It was one of the most delightful tracks on an album that earned the singer her second Grammy Award. Salvant and Fortner take that charming, in-the-moment chemistry even further on her fifth album, 2018's The Window. Once again shifting between studio recordings and several live performances made at New York's Village Vanguard, Salvant and Fortner commune over a deftly curated and deeply enveloping mix of standards, covers, and one Salvant original, "À Clef," sung entirely in French.
When the jazz vocalist Cécile McLorin Salvant sings "Somewhere" on her fifth album, The Window, she approaches the American standard with complete knowledge of its monumental past--and its possibilities in the present. Over 60 years after its debut as a central number in West Side Story, "Somewhere" stands among the last century's most-covered numbers, as one generation after another finds beauty to its promise of a place where they might fit in. So how does an artist in 2018 make "Somewhere" sound new? That's the question Salvant and pianist Sullivan Fortner pose.