Release Date: Sep 15, 2017
Record label: Concord
Genre(s): R&B, Adult Contemporary R&B, Contemporary Folk, Contemporary Jazz Vocals
For the new album Grace, Joe Henry collected about 70 songs for Lizz Wright to cover. She selected the ones she felt best mirrored her past and present state of consciousness. Wright took on well-known songs like .
From Flannery O’Connor’s rural grotesqueries to Lucinda Williams’s tales of small-town desperation, there’s a long tradition of writers drawing inspiration from the physical, cultural, and spiritual qualities of the American South. Lizz Wright is less a writer than an interpretive singer, but her sixth album, Grace, belongs to that same lineage: the songs’ stretched-out tempos reflect the leisurely cadence of life below the Mason-Dixon line; the choral backdrops suggest Pentecostal fervor that’s seeped into the soil; and throughout, Wright’s performances reflect a particularly Southern kind of sinewy strength. The songs on Grace—nine covers plus one original—span eras and musical genres but are all connected by their sense of place.
O ver five albums 37-year-old Wright has emerged as the doyenne of current jazz singers, able to inhabit and transform songs from disparate genres. Grace is her homage to her native south (she grew up a minister.