Cyrille Aimée – It’s A Good Day – Mack Avenue

Cyrille Aimée – It’s A Good Day – Mack Avenue MAC 1087, 43:07 ****:

(Cyrille Aimée – vocals; Adrien Moignard – guitar; Michael Valeanu – guitar; Guilherme Monteiro – guitar; Sam Anning – bass; Rajiv Jayaweera – drums)

It’s a Good Day is the Mack Avenue Records debut of a great young jazz singer, Cyrille Aimée, a winner of both the Montreux Jazz Festival Vocal Competition and the Sarah Vaughan International Vocal Competition. Blessed with a pixie charm and a girlish voice that channels Norah Jones and Blossom Dearie, Cyrille has a unique presentation that is immediately captivating.

Raised primarily in France by a French father and a Dominican mother, Cyrille is a woman with a myriad of influences including the gypsy jazz of Django Reinhardt, Brazilian bossa nova and samba, as well as a deep appreciation of the Great American Songbook, and female jazz legends like Nina Simone and Billie Holiday.

Throw in a little stardust and energy to spare, and you have the makings of one special chanteuse. On the CD she is accompanied by a blend of three guitars (jazz, gypsy, and Brazilian styles), bass, and drums. The song list covers the gamut from standards of Rodgers and Hart, Peggy Lee, and Duke Ellington; to several originals, and even a cover of Oscar Pettiford’s “Tricotism.” Cyrille adds lyrics to “All Love” written by Django’s son, Babik.

Recommended tracks are numerous and include: “Where or When” gets a gypsy treatment with Cyrille’s lilting voice floating over the guitarist. The title track, made famous by Peggy Lee, has a sparkling arrangement by Michael Valeanu and Cyrille. “Bamboo Shoots” from bassist Anning has a soothing vibe that brings to mind an island vacation and a cool libation. “Young at Heart” from Johnny Richards is so well-known that it easily could be a filler track, but Cyrille’s version is so joyous and the gypsy arrangement so compelling, that it is instantly pleasurable.

“Pourtant” has Cyrille emoting in her native language, and though I do not know French well enough to understand the lyrics, I still dug the arrangement and great guitar solo. “All Love” with Cyrille’s lyrics is compelling and a tender tribute to Babik Reinhardt. “Tricotism” has Cyrille scatting over Anning’s bass lead.

It’s a good day to experience this jazz singer with the goods to be a star…

TrackList: Where or When, It’s a Good Day, Bamboo Shoots, Twenty-Eight, Caravan, Nuit Blanche, Young at Heart, Off the Wall, Love Me or Leave Me, One Way Ticket, Pourtant, All Love, Tricotism

—Jeff Krow

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