The Women Who Raised Me

Music Review

30 Apr 2020
Kandace Springs
The Women Who Raised Me
Blue Note
Formats also available: vinyl, DL
vinyl, DL

Singer/keyboard player Kandace Springs’ musical antecedents can be traced back to her first EP in 2014 also on the Blue Note label. She has since performed on the Letterman show and Prince said that she has a “voice that can melt snow”. The Women Who Raised Me is a reference to the artists that inspired her, thus we have songs made famous by Sade, Lauryn Hill, Billie Holiday, Bonnie Raitt, Nina Simone and more. The album has a seriously jazzy feel to it for the most part, thanks to some incredibly good musicians that accompany her they include: Scott Colley (bass), Clarence Penn (drums) and Steve Cardenas (guitar). Springs provides vocals, piano and electric piano (Rhodes, Wurlitzer) and is also joined by luminaries such as Christian McBride, Norah Jones and David Sanborn.

Springs has an impressive and very natural voice, her style tends to veer from Nina Simone to Anita O’day but also venture towards contemporary expressions that are more Ariane Grande than Cecile Mclorin Salvant. Regardless her voice is never less than sensational and her interpretations of standards old and new are impressive.

The dozen songs she has selected are all treated to a very original rendition. Springs is joined by Norah Jones for a spellbinding version of ‘Angel Eyes’. She sings ‘I Put A Spell On You’ accompanied to Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata and in the process creates a haunting jazzy blues aided by the saxophone of David Sanborn. ‘Killing Me Softly’ is a touching homage to Roberta Flack that ends with a prog rock jazz theme. And so it goes. Never rushed always original and most importantly sung and played brilliantly. 

Reuben Klein