Billie Holiday is not just one of jazz’s leading ladies but one of song’s leading ladies, in my book. I’m going to name drop – Sarah Brightman, Ella Fitzgerald, Norah Jones, Sonya Kitchell, Diana Krall, Joni Mitchell, Sarah Vaughan, even Charlotte Church – these are my favorites. There may be a new addition to this esteemed group of voices, and her name is Madeleine Peyroux. I can’t believe that I haven’t heard of her until now, but the little I’ve heard so far has been quite promising.
Richard Skelly over at allmusic.com is quick to point out differences, however, as Peyroux writes her own material and apparently plays guitar. She breaks out of the genre to rework songs traditionally associated with rock, old and new.
Her first album was just over 10 years ago, but only three more have come since that time, the most recent being last year’s Half the Perfect World.
From the little I’ve heard, she brings a fresh approach to her music. My vinyl-digging fingers are already twitching to search out some of her studio albums, though I am currently awaiting a live bootleg of Madeleine from Berlin in 2006 and another show from 2004.
No matter how much I love the dirty, blaring horns of Dizzy and Miles, probably nothing floors me as easily as the fine female voice, and it sounds like Madeleine might just have the magic pipes.