Sonya Kitchell is a young artist but has one of the most mature voices I’ve heard in recent times. She’s quickly becoming one of my favorite contemporary vocalists. It’s not quite jazz, but it retains some of the sensibilities of the great jazz females. A more fair (and albeit trite) comparison would be that with Joni Mitchell, whose tradition she faithfully continues, however unwittingly.
On her album Words Came Back To Me, she has a song called Jerry, whom I presume is her little brother, based on the hidden track starting somewhere in the 5th minute of the track. The song’s refrain refers to “my little brother,” and it’s one of the most honest songs I’ve heard in years. If you get a chance, pick up her album and give that hidden track a listen. Well worth it.
From the quintessential elder statesman of jazz comes this glowing tribute to the voice of folk song for a peace loving generation. Of course I’m referring to Herbie Hancock’s most recent effort of Joni Mitchell, whose album Blue still ranks among my favorite for female vocals.
It’s a nice album that represents a further continuation of Herbie’s progressive musical accomplishments. It’s very much reminiscent in spirit of his 2005 effort Possibilities.
Several covers of Joni’s music feature noted vocalists such as Luciana Souza and Norah Jones. Newer voices like Corinne Bailey Rae and the legendary Tina Turner also make appearances, and Joni herself sings “Tea Leaf Prophecy.”
Other notable musical guests include Wayne Shorter, the great tenor man who played along with Herbie in Miles Davis’s second great quintet, who plays “Nefertiti” on this album.
There are multiple versions available, including one on Amazon that features Sonya Kitchell on an exclusive track. Of course, I only learned about that version after I had purchased the album, but I am hoping to get a listen of Sonya Kitchell on this project. In either form, well worth picking up.