It’s not often that a singer gets compared to one of the past greats in their field and actually deserves it. How many times was someone hailed as “the new Sinatra”? Or “the new Dylan?”
Cecile McLorin Salvant got tagged as “the new Billie Holiday” early on, and it could have been a curse. The thing, though? It’s not too off.
Salvant took the jazz world by storm when she burst on the scene early in the decade. And she quickly shed the comparisons to Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughn and Bessie Smith by touring constantly and developing her own singular voice. Need any more proof of her individuality? Her new album, Ogresse, is a 90-minute song cycle about a devilish woman with a hunger for human flesh. She brings it to the Bay Area on Wednesday, March 11, at the Paramount Theatre in Oakland. Details here.—Gabe Meline