August 2, 2021

the joy of Robin McKelle’s singing at New Morning

“Since the beginning of July, for certain concerts, like the two of Billy Cobham, the public has been there, for others, it has been less satisfactory. But we are quite proud to have been able to maintain the festival ”, welcomes Catherine Farhi, who directs the New Morning, in Paris. In fact, the All Stars Festival is a stopover appreciated by jazz stars, but not only during summer tours. If in 2020 the festival could not take place, its 2021 poster holds its place.

The club has already hosted soul and funk singer Martha High, saxophonist Stefano Di Battista’s quintet, recent pianist Christian Sands, Cuban pianist Harold Lopez-Nussa, drummer Billy Cobham… Guitarist Julian Lage , double bass player Henri Texier are expected. This Wednesday, July 21, it’s singer Robin McKelle. It is also the day of new rules for cultural places. The capacity to accommodate more than 400 people at the New Morning requires a health pass.

The doors open at 8:30 pm, the festival concerts, scheduled until July 31, begin at 9:30 pm Pass control at the entrance, then ticket control. Calmly. The young woman at the ticket office explains: “With the pass you can take off the mask if you want. “ Part of the public is doing it.

His soul version of Dolly Parton’s country hit “Jolene” precedes an intense blues dive into Janis Joplin’s “Mercedes Benz”

Pianist Shedrick Mitchell and drummer Charles Haynes, who performed on the singer’s latest album, Alterations (February 2020, Doxie Records / Membran), and double bassist and bassist Eric Wheeler settle in. Short instrumental introduction. Robin McKelle arrives, in a jacket and gold lamé pants, starts with Back to Black, Amy Winehouse. Between jazz and soul. Born in 1976 in Rochester (State of New York), she sang early in church, recorded in 2006 with a big band jazz, later tackled soul (Soul Flower, 2012, and Heart of Memphis, 2014).

She said, in French, her joy to finally be there, at the New Morning, after several postponements. Stage-style ovation. Explain that she is going to sing several excerpts fromAlterations, choice of songs that are those of women whose voices, texts, interpretations have been inspirations.

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The art of scat

Amy Winehouse then. Joni Mitchell, played regularly by jazz artists (Herbie Hancock devoted an entire album to him), of which Robin McKelle lives fully River, one of his many songs of pure emotion. With the ballad Don’t Explain, created by Billie Holiday in 1944, Robin McKelle whispers, touches, stretches sentences in modulations. It accompanies the melodic curves of the hand, drawing like a bird’s flight.

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