It is magnetic how many bases Kandace Springs locks firm to. She is not trying to please everyone however the range is considerable. The way the album is produced arrows knowingly raining in on several targets and not as glossy and mainstream as Larry Klein’s who nonetheless achieved a lot on Soul Eyes. And yet this is a mass market aimed style still, the stakes are getting higher, the possibility of failure greater.
There is a lot of musicianship sprinkled throughout and this is reassuring meaning that Indigo is not at all gimmicky because musicianship is the polar opposite of faddy novelty. The human interest story is the presence of Kandace’s dad, Scat, on ‘Simple Things’ which delivers an effortless sounding level of persuasion and finds all the space of the world and lets the song hang in the air doted upon by father and daughter yet avoiding sentimentality by its complexity.
Standouts are the quality version of ‘People Make the World Go Round’, the best I have heard since Claire Martin's stunning take on the song on Perfect Alibi.
Kandace is not the new Norah Jones, She is not the new anyone. Her tack is different. She does not emphasise the tragic song, the mournful; her positivity comes free inside the groove steered impressively by August Greene drummer Karriem Riggins an approach that underpins her blues and versatility and the other inputs that she picks up from soul. But intimacy calls best as ‘Unsophisticated’ proves, Roy Hargrove going ever deeper than he did on his version of Pat Metheny’s ‘Always and Forever’ on Moment to Moment, to my mind his biggest ballad achievement on record to date although this may be considered even greater in time. Will Springs be the female jazz ballads singer of our decade? She certainly responds well to trumpeters, Hargrove following after the dust left by Terence Blanchard settled. The signs are pointing that jazz ballad way already and yet that aspect may only be a sub-plot to her wider every increasing non-core jazz public who may beg her to sing anything including the phone book for their ravenous pleasure. SG
Indigo is released by Blue Note records on Friday 7 September.
Kandace Springs plays the EFG London Jazz Festival in the QEH on 17 November. Support is AJ Brown. Info + tickets. photo: Jeff Forney/Universal/Blue Note