The Women Who Raised Me is the third album that Kandace Springs has recorded since she was noticed by Prince and then picked up by Blue Note. She adheres more than ever to the label’s predilection since, if until now she was sailing on more soulful waters, the agile double bass of the great Christian McBride announces within the very first seconds of the record that she’s now on the blue seas of jazz with all sails open.
As its title attests, this new project by the Nashville-born singer is an opportunity for her to pay tribute to the women who have made her the artist she is today. She offers us covers of songs by Astrud Gilberto, Sade Adu, Bonnie Raitt, Lauryn Hill, Nina Simone, Billie Holiday, Norah Jones, Roberta Flack, Dusty Springfield, and Carmen McRae. In doing so, she runs the risk of taking on untouchables such as “Solitude” or “Killing Me Softly”. She even goes so far as to superimpose “I Put a Spell on You” and Beethoven’s famous “Moonlight Sonata”! Yet she avoids all the pitfalls that come with such choices, thanks to her good taste and assured singing.
In addition, she is supported by a cohort of illustrious jazz practitioners. In addition to McBride, trumpeter Avishai Cohen (who works wonders on “I Can’t Make You Love Me”), young flautist Elena Pindehughes and, on saxophones, good old David Sanborn and the great Chris Potter. None of them cast any shadow over the singer who, although she may not have a singular personality, has all the talent and class necessary to be part of the tradition in which the great ladies this album celebrates have evolved.