Vocalist Cyrille Aimee certainly has quite a pedigree: She was a finalist in the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Vocal Competition in 2010 and won the Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Prize in 2012. She has one of those coquettish chanteuse-like voices, owing possibly to her French heritage. She’s also half Dominican. A hint of exotica seems to inform and pervade her work.
I’m not sure about the Sarah Vaughan legacy, but if there was a Stacey Kent Prize for singing, Cyrille would be at the top of that long list. Having said that, it’s difficult not to be at least a little enchanted by her delivery, if not her cagey sense for choice material.
While Stacey Kent has always been fairly complacent, it seems to serve her and a growing number of imitators. They all subscribe more to the legacy of Blossom Dearie than Sheila Jordan. Aimee dwells in a respectable middle ground. Like Madeline Peyroux, she seems unconcerned with how original people may think she is. She’s also a pretty good writer, offering several originals that transcend the standard fare. While the title track falls a bit flat, Oscar Pettiford’s “Laverne Walk” is a scatter’s delight.