Johnaye Kendrick – Here (2014)

Johnaye Kendrick - Here (2014)
Artist: Johnaye Kendrick
Album: Here
Year Of Release: 2014
Format: FLAC (tracks)
01. Your Flowers
02. You’re Mine
03. I Will Wait Forever
04. Here
05. Love
06. A Thousand Nights
07. He Finds Me Beautiful
08. The Water
09. Placebo Effect
10. You’re So High (You’re So Low)
11. I Am Not Afraid
12. Standing Still


The Seattle singer Johnaye Kendrick’s talent centers in the modern jazz tradition: On the first several tracks of her first record, “Here” (Johnygirl), her light and accurate voice quickly establishes authority in tone, improvisation, swing feeling. If you’re interested in singers like Gretchen Parlato and Luciana Souza, go directly to her. But jazz these days is sometimes best defined as a connection to other things, and this record lives at the point where the strategies and sonic dimensions of jazz plug into much else: R&B and bossa nova, songs without drums, creeping ballads or laments; new reshufflings of very old ideas in American music.

Still, everything here comes down to the settled and centered quality of Ms. Kendrick’s voice. She’s organically connected to her band, which includes the pianist Dawn Clement, the bassist Chris Symer and the drummers Byron Vannoy and D’Vonne Lewis. But on one of the strongest tracks, “I Am Not Afraid,” Ms. Kendrick sings in long tones, with only her harmonium and multitracked vocals for accompaniment. It’s easy to imagine most of these songs done that way, or with voice alone.

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