Misc. Day – To Fall and Stagger


Music can transport a listener to a million different places in a short amount of time, with the metallic corridors of the deep dungeons, the high flying birds in the sky, or the smoke filled room of a jazz bar. Dreams and Daggers by Cécile McLorin Salvant takes the listener to the 50’s and 60’s where Jazz was in the golden age, where it flooded the streets and was more booming than ever.

Salvant takes innovation and vocal jazz into a synonymous, handshake of range and ability. Recording both through studio and live performance, Dreams and Daggers becomes at times a lengthy journey through the clear headed strut of Salvant and her band. Shown for the plethora of production and instrumentalists that specialize in making the mixes feel more genuine than felt before, the senior album of four by Salvant where she is at the helm feels right. Dreams and Daggers adjusts for her, create a conflict of both the glorious instrumentals and the heart-stopping vocal performances that border between elegant and abstract.

Discussion on marriage, solitude, and the ability of a free-thinking woman, Salvant is backed by Aaron Diehl on piano, Sullivan Fortner on piano, Paul Sikivie as the double bass and string arranger, as well as the Catalyst Quartet on strings. Percussion is handled by Lawrence Leathers, and with a direction that is laid out by the band as each track feels as a continuation of the last through tempo management and overall sound. The music is such a vital piece to aiding Salvant into a triumphant, emotional attachment to her own sound. It becomes a traditional jazz flaunt, but then devolves into the beauty and glory of experimentation with the sound by using changing tempos, the forming of audience noise, and even what becomes mostly covers on Dreams and Daggers.

The emotional stance and impact becomes quickly attached to Salvant as she displays more than just a beautiful voice on Dreams and Daggers, she displays vocal range and the ability to be a real threat as an artist. She moves in an elegant manner in certain forms, behind the soft spoken voice in between tracks. But more importantly, can understand a sense of what makes her beauty stand out, and that is the conflicting lower played and sung notes that bounce throughout the record in an effortless fashion. Salvant makes the impossible seem approachable, she holds a twisted shift that works immaculately in her favor.

Even as Dreams and Daggers begins to move through the total near two-hour mix, Salvant keeps the music feeling adaptable and easily digested through the intermissions of instrumental and vocal performances. The record is longer, but for good reason and gives Salvant a substantial platform to display her manipulation from both up-close and afar.

Listen To Dreams and Daggers Here!!! – Salvant’s Website/Soundcloud/Spotify/Amazon/iTunes

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