With a luxuriant voice redolent of the red soil that sustained her growing up in Georgia, Lizz Wright sanctifies every song she sings. While the 35-year-old vocalist first gained attention delivering Swing Era standards associated with Billie Holiday, she’s continued in recent years as a singer/songwriter whose music eludes definition.
A quartet of albums on the Verve label, beginning with 2003’s Salt and concluding with the gospel-infused Fellowship from 2010, established Wright as a major artist whose reach wasn’t bound by the limits of any one genre. Since the release of Fellowship, Wright has been continually working in varying settings with a number of sublimely talented women including drummer Terri Lyne Carrington’s GRAMMY-winning Mosaic Project and a touring tribute to Miriam Makeba, Abbey Lincoln and Odetta featuring fellow vocalists Dianne Reeves and Angelique Kidjo. Wright’s follows up her GRAMMY-nominated Concord Records debut Freedom & Surrender with her new release, Grace, featuring sparking covers of Nina Simone’s “Seems I’m Never Tired Lovin’ You” and Frank Perkins’ immortal 1934 standard “Stars Fell on Alabama.” In describing the inimitable voice of Lizz Wright, JazzTimes enthuses: “[her] soul-jazz lilt – soft as peach fuzz yet iron-sturdy – is the musical equivalent of a protective hug from a keenly empathetic friend.”