Kandace Springs has shared the video and audio for ‘Pearls,’ the lead song from her new Blue Note album The Women Who Raised Me, which follows on 6 March. It’s her reading of the song from Sade’s 1992 album Love Deluxe.
The album is a celebration of a dozen of the greatest female vocalists of all time, all of them an inspiration to the much-admired jazz and soul singer when she was growing up in Nashville. It’s produced by Larry Klein (Joni Mitchell, Herbie Hancock), who produced Springs’ 2016 debut album Soul Eyes. ‘Pearls’ features Springs on vocals and Rhodes, Avishai Cohen on trumpet, Steve Cardenas on guitar, Scott Colley on bass and Clarence Penn on drums. Watch the video here:
The Women Who Raised Me features Springs’ interpretations of songs closely associated with Ella Fitzgerald, Roberta Flack, Astrud Gilberto, Lauryn Hill, Billie Holiday, Norah Jones, Diana Krall, Carmen McRae, Bonnie Raitt, Sade, Nina Simone and Dusty Springfield. The album sees her travelling back and forth across nearly a century of music to honour these groundbreaking female artists.
The new set is the follow-up to Springs’ 2018 sophomore release Indigo, on which (by contrast to The Women Who Raised Me) she used modern production in collaboration with jazz drummer, hip-hop producer and DJ Karriem Riggins. This time, she adheres to the jazz idiom to reimagine Simone’s ‘I Put A Spell On You,’ Raitt’s ‘I Can’t Make You Love Me’ and Holiday’s ‘Strange Fruit,’ among many others.
The new version of Fitzgerald’s ‘Angel Eyes’ is a collaboration with Norah Jones, described by Springs as her “ultimate inspiration…I didn’t even know what to think. It’s something I relive every so often, like, ‘Lord, I can’t believe she’s sitting right there.’ It was nerve-racking. I was like, ‘Get it together, Kandace, let’s do this!’”
The interpretation of ‘I Can’t Make You Love Me’ is a nod to her performance of the Bonnie Raitt song that first caught the attention of Blue Note president Don Was, when the singer auditioned for a record deal in 2014. She also reinhabits Lauryn Hill’s ‘Ex Factor,’ among other stellar performances. There are contributions from bassist Christian McBride on ‘Devil May Care’ and saxophonist David Sanborn on ‘I Put A Spell On You.’
You can read more about some of the tracks on the album at DownBeat.com. In March, Springs will play a four-night run at the Jazz Standard in New York, showcasing material from The Women Who Raised Me. Full tour details are at her website.
“This is an album I’ve been wanting to make forever,” says Springs. “It really expresses my love for all of these singers and gratitude for what they gave me. Each taught me something different and all of those lessons combined to make me who I am now.”
The Women Who Raised Me is released on 6 March. Scroll down for the tracklisting, and pre-order it here.
1. Devil May Care
2. Angel Eyes
3. I Put A Spell On You
5. Ex Factor
6. I Can’t Make You Love Me
7. Gentle Rain
9. The Nearness Of You
10. What Are You Doing The Rest Of Your Life
11. Killing Me Softly
12. Strange Fruit
Listen to Kandace Springs’ complete catalogue on Spotify.