WELCOME TO THE SMOOTH JAZZ RIDE! * WELCOME TO THE SMOOTH JAZZ RIDE! * WELCOME TO THE SMOOTH JAZZ RIDE!

Nicci Canada – Twenty Twelve

Sept. 22, 2011

Singer/songwriter Nicci Canada should add “poetress” to her description, as the material on her debut release, Twenty Twelve, flows as lyrically as a poem. Spinning image and story after image and story, this lovely young lady is someone to whom you could listen for a long while without ever even being cognizant of the time, and I’ll bet she can do that with her lyrics alone.

A most expressive vocalist with strong, precise, and distinctive pipes, Canada incorporates R&B and jazz phrasings and mixes in her own excitement and heavy doses of confidence on this project. Alternating between classily assertive (e.g., “Welcome to My World” and “Rivertown”) to sweetly sexy and almost demure (“Attraction” and “Boaz”), Canada’s material is diverse and unique, fitting her vocal style like a glove.

This debut not only allows you to hear Canada the singer, but Canada the songwriter, as she has written all but one track. She also provides a glimpse, via a spoken prelude, into her thinking in composing the beautiful track “Crazy Baby.”  This tune, one of my faves, is enticingly soft and melodic and can easily lay claim to one’s head and heart with one listen.  Another standout in her compositions is the deep “Change.” The lyrics here just have to move one to reflection and maybe even action. It’s that motivational.

Nicci Canada, as a jazz vocalist and songwriter, is a breath of fresh air. In a word, she affects. Her scatting, sassy lyrics and vocals, and ability to weave all of the diverse elements found here into one beautiful collage of sound and creativity is a testament to an artist who obviously loves what she does and is most enthused about sharing it all with anyone and everyone. – Ronald Jackson