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Friday November 21, 2014
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Lizz Wright

 

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Wright's luxuriant contralto as a "classic R&B voice," he complained that "you can nearly hear the sound of milk being steamed in the background." Yet really that's just the way it ought to be — Wright's instrument is spectacular enough that it calls for a neutral setting.

Still in her twenties, Lizz Wright has been hailed in various quarters as a coming big thing. One of the masterminds of her career has been producer Craig Street, who helped turn Cassandra Wilson and Norah Jones into stars. There's a soul-folk mix in her music that has drawn comparison to Nina Simone. But for the sheer silk of Wright's lower register, and the layers of passion she reveals in the midrange as a song proceeds, Detroit's Anita Baker is probably the closest comparison. Wright expresses emotion directly, not with a jazz distance.

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