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A singer who lives in permanent flux, Robin McKelle is back in Madrid. Her contralto has sometimes led the specialized press to compare her to Ella Fitzgerald and on other occasions to Aretha Franklin. And even to such temperamental artists as Janis Joplin or Tina Turner. Now, however, in her latest album from 2018, “Melodic Canvas”, Robin McKelle has thrown us all off track again, as she has set off on a search for tones and ambiences of an intimate guise.
She started out by sharing the stage with such artists as Bobby McFerrin and Michael McDonald, and she was always clearly influenced – aside from the already mentioned Aretha Franklin and Ella Fitzgerald – by Nina Simone and Ray Charles, two of the voices that we may very well say define singing in the 20th century.
As they did, American singer Robin McKelle speaks with amazing fluency the scorching and explosive languages of Southern soul and rhythm & blues, and she seasons and rationalises the final result with a touch of good taste in which she often resorts to jazz. All this was made perfectly clear a couple of years ago during her concert at JAZZMADRID, where many people were captivated by this artist’s infallible choices.
Vocals: Robin McKelle.
Sax: Baptiste Herbin.
Piano and harpsichord: Raphael Debacker.
Bass: Cedric Raymond.
Drums and percussion: James Williams.