Sara Serpa is a vocalist wielding an instrument as favorably unadorned and pure as any in jazz. She's the freshest vocalist on the scene at the moment, not just because she's new to it at age 28. It's certainly not because of the way she delivers a lyric, since there usually aren't any. Being from Portugal is also irrelevant, for like much of the great jazz coming our way in the past few years from Lisbon, there is nothing overtly ethnic about the music; it's sensuous, transporting, sultry and warm.
A main reason is that with one recording in, she raises profound questions regarding the previous role of the vocalist in jazz. What's radical, is that it's not about the ridiculous chops or inhuman gymnastic training or trickery. She sings as an instrumentalist, as a member of an ensemble with a bold conception, moving seamlessly as would a saxophonist from melodist to soloist, or from a front line horn to an ensemble voice—not the star of some show. Serpa sounds as if she's talking right to you, even though she's singing, not just in terms of the intimacy quotient, but in terms of the actual sound of it—literally, she sounds as if she must sing whenever she speaks." (Phil DiPietro, All About Jazz)
Thu Apr 22nd 8:30PM
GNU VOX: SARA SERPA
CORNELIA STREET CAFÉ
29 Cornelia Street, NYC, New York| 212-989-9319