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The Boston Globe

Music

Cécile McLorin Salvant brings tension, release to ‘WomanChild’

The tour de force on Cécile McLorin Salvant’s sublime new album — well, the first of a handful — is her performance of “What a Little Moonlight Can Do.” Her rendition of the Billie Holiday staple is eight minutes of twists and turns in the melody, of vocal shadings that simmer before boiling over. It ends the only way that makes sense: with McLorin Salvant unleashing a string of ecstatic high notes.

It comes from “WomanChild,” the rising 24-year-old jazz singer’s Mack Avenue Records debut, which delivers on the promise she exhibited after winning the vocal division of the
Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition in 2010. Raised in Miami as the daughter of a French mother and a Haitian father, McLorin Salvant spent four years in France honing her musical chops.

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