Kandace Springs brought her fusion of classy soul , R & B and jazz to the Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival 2017 Spiegeltent, George Square backed with Dillon Treacy on drums, and Jesse Bielenberg on bass.
How to describe the music of Kandace Springs best for anyone who has not yet heard this 28-year old Nashville-based singer-pianist? Well last year’s Blue Notes record debut album “Soul Eyes” would be a great place to start and tracks from this album performed here including “Talk To Me”, “Soul Eyes”, “The World Is A Ghetto” and “Thought It Would Be Easier” have put this album firmly on my “to buy” list.
Kandace Springs, as this 90 minute or so set clearly shows, is as happy with her own songs as with timeless classics and soulful and heartfelt performances of Ewan MacColl’s “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” (done in the classic Roberta Flack style), the Etta James standard “At Last”, and the wonderful “The Nearness of You” show a performer as comfortable with the great songs of yesterday one minute then shifting effortlessly to upbeat and soulful funk and jazz sounds that could so easily fit into the classic soundtrack of great 1970s films like “Shaft” or “Superfly”. Also in this set, impressive piano skills with a cover of Oscar Peterson’s “Chicago Blues”.
Kandace Springs can do it all – soulful ballads, upbeat funk, jazz and anything else in between that she vocally wants to do, and listening to the different sounds from Kandace on piano and keyboard (with some classic 1970s sounds to it) was a little like watching two different performers on stage at times, and to find an artist who can so effortlessly switch between styles and sounds is rare.
For someone like myself who grew up listening to the classic sounds of artists like Roberta Flack, Curtis Mayfield, Gladys Knight and so many other iconic artists, Kandace Springs was at times like listening to the essence of all those classic sounds of yesterday brought back to life once again, but with something else in there, a touch of Kandace Springs herself that somehow made everything contemporary and not “vintage vibe”.
We are all going to be hearing an awful lot more of Kandace Springs and her music in the coming years. This lady is going to be around for a very long time and take her place alongside some of the great names of yesterday.
Review by Tom King