No Foolin' in Take Five: Quiana Lynell

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Monday April 01, 2019


No Foolin’ in Take Five: Sharp New Music By Joel Ross, Jon Batiste and Quiana Lynell
By: Nate Chinen

Quiana Lynell, ‘Move Me No Mountain’

Two years ago, when Quiana Lynell took first prize at the Sarah Vaughan International Vocal Competition, she secured a contract with Concord Jazz. The resulting album, landing this Friday, is A Little Love – a suave, surefooted outing at the intersection of contemporary jazz, smooth gospel, and quiet-storm R&B. Consider this version of “Move Me No Mountain,” which opened Love Unlimited’s 1974 album In Heat, and turned up six years later on Chaka Khan’s Naughty.

Lynell isn’t inclined to get naughty on “Move Me No Mountain,” despite its association with Barry White; on the album, it leads into a noble medley of Duke Ellington’s “Come Sunday” and the Billy Taylor-Dick Dallas anthem “I Wish I Knew (How It Would Feel to Be Free).” But she knows how to bring sensuous contour to a melodic line, and she has the right musicians for striking that balance – including pianist Cyrus Chestnut, guitarist Ed Cherry, vibraphonist Monte Croft and drummer Jamison Ross (who also sings on a track).

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