I recently discovered a fabulous new artist via Google Music “recommendations”, Ashleigh Smith.
Ashleigh Smith was actually the backup vocalist for Chrisette Michele for five years. Before deciding to go out on her own. Sunkissed is the 27 year old’s debut album and first for Concord records. Incidentally they signed her after she won the 2014 Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition.
The album starts off with a very Latin – Bossa Nova / Jazzy feel to it, while other track go into more of a Neo Soul sound. Later tracks seems to be Soul/Jazz fusion filled with influences from popular 60’s and 70’s tracks.
She was very surprised when her label allowed to her be herself in terms in music. She was expecting the opposite. i.e. do what DJ’s or radio stations want to play. She is delighted to be one of the fresh new faces of Jazz, showing people that it is still very much alive.
Overall it is a very satisfying album, with great vocals and musicians on all tracks.