SoulTracks 10 Gems: Lizz Wright

Photo courtesy of Concord Records

June 1, 2020 — Welcome back to 10 Gems, our series featuring 10-song, single-artist playlists that we think may especially appeal to SoulTrackers. The focus here is not on track position or “hits,” although some are included; rather, it’s all about quality, atmospherics, groove and feel.

June 1, 2020 — Welcome back to 10 Gems, our series featuring 10-song, single-artist playlists that we think may especially appeal to SoulTrackers. The focus here is not on track position or “hits,” although some are included; rather, it’s all about quality, atmospherics, groove and feel.

Our featured artist is the singer and songwriter Lizz Wright. Hailing originally from Georgia, where she was schooled early in gospel music by her father, the music director and pianist for their church, Lizz debuted in 2003 with her beautiful, jazz-influenced album, Salt.  Since that record, she has released 5 others, all critically acclaimed, all featuring real instrumentation and devoid of studio gimmickry, and each offering different textures and styles -- from jazz to blues to acoustic folk to country and on her most recent albums to the more spiritual music of her early training.  Whatever the style or genre, there is authenticity, depth, integrity and soul to Lizz’s every musical step.

What sets Lizz truly apart are her ethereal, smoky vocals and her interpretive instincts. There are some artists, like her, who are simply a cut above their peers, with skills so breathtaking, deep, and apparently effortless, you often marvel that anyone could be that gifted. A case in point is her cover of Eric Clapton’s classic rock hit “Presence of the Lord,” included here, which she makes completely her own and anchors firmly in serene gospel waters. If you’re not already familiar with Lizz, her vocal control, nuance, deft use of dynamics and richness of tone will stun you. She is an American treasure. Enjoy.

By Robb Patryk

Robb is an entertainment attorney in New York City and is the originator of our Flashback Soul, Another Groove and 10 Gems series.  Follow his recommendations on Twitter @RwpSun. 

 
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