Nnenna Freelon

Time Traveler

origin 82822

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MUSIC REVIEW BY Frank Alkyer, DownBeat (Editor's Pick)

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Vocalist Nnenna Freelon has always had a powerful instrument, but rarely, if ever, has she employed that voice in such an intimate way. Freelon recorded Time Traveler following the loss of her husband, Phil, an accomplished architect who led the design of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture. On Time Traveler, the Grammy-winner wastes no time in grabbing your attention and pulling you in close. Freelon takes us to church with one of the most riveting versions of "Say A Little Prayer For You" that these ears have ever heard. Her vocals are pure, powerful magic. She pays tribute to her lost love throughout the 11-tune program with such songs as "Betcha By Golly Wow," featuring a beautiful saxophone solo by Kirk Whalum, and Jim Croce's "Time In A Bottle," given an interesting arrangement by Miki Hayama. She ruminates over old chestnuts like "Moon River," "Time After Time" and "Come Rain Or Come Shine," which certainly have a personal connection. You can feel her loss as well as the joy of her memories. There are moments of indulgence here, but they are certainly understood and worth the trip to hear Freelon's voice ache on "Just You," for example. Anyone who has experienced loss can understand where she's coming from as she tells us that her loss hurts, but also gives the sense that she's going to be OK.








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