Genre: Jazz
Label: Nonesuch
Size: 12"
Format: 33RPM,


Cecile McLorin Salvant Ghost Song LP

Cecile McLorin Salvant

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Jazz Singer's Nonesuch Label Debut On Vinyl LP!
Includes A Cover Of Kate Bush's "Wuthering Heights'!

Michael Fremer Rated 10/11 Music, 10/11 Sonics!

The New York Times Best Jazz Albums of 2022 - Rated 1/10!
Jazzwise The 20 Best Jazz Albums of 2022 - Rated 1/20!
Fred Kaplan's The Best Jazz Albums of 2022 - Rated 1/10!
NPR Music Best Albums of 2022 - Rated 45/50!
JazzTimes The Top 40 Jazz Albums of 2022 - Rated 4/40!

2023 Grammy Award Nominee:
• Best Jazz Vocal Album: Ghost Song
• Best Arrangement, Instruments and Vocals: "Optimistic Voices / No Love Dying"

Nonesuch Records releases Ghost Song, the label debut of singer/songwriter Cécile McLorin Salvant. Ghost Song features a diverse mix of seven originals and five interpretations on the themes of ghosts, nostalgia, and yearning. Salvant says, "It's unlike anything I've done before - it's getting closer to reflecting my personality as an eclectic curator. I'm embracing my weirdness!"

Ghost Song opens and ends with a sean-nós (traditional Irish unaccompanied vocal style) performance by Salvant, recorded in a church. On track one, she transitions into Kate Bush's 1978 classic "Wuthering Heights". Salvant says of the song, "Wuthering Heights is a book that really struck me to my core as I was making this album, during the pandemic. And the best interpretation of the novel is Kate Bush's song."

She continues, "It's the most classic ghost story. I decided I wanted to do an album called Ghost Song, and I knew that one had to be on it. Then I had the idea to mix it in with the sean-nós 'Cúirt Bhaile Nua', which binds it to the traditional 'Unquiet Grave', the last track on the album. The ghost is not haunting me; now I am haunting the ghost. They parallel each other so well and they're such different time periods. I wanted the album to be a circle, with the sean-nós reference at the beginning and at the end. So it is the first track but it's also the last track and it's also the middle track, which is how I listen to music, walking around my neighborhood, on a plane, travelling somewhere, putting stuff on repeat."

"All the songs on the album kind of mirror each other. I tried to create this strange symmetry. So as you go in from both ends, the songs are sort of matched together," Salvant says. "'I Lost My Mind' is the center of the Russian doll. I wrote that in the middle of the pandemic. There were nights when I wanted to just scream. It was this deeper part of me saying, 'It's OK if this sounds completely crazy, OK to just go with the completely crazy thing and not worry if people think you have lost your mind for doing it.'

"The bands also mirror each other from top to bottom. In terms of the instrumentation, everything," Salvant explains. "That's why the songs are there in that relationship: they match each other, they're like fraternal twins, or one is the evil twin of the other. I, as the living, am visited by the ghost, and then I go visit the ghost in turn. I am haunting the ghost and annoying the ghost, which is saying, 'Get out of here and go live.'"

Of the sonic variety on Ghost Song, Salvant says, "Texture is a big part of how I sing, having multiple textures in one song. It's almost a compulsion. I can't allow myself to stay in one texture. The instrumentation creates that but the recording process as well. It's something I like, even when I'm eating. You want the creamy and chewy and crunchy at the same time. Warm and cold."

Cécile McLorin Salvant, a 2020 MacArthur Fellow and three-time Grammy Award winner, is a singer and composer bringing historical perspective, a renewed sense of drama, and an enlightened musical understanding to both jazz standards and her own original compositions. Classically trained, steeped in jazz, blues, and folk, and drawing from musical theater and vaudeville, Salvant embraces a wide-ranging repertoire that broadens the possibilities for live performance.

Salvant's performances range from spare duets for voice and piano to instrumental trios to orchestral ensembles. Her unreleased work Ogresse is an ambitious long-form song cycle based on oral fairy tales from the nineteenth century that explores the nature of freedom and desire in a racialized, patriarchal world. Salvant studied at the Université Pierre Mendès-France. She has performed at national and international venues and festivals such as the Newport Jazz Festival, the Monterey Jazz Festival, the Village Vanguard, and the Kennedy Center.

Her voice is singularly arresting, yet it's no single sound. She found her own unique identity, which is what most separates her from her peers.
-Wall Street Journal
An artist with so fresh a point of view that her singing amounts to a re-writing.
-The Nation
In a decade plus worth of memorable Grammy Award winning albums, this one is probably Salvant's most fully realized, most varied, and so her best - and that's facing very stiff competition! It's sonically stupendous as well. Add attractive gatefold packaging and a quiet Pallas German pressing and you have a 'must have' album.
-Michael Fremer, Analog Planet, Music 10/11, Sound 10/11
As with some of [Salvant's] past work, there is also a deeply personal feeling to the album, as it arrives in the wake of the death of both her grandmother and longtime drummer Lawrence Leathers, the latter of whom was tragically killed during a 2019 domestic dispute. A sense of loss permeates Ghost Song, even as Salvant finds more unexpected and transcendent avenues to express her feelings. Bookending the album are two songs sung in the Irish unaccompanied vocal style sean-nós, the first of which leads into a sublime interpretation of Kate Bush's 'Wuthering Heights.' It's a bold choice, evoking the iconic genre-crossing work of Joni Mitchell while remaining purely Salvant.... As impressive as Salvant's finely curated cover songs are, perhaps more remarkable are her original compositions, which move from the rootsy, sun-dappled folk of 'Thunderclouds' to the poetic ballad 'Moon Song,' the latter of which evokes the dusky warmth of Sarah Vaughan's classic work.
-Matt Collar,, 4.5/5 stars (The AllMusic 2022 Year in Review - Best of 2022)
Known mostly as a brilliant interpreter of 20th-century songs, Cécile McLorin Salvant has never made an album as heavy on original tunes, nor as stylistically adventurous, as this one. Her voice soars over Andrew Lloyd Webber-level pipe organ in one moment, and settles warmly into a combo featuring banjo, flute and percussion in the next.
-Giovanni Russonello, The New York Times, Best Jazz Albums of 2022
The primary undercurrent is a sense of haunting, of restlessness and torment. It is all there in Salvant's finely shaded voice down to every careful accent and emphasis on revelatory lyrics, which are potently consolidated by the advanced subtleties of an ensemble in which master guitarist Marvin Sewell is both a suitably corporeal and spectral presence, drawing on his consummate bluesiness with no concession to cliché.
-Kevin Le Gendre, Jazzwise, The 20 Best Jazz Albums of 2022
Blessed with an operatic range, she remains a master singer of blues, swing, precision, wit, and storytelling drama. Her band members, who vary from track to track, are exquisitely matched. The sound quality is superb.
-Fred Kaplan, Slate, The Best Jazz Albums of 2022
The glorious, gothic peculiarities of this era's leading song exploder have rarely been on more vivid display. Ghost Song finds Cécile McLorin Salvant in a bardic mode, singing intently of lost minds, phantom lovers and budding resentments; it's an emotionally complicated canvas, one that she fills with shadow and color.
-Nate Chinen, WRTI
Cécile McLorin Salvant has diligently redefined the popular concept of a jazz singer, and Ghost Song is her most spectacular expansion yet. She goes beyond genre both in her spectacular cover of Kate Bush's 'Wuthering Heights' and in her range of source material on other tracks, which feature field hollers, youth choirs, solo piano, and a cappella vocals. With McLorin Salvant, jazz singing has gone from an exercise in wistful nostalgia to an investigation of the polyglot future.
-Martin Johnson, JazzTimes, The Top 40 Jazz Albums of 2022


  • Vinyl LP
  • Gatefold jacket
  • Made in Germany


  1. Wuthering Heights
  2. Optimistic Voices / No Love Dying
  3. Ghost Song
  4. Obligation
  5. Until
  6. I Lost My Mind
  7. Moon Song
  8. Trail Mix
  9. The World Is Mean
  10. Dead Poplar
  11. Thunderclouds
  12. Unquiet Grave

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