Jun 19, 2012
Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day or Emancipation Day, is a holiday in the U.S. honoring African-American heritage by commemorating the announcement of the abolition of slavery in the State of Texas in 1865. Celebrated on June 19, it is recognized as a state holiday or state holiday observance in 41 states of the United States.
The celebrating allows me to share a righteous track from Cynthia Felton's latest CD, Freedom Jazz Dance. The talented singer has recorded an album containing mostly jazz standards - she does a particularly nice job on "Lost in the Stars" - and kicks off with the gospel infused "Oh Freedom."I hear more than a little Nine Simone here, and that's a good thing.
Clearly she has the pipes and desire to produce outstanding music, even if this CD never seems to give her that many chances to really cut loose. More than a few times she relies on "American Idol"-type over singing rather than the emotion and sense of timing she brings to other tracks, like Charles Mingus' "Duke Ellington's Sound of Love". The band and the arrangements, including the likes of Terri Lynne Carrington, Ernie Watts, Wallace Roney and Cyrus Chestnut, is top notch, though, and there is real hope that her next album will be a winner from start to finish.