Kandace Springs — an accomplished artist whose soulful jazz singing led her late mentor Prince to praise her “voice that can melt snow” — has announced her newest project, The Women Who Raised Me, out March 27 on Blue Note Records. Produced by GRAMMY-winning producer Larry Klein (Joni Mitchell, Herbie Hancock), who produced Springs’ 2016 debut Soul Eyes, The Women Who Raised Me is a tribute album to the female vocalists who most impacted Springs’ music, stylings and journey.
Alongside the album announcement, Springs has also released the lead single “Pearls,” a song made famous by legendary R&B singer Sade. In a black and white video, Springs is featured in a series of vignettes – performing in a studio and wandering about the city on a quest of self-reflection, her vocals giving a vital energy to an iconic song. Watch here.
The Women Who Raised Me features renditions of songs made famous by some of history’s most iconic vocalists: Ella Fitzgerald, Roberta Flack, Astrud Gilberto, Lauryn Hill, Billie Holiday, Diana Krall, Carmen McRae, Bonnie Raitt, Sade, Nina Simone, and Dusty Springfield. The Women Who Raised Me also features a cover of and a collaboration with Kandace’s “ultimate inspiration,” Norah Jones.
“This is an album I’ve been wanting to make forever,” says Springs. “It really expresses my love for all of these singers and gratitude for what they gave me. Each taught me something different and all of those lessons combined to make me who I am now.” Tracked live in the studio, the album finds Kandace singing and playing piano in the company of a spare but able band — including guitarist Steve Cardenas (Norah Jones), bassist Scott Colley (Carmen McRae), and drummer Clarence Penn (Diana Krall) — that allows her remarkable gifts to shine.
Having worked with everyone from the Wu-Tang Clan’s Ghostface Killah to drummer/producer Karriem Riggins (Common, J Dilla, Kanye), Springs is no stranger to collaboration, and this latest record features notable contributions from bassist Christian McBride (“Devil May Care”), saxophonist David Sanborn (“I Put A Spell On You”), and, of course, Norah Jones. “I didn’t even know what to think,” says Springs of recording with her first musical love. “It’s something I relive every so often, like, ‘Lord, I can’t believe she’s sitting right there.’ It was nerve-racking. I was like, ‘Get it together, Kandace, let’s do this!’” The result is a warm, swirling duet on Ella Fitzgerald’s “Angel Eyes” — an album highlight.