“Elaine possesses an exacting, exhilarating command of melodic lines and emotional currents. It helps that she has pinpoint intonation: in performance, I don’t believe I’ve ever heard her miss her mark, even on difficult leaps or drops in a melody line. But she handles those intervals with a dancer’s grace and a nuanced attack, which allow the line to unfold seamlessly. She floats through a melody without any apparent effort; to appreciate her musicianship, listen to most other singers handle the same material (you can practically hear them sweat). And Dame’s phrasing manages to wed an improviser’s expressiveness with a welcome fidelity to the words and their meaning. I think if a saxophone could speak, it might sound like this.”
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