Dreamy jazz-soul has enlisted a new face to its wall of luminaries, that of Boston’s own Vivian C. Beard who goes by the stage name Vivian Male. Her singing is so distinctive though that she passes the criteria to belong to the select class of women who are immediately recognized by their first names like Cher, Beyonce, Reba, and Dolly. Her delivery is moving, and the graceful swagger of her vocal lilt and mannerisms can kindle a new age of romantic-pop.
Vivian’s latest recording, Our Day Will Come combines the smooth soul of Mary J. Blige with the whispery jazz of Nancy Wilson and the tender purring of Natalie Cole. Vivian shows a natural instinct for cradling lyrics with a lover’s warmth. She caresses each syllable and bends the words with a delicate persuasion that leaves an indelible mark on their annunciation. When she leaves a room, it is the way she has stretched out her words that linger in the air.
Her repertoire consists of classic pop tunes like “Breaking Up Is Hard To Do” and “The Look Of Love” alongside such nostalgic R&B favorites as “Could It Be I’m Falling In Love” and “Lovin’ you.” She personalizes every track and takes audiences to a place of calmness and bliss. Her singing has a starlight quality that is reminiscent of the ladies of soul like Roberta Flack and Cynthia Layne, particularly in the coasting grooves of “I’m So Proud.” The soft funky strut of the title track is stylized with glistening piano keys and ripples of saxophone billows, which travel into silky raptures embellished with jazz-inspired elements along “Walk On By” and a glaze of smooth soul in the piano lifts.
Vivian’s album travels in one direction and that is on a path to a dreamy state of being. She sounds like she is inviting others to come on board and let go of their inhibitions and enjoy the ride. Over the years, Vivian has worked with an impressive roster of artists including Walter Beasley, Bill Pierce, and Andre Ward in addition to being a producer and composer in her own right. Whatever song she sings, she handles it with the tender, loving care of an artist whose body and soul connects with the music wholeheartedly.
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