Camille Thurman: Waiting for the Sunrise (Chesky)

Review of the saxophonist and vocalist's third studio album—recorded in "3D"

Cover of Camille Thurman album Waiting for the Sunrise
Cover of Camille Thurman album Waiting for the Sunrise

Camille Thurman has to share the credit for her wonderful sophomore effort for the Chesky label not only with her accompanists but with her producer, label head David Chesky, and his “3D” binaural and audio technique. The session, cut in Brooklyn, was captured—without getting into a bunch of audiophile jibber-jabber—with a single microphone, rather than mic’ing everything closely and sapping the real-time ambience from the recording. Waiting for the Sunrise celebrates the geography of the studio, the distance and space between voice and the individual instruments, truly giving the impression that the listener is inside the room and allowing every intimate nuance to be absorbed. It’s intoxicating.

Of course, none of that would matter if the music wasn’t up to the task. Thurman, who both sings and plays tenor saxophone, is an exceptionally talented, intuitive interpreter from the Sarah/Ella school. Vocally, she is equally adept at scatting breezily with just the right amount of surprise and soulfully expressing the most minute detail of a ballad in such a way that you can’t imagine any other direction the lyric might go. When she picks up the sax, it’s another vibe altogether: hearty, gutsy, fervid, sensual.

Track for track, the recording is a revelation: Jeremy Pelt (trumpet), Cecil McBee (bass), Jack Wilkins (guitar), and Steve Williams (drums) are sympathetic and encouraging bandmates, each a vital contributor. Whether on an airy reading of Hoagy Carmichael’s “The Nearness of You” or Milton Nascimento’s lubricious “Tarde,” the group remains locked in firmly, and when they get to swinging, as on “September in the Rain,” it’s nothing less than ecstatic.