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Emma Larsson: Sing to the Sky

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Listening to Emma Larsson, it’s hard not to be reminded of the young Nancy Wilson. The Swedish-born, New York-based singer, now three albums into what promises to be an impressive career, mirrors Wilson’s silken delivery and her sly interpretative sass. Yet beneath that elegant surface is a tiger ready to spring, a jazz-savvy adventuress worthy of Abbey Lincoln or Betty Carter. While her previous discs teamed her with a trio of top-drawer Nordic musicians alongside the dynamic Venezuelan pianist Benito Gonzalez, Sing to the Sky significantly amps up her accompaniment with a tight, deeply simpatico quartet: saxophonist Kenneth Whalum III, pianist Shedrick Mitchell, bassist Eric Revis and drummer Billy Drummond.

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